After a few days in Amsterdam, it was time to head off to Berlin for the next leg of our journey.
This involved the typical Caroline strategy of simply hopping on a train and winging it. It all worked out– we took a train, took a subway, butchered some German, dragged our too-large suitcases through piles of snow and crowded areas…then voila. We found the hotel.
We stayed at the Adina Hotel, right past the touristy Checkpoint Charlie area. It’s more targeted toward business people and the rooms are apartment-style flats, so we were living quite comfortably.
We then continued on our meandering way and found a nice restaurant, Chipps, where we first discovered that we look European/German, since everyone kept trying to speak to us in German.
This led to the obligatory downloading of multiple German-English dictionary and phrasebook mobile apps, so that I could begin to learn the language!
While Dutch was very difficult to comprehend and pick-up, German is already seeming much more intuitive! In Amsterdam, we had to differentiate between street names like Van Baerlestraat and Van Breestraat, both right by our hotel, and Reijnier Vinkeleskade and Dijsselhofplantsoen, which just hurt my eyes to look at…
But in Germany, the streets dropped the long names and multiple vowels and all ended with “Straße“. We lived on Krausenstraße. Once you learned that the “ß” is just pronounced as a double “s” (ss) sound, then it was very easy to at least read our map out loud without sounding like total fools.