Thursday, 30 September 2010

Bye Bye Berlin

We packed up all our bags and left them at the hotel, and spent the day walking around the town.
Our flight didn’t leave until 5pm.
Pure coincidence, the hotel we stayed at Adina Apartments, is an Australian chain of hotels, and had a Berlin Bear painted Aboriginal style.
Last photos near the Reichstag
We couldn’t leave without seeing a few Trabis!
A last photo of us at the Brandenburg Gate.
Our very last photo taken in Berlin

We headed back to the hotel, picked up our bags, took a taxi to the airport and checked in. Alexander was really upset about leaving, and we all had a tear in our eye as we left the airport.
Thanks Berlin, we have had a great time, learnt a lot, travelled a lot, met some wonderful people and created lots of fantastic memories!
Wir haben viel Spass gehabt!


Bis Später!!

Wir lieben Berlin!!

Last few days in Berlin

While Nicole was at her last knitting group meet up, Phil took the boys for a walk around the Brandenburg Gate
A walk through the Tiergarten.
Our last Preussenallee Festival.  The kids love these Hamster Balls.
Felix came over after school one afternoon to have a swim in the pool, dinner, and say goodbye. 
We booked a walking tour with Original Berlin Walks, and decided to do the Berlin, Nest of Spies Tour. 
 It was a great tour, and we enjoyed the information that was shared with us. 
It rained in the last hour, and we had not brought our raincoats or umbrellas, so we got quite wet.  It didn’t really matter though.
One of the things Alexander really wanted to do was to go to the Fassbender & Rausch Chocolate Shop at  Gendarmenmarkt, so he could order the chocolate mouse with gold leaf on the top layer. Alexander wanted to eat gold!
Phil and the kids ordered one each along with their hot chocolates, and thoroughly enjoyed them (Nicole just had a taste of each one, to be fair)

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Letzte Strickttreffung....fur jetzt

It was with great sadness that I attended my last Berlin Knit meet up on a Friday.

I will miss you all, and hope that we will be able to meet up again in the near future, whether that is in Berlin, or hopefully you will come and visit me in Melbourne, Australia.

My wonderful friends surprised me with an adorable present, a game of memory, so I won't forget them, and our fun Friday's together!  There are 2 of each card!  You all made me teary! I love them and look at them often!
I miss you all already!

Breakfast at the Reichstag

The kids had never been to the Reichstag, and always wanted to go up to the top and walk around the dome. With only a few days left in Berlin we thought we should add this to our “To Do List” The easiest way to do this (without waiting in a queue for hours), is to book into Kaifer’s and have breakfast or lunch there. We decided to have breakfast there, as the apartment we are staying at is walking distance from the Reichstag.
Phil and Nicole has a champagne breakfast ,and the kids had a “Kinder breakfast”
Breakfast was delicious, and the view was great. One thing to recommend, is do not dress too warmly. The sun beats through the windows there, and it does get really hot. Even on a cool day, the room warms up, and it is inevitable a group of elderly people will complain about the door being open causing a breeze!

After breakfast we walked up the ramp to the top of the dome. It is a great view of Berlin from here, and it was a good way to say “Goodbye to Berlin”. When we first arrived in Berlin, one of the first things we did was go to the top of the Fernsehnturm to see all of Berlin from a height to try and get our bearings. Dare I tell you Nicole felt a bit teary about leaving Berlin as she gazed out over the Tiergarten!

The mirrors in the centre of the dome always creates some interesting angles for photos.
German Flag
Top of the Dome
This photo of the 4 of us in tripicate is one of Nicole’s favourites!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Uplift continues....

The packers arrived at 8am, and continued to box everything up. Phil met them at 8am, Nicole and the kids went for a swim in the pool after breakfast. Nicole and the kids arrived before lunchtime to start helping. (It’s not the most fun the kids have had, but everyone else was at a little bit tricky). They kept themselves occupied by taking photos of the workers, video of them working, and playing with marbles down the stairwell, keeping out the way as much as possible.
After lunch the first container arrived.

When we moved into this apartment almost 6 years ago, our dining room table and entertanment unit were too large for the stairwell (because of the tight turns). We had to hire a furniture crane and lift them up to the terrace and through the terrace doors. When Nicole had the 2 companies quoting on the removalist, she made sure that this was explained, and that the hire of the furniture crane was included.

It was quick to install,(much to the shock of one of our neighbours who was very concerned that it would damage the grass. What is it with people being so precious about grass???) The boys loved watching the crane come together.

The crane was fantastic. The guys could put lots of boxes on the platform and send it to ground level, pop them on a trolley and wheel it to the container.  It was so quick, and the guys were glad not to be carrying boxes down 3 flights of stairs all day long (especially all the book boxes).

The container was full, and then locked up and started the drive to Hamburg to meet the ship that will take it to Australia.
As rooms were cleared, we continued to wipe down skirting boards, clean windows and vacuum, so there was little to do once the last few boxes were removed.
The boxes were cleared, rubbish in the bin, left over boxes and bubble wrap packed up and our apartment was empty. It echoed! It felt strange to see it so empty. Nicole remembers sitting in the empty apartment when we first arrived waiting for the telephone company to come in and install phones and internet access. Memories of measuring up for curtains, light fixtures, toilet roll holders, etc with her IKEA catalogue in hand. Then remembering the day all our furniture arrived from Australia to be unpacked in the apartment (on Alexander’s birthday), and the previous evening having 30cm+ of snow fall out of the sky.
We handed our keys to Sabine, our relocation agent to look after everything else for us, and shut the door. The end of a chapter.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Another could you refuse!

Taking a break from packing, throwing out stuff and cleaning, we decided to go to our last German Kurbisfest at the Buschmann Winkelmann Farm.

We met our wonderful neighbours Antje, Thorsten and their beautiful girls, Jasmin and Josefine there for lunch (we were very late to join them, thankfully they were patient with us). Lunch was pumpkin soup and pumpkin schnitzel of course and they were delicious!

This year’s theme was fairytales. There were definitely not as many pumpkins as previous years, but it was still a fantastic display.

The Pied Piper Exhibit took 14 hours to assemble.  There are 500 small mandarin pumpkins, 20 baby boo, 50 Rondini and 5 White Patisson pumpkins.  The rats are made of 70 Blue Ballet pumpkins.
A dragon
Cinderella's pumpkin carriage.
The Cinderella Pumpkin display took 60 hours to assemble. 
There were over 5,600 pumpkins used in the display.
Rupunzel's Tower
The Witches house from Hansel and Gretel

After looking at the displays, we wandered around the farm section, then Jasmin wanted to ride on the train.

Jasmin was quick to get into the driver’s seat, and was very pleased with herself beating a boy to the position. Josefine was too small to go by herself, so Antje got a free ride....well 2 actually, the girls wanted to go again! Thorsten was happy just to watch!

Nicole loves the colours of all the pumpkins, and as usual was trigger happy with her camera.  Here is just a small sample of photos she took.
The quad bikes are always fun for the boys, and they had a great time going around the  track. They both want to go faster...but of course are not allowed!
It was a great afternoon, warm weather, great friends, and of course we bought a few small pumpkins home to make soup in the apartment that evening!

Lecker!!! Lecker!!! Lecker!!!