Berlin, Berlin!

Berlin, Berlin. I love Berlin, and it feels more like "home" to me than anywhere else in Germany. Berlin is the city I lived in when I first moved overseas right after college graduation. And Berlin is the city where I later studied art and met all sorts of wonderful, creative people, including my husband!

Berlin is a large, metropolitan city like New York - and most people either love it or hate it immediately. There is lots of graffiti everywhere, and in some areas the city looks like several giant spray paint cans exploded all at once. 

Some of the graffiti is quite artistic - the letters here spell "lesen" which means "to read" in German - and this graffiti was sprayed on a bookstore.

A tribute to artist Ernst Barlach.

Other graffiti simply spreads across everything in its path, creating a tapestry of letters, colors, patterns.

Even the playground equipment is covered in graffiti - unthinkable in proper Munich.

Sophia didn't mind.

Other areas in Berlin are more elegant and refined

and the buildings seem bigger and taller

with inviting balconies.

We wandered along the streets, where there were plenty of handmade items

and cute shops

and pleasant outdoor cafes.

In the end, we settled for ice cream.

We also visited a children's museum which had a giant chair to climb on

and where the girls learned to make paper using recycled materials.

We also visited a huge artists' studio run by sculptor friends of my husband. Their website is called Sculpture Berlin if you'd like to see more.

Berlin was fun, and it did us good to visit with our old friends. Berlin has a special, vibrant energy, which is difficult for me to convey in photographs and words. But if you have the chance to visit one day, do!

Tomorrow we'll visit Goethe's garden house in Weimar!