We went right up there! A whole year to the day that we arrived here in Berlin.
The Fernsehturm casting a shadow onto the clock in Alexanderplatz
Heading out to the east. Looking up Karl Marx Allee. A bit of Russian architecture for you right there.
Berlin, Berlin, as far as the eye can see. Tally-ho, year two!!
Today is the day! A year to the day that we moved to Berlin. Twelve whole months of me butchering the language, honing my mime skills to a fine art (hell, I even have hand actions to depict feelings), 365 days of saying "Good Lord, its a bit hot!", then "Hmm...it's ok now I guess", then "Good Lord, its a bit parky!", then "Hmm...ok, I suppose, could be a bit warmer" and now we're right back into "Pff...its all a bit hot again, isn't it?". But what a year!
We've had a great time. Taking out the crappy bits with the bullying and settling in the kids, and all that sort of stuff, we've had a smashing time. It feels like we've done loads, seen loads, and eaten a lot of Bratwurst. My favourite bits have been taking visitors round the sights, and just the fact that there is so much for the kids to do here. It has felt that there is something to go and see each weekend, and its just never got boring.
Today we celebrated by going up the Fernsehturm, Berlins tv tower in Alexanderplatz. We've only been talking about doing this for a year. We moved into the temporary apartment on Heinrich Heine Strasse and we could see it from the bedroom window and Orla asked if we could go up it. And I said yes, but it's been on the back burner because theres been so much else to do. But it was worth the wait.
It was even better I think because we're so much more familiar with the city so we knew what we were looking at. Afterwards we went to Hackescher Markt and bought the kids currywurst and chips while we enjoyed quite a horrid vegetarian paella. The waitress left it on the next table so the little sparrows could help themselves. I let Stevie have the rest. I kind of lost my appetite.
So what's next? What do we do with our last year? Is it just more of the same? I don't think so. There are still areas we've not visited in Berlin, and now we have a good babysitter the opportunities open to us for going to things in the evening are boundless - well as long as it fits in with the babysitters schedule.
I do wonder if this year here has changed us. I worry that Orla has had the hardest experience of all of us. Its been more difficult than we could have imagined settling her in here and for her learning the language. If I could have seen into the future before we came, that is probably the one thing that would have changed my mind about coming. Hamish really doesn't seem affected by the change. As long as he has a good park to hand he's happy. Stevie, of course, loves it. All he needs is good weather, football, and beer. He's a simple creature. But me, I constantly seem to swither between the STRUGGLE of it all and the ENJOYMENT of it all. But has it changed me? I don't know how to tell. I have the feeling I'll find out on my return to Derby.
I am looking forward to our next year here. I know we'll all be more comfortable with the language, which will make things easier, and more enjoyable. And of course, I've got another year of taking endless photos and blogging. Bring it on! We're ready!