Today was my last day in Berlin. It's 11pm and I have to leave the house tomorrow by 10:30am and I still haven't packed so this will be short. I am not good at rushing the writing--please forgive my typos and syntax errors.
I went into the city again on my own today. I went up in the Reichstag dome, which is a glass-metal-spiral concoction. (Berlin seems to have a fascination with glass and spirals--or maybe that's just the architects working in Berlin.) The view was great and almost worth the hour-long wait to get in. So many tourists! Mostly German, but I also spotted at least three separated Israeli groups, Swedes, and French. (Did you know that the word for "France" in German is "Franksreich"? Does anyone else think that's odd?)
After the dome, I found an out-of-the-way spot for lunch and had the equivalent of a full French meal for under eight euros. It really is cheaper here. My next itinerary item was a boat tour along the Spree and one of the main canals. It lasted three hours! But, I always enjoy boat tours and this one was very interesting. Aside from being cold, it was certainly worth my time. I took a bunch more pictures (too many pictures!) and will get them up eventually. I did get a few of what I've taken so far loaded up on flickr, so you can pop over there if you can't wait for me to assembling something over here (and you know you'll be waiting a good long time for that!).
Tomorrow Warsaw! I can hardly wait. I tried to arrange a tour of some of the Jewish sights but the folks I contacted want 150 euros! Yikes. I think I'll figure something else out.
Oh, and last, this is crazy, but, apparently, sometime last week, before I left Paris, I lost my credit card. I didn't notice that it was gone but someone found it and went on a wild spending spree. They racked up almost $12,000 in charges in three days! Wow. Two grand at Ikea, another thousand at GapKids, and on an on--all in Paris. Eventually, I heard from the fraud department (after they contacted my renter, who contacted me--another international incident!) and I canceled the card. They've also credited back all the charges I didn't make, so I'm in good shape. Mostly, I laughed and remembered that episode of "Friends" where Monica tracked down the woman who had stolen her card and had so much fun with it. In this case, I'm having more fun than my credit card thief (I'm not spending $600 on frozen food at Picard, I'm going on boat rides in Berlin!), so I feel good about that.
Auf wiedersehen for now and I'll try and be in touch from Warsaw.
Grateful for: a sense of humor.