Berlin: Part Two

18012014

berlin2-06berlin2-21After seeing the more historical sites on the first day of our trip, we used our last two days to spend time with my brother and getting to know his favourite parts of the city. I have not seen a lot of my brother over the last few years as both of us have been abroad a fair amount and so it was really lovely to hang out with him and for Forrest to get to know him a little better.

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We started off the day with coffee and a walk along the East Side Gallery on Mühlenstraße. The gallery is a long open-air art gallery, on stretch of what is left of the Berlin Wall. There are so few parts of the wall left so this is well worth a visit.berlin2-18

You might notice that we did not take our pushchair on this trip. It was a good experiment but probably not one I would repeat in a hurry. Even with my brother and Billy doing the fair share of the carrying if was pretty tough going. I have never really found a baby carrier which I feel can comfortably handle Forrest’s weight. Most brands will claim that their products can be used until toddlerhood but in reality, carrying Forrest for even 15 mins can be pretty difficult. I am sure this option would be brilliant if you had a smaller/younger baby as, although it was physically tough, it did mean we didn’t need to worry about taking pushchairs into smaller boutiques and cafes during the trip. This flexibility was really welcome and allowed us to be a bit more ambitious with our exploring even if it was at the expense of our backs.

berlin2-04 berlin2-03Again we hunted down some excellent coffee. I had read about Bonanza Coffee ages ago and it was on that list of places you would like to go to but probably never will. By luck whilst exploring the east of the city we stumbled upon it and as expected, the coffee was second to none. I have only had it matched by the Merchants of Green in Toronto which still remains my favourite coffee shop of all time.

Also by chance we stumbled across the illusive cronut!  No wait list involved. It may have been in the German equivalent of Greggs and it probably wasn’t a patch on Dominique Ansel’s but it was pretty brilliant.

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The face of the baby eating a cronut.

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We let Forrest let off a bit of steam in the park before catching our flight. He was actually pretty amazing on the plane so we had nothing to complain about on that front but by the end of day three, he was getting a little tired of the carrier which was fair enough. Berlin is full of lovely children’s parks and kindercafes and is generally pretty baby friendly.

Traveling for the first time with a baby was an eye opener in many ways. It was challenging in ways I did not expect. The practicalities such as flights and finding food where all very straightforward. Timing lunch and naps in a foreign city were a bit more of a challenge. When your only in a city for a short period of time, it is easy to try and do too much and  forget that probably all your baby wants to do is go on the swings and eat cronuts. Over the last few years Billy and I have learnt to really slow down our pace with travelling. We used to try and cram in as much as we could in the time that we had but as we have got older and more experienced we prioritise the quality of the experiences we have over the amount at we see. That ethos seems to suit us and now Forrest really well. I look forward to taking him away for longer next time, and hopefully further afield to see how we all get on.

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