Six Wheels in Germany – July 2021 (Month 88)

Activities this month


I first started running in July 2020, on July 27 to be specific. This was the Couch to 5k programme and I had no idea if I would complete it – I didn’t know if running would be for me.

Turns out I got on well with the Couch to 5k scheme and have continued running ever since.

My old Hoka One One running shoes had covered over 600km so I decided it was time to get some new ones. I liked the old ones so much that I bought the newer version for this year – a lovely colour!

For July this year I decided my challenge would be that every run I did would be 5k. I usually run for half an hour (which is 4k at my speeds) but I wanted to see if I could run 5 kilometres three times per week for a whole month.

You can see below all the runs that I did in July and I did indeed manage the 5km each time (14 runs). I am proud of this, even if I’m neither quick nor elegant.

Not only that, over the last 365 days I have run 500km!

What is also interesting to see is that my average heart rate has reduced as I have become fitter. My run today (1st August 2021) was with an average heart rate of 160 bpm and max of 168, with an easy average pace of 7:43 per kilometre, my first 5k run was on 24th October 2020 with an average heart rate of 183 and a maximum of 192 bpm and average pace of 8:14 per kilometre. So over the ten months that I have been running occasional 5k distances it has got easier, I have got faster and I am more adapted to it. We will see what progress I make in the next year.


During our Austria trip Klaus’s gear cable snapped and so that needed to be repaired. He couldn’t find the spare gear cable he was sure he had so he ordered a new one. Once it arrived it was time to do the job – for more comfort with the trike on the garden table.

Unfortunately the new gear cable was too short! You need longer than the standard cable for trikes – we normally buy Tandem gear cables. Anyway, he ordered 3 long ones and they arrived and at this point he found the original spare cable, which was also long enough. So Malcolm was repaired and cleaned up a bit and good to go.

Now it was only Emily that was off the road and we managed to get her repaired too. We hired a closed box trailer and drove Emily up to who removed the rear axle and changed the bit that was broken.

So we now have all four trikes/velomobiles on the road. Good times!

As the Corona restrictions have lifted slightly, plus we have both had two vaccinations, we have started cycling for cake again. On one Sunday Klaus and I decided to cycle to Bauerncafé Winthuis for cake – along with what seemed like hundreds of other cyclists!

It was our first long ride in the Velomobiles for a while so we took it easy. It was great to be out again but we both had a nasty moment with a car driver who shouted at me to get on the cycle path (not necessary) and then did a close pass with Klaus when Klaus was riding at over 40 km/h into the narrowing as he arrived at a village. We have not missed the impatient and unfriendly drivers!

A piece of cake each restored our tranquillity.

I have continued walking and Poppy the dog has now fully healed from her torn cruciate ligament so she can go on 5km walks with us too. But we left her behind when Klaus, Lara and I decided to walk to Kempen for an ice cream – and back again. This was the longest walk ever for both Klaus and Lara.

We stopped for cake at the Sylter Eiscafe to use up some vouchers my former colleagues had given me. I had Grillage torte.

It was a very hot day which Klaus and Lara both find tricky, but we all managed the long walk and burned a nice lot of calories!

Klaus and I also took the opportunity to cycle to Kempen for ice cream one warm evening.

The wonderful Eiscafe in the centre of Kempen is open again but they serve the Sundaes in paper cups now and they don’t feel as exciting like that.

Whilst out walking we have seen lots of wildlife including rabbits and hares, lots of birds of prey (buzzards and kestrels around here) and also a lot of the wild meadows have been very colourful.

Klaus has done quite a few evening rides on his own where he takes some lovely photos.

Photo by Klaus

Work and Colleagues

This month has been interesting work-wise too. I finished at my previous company officially on 30 June so from 1 July I was unemployed/job seeking.

I had an interview with a dog food company in Krefeld in June and they asked me to come in for a Schnuppertag/Probe Arbeit (to visit and see what it’s like and do a bit of work). I had kind of decided not to take the job following the interview as I felt it wasn’t a good fit but I thought it worth coming for the Probearbeit to get a better handle on the work.

The company is small and friendly and the work they showed me was all within my capabilities but I realised very early on that I would struggle to work with the other lady there as we had completely opposite work styles. She was full time and had been there for many years and very much set in her ways; it was clear to me that we would not have a successful working relationship. The boss of the company asked to think about things after my Probearbeit but in the end I wrote to say I would not be taking the job.

This was also because I got offered another job! Which I have accepted. I saw an advert in the local paper looking for an administrative worker for a local candle factory and this person needed to have special responsibility for the CRM software – this is one of my strengths and I had in fact integrated a new CRM/ERP system in my previous company last year. So I applied, I was invited to interview, I was given a second interview to meet the boss and he offered me the job there and then. It is 20 hours per week (4 per day) so slightly less than before, but with roughly the same salary per hour. It looks like a really good place and I am looking forward to starting on 16 August.

I also met up with some of my previous colleagues at Café Peerbooms in Kempen to have a catch up and to use up the voucher for cake there I had been given. I reserved a table for eight of us and was first there.

The others arrived and we all had a slice of cake and a drink and a really good chinwag. I had Käse Sahne Torte.

My former colleague Inna also brought along my Zeugnis (written reference) which I had had to chase up the boss for. I needed this for job applications etc. He finally signed it and I was able to pass it on to the companies where I was applying for jobs.

Berlin Berlin

Klaus and Lara and I had planned to spend the last week in July in England, visiting my Mum. Because of Corona this seemed very unlikely and so we decided to make alternative plans. Top choice was to visit Berlin as we all love the city.

So on a warm Saturday we set off in Klaus’s car to Berlin with the now-traditional detour to Tangermünde Kaffeerösterei to buy coffee. We would normally also eat cake but their café was still shut because of Corona, but there are other cafés in Tangermünde so we would probably not starve.

It was a five and a half hour drive to Tangermünde and as we left home at 9:30am we needed to find somewhere for lunch first (we don’t eat breakfast). We decided to head for a Burger King near Hannover as they do a relatively low-carb burger. However, some googling showed us that the ‘normal’ services past Hannover (Altwarmbüchen) had closed their Burger King so we would have to stop somewhere else. I found a Burger King a short way off the motorway at Garbsen so we headed for that.

We ended up following the SatNav to a large shopping centre but found some parking and found the Burger King – which was closed! Metal shutters down to the ground and no sign of anyone. So we decided to go to the Edeka supermarket in the shopping centre and buy a salad. They had a well-stocked salad bar so we were able to choose what we wanted and the cost for the three of us was less than the cost of one salad at a small café we had walked past. We ate the salads in the car in the car park which is hardly scenic. As we walked back past the Burger King it was opening – at 12:15 so rather a weird time!

Then it was back on the Autobahn for another two hours to Tangermünde, with me driving this time. we were off the main A2 motorway after a while and driving along the Bundesstraße 189 which turned into the A14 (Autobahn), then went back to being a Bundesstraße. The SatNav in Klaus’s Octavia had bits of motorway displayed that did not yet exist which meant it was useful we were navigating with Google Maps.

It is really interesting driving through the villages on the way to Tangermünde. We drove through Colbitz which every time I read as Colditz… and by the way, for the Brits reading this, did you know the Germans know almost nothing about Colditz? Also they don’t know the Sound of Music. And for Germans, did you know that we don’t know about Dinner for One at New Year? And Mr Bean isn’t much of a thing in Britain.

Anyway, after Colbitz/Colditz we drove through Dolle, Lüderitz, Hüselitz, Bellingen and Grobleben, before arriving at Tangermünde. These small villages, some were just hamlets, were like a time travel back into the DDR times. We saw no-one in these villages, and wondered what work they had – and how far they would have to travel to the supermarket or any other shops (presumably to Tangermünde).

We parked in Tangermünde and then walked to the Kaffeerösterei where Klaus bought a good stock of coffee, and then we headed back down the pretty high street to find some cake. We were successful.

Similar to Himmelstorte which I buy in Tönisvorst, this was called Himmel und Hölle (Heaven and Hell). It was heavenly.
Klaus and Lara both had a slice of this

After the cake it was time for the final two hours to Berlin. This was mainly along the B5 and it is fascinating to see how bare the whole area is – there seem to be kilometres and kilometres with nothing but arable crops or sunflowers, except for the good-quality road we are driving along.

From the outskirts of Berlin (Falkensee/Spandau) it is mostly a straight road directly into the centre of Berlin. The traffic wasn’t bad either, we were cruising at a reasonable pace between traffic lights!

We arrived at our apartment, the same as we used when visiting last year, but this time with an Executive Apartment as it allowed an extra bed for Lara. However, overall we preferred the apartment last year as it had a balcony looking over the road outside which allowed lots of people-watching whilst drinking tea. Our balcony was very small (we couldn’t sit on it) and looking into the Innenhof, so nothing much to see.

Klaus parked the car in the underground car park just down the road – we had registered for a special parking card thingie that meant it would cost just 6 Euro per 24 hours, which was a better option than the original plan to take the car to Schönefeld Airport long-term parking and then get the bus/train back, which would have added an hour or so to the journey. That would have been 25 EUR for the week but we were happy to find the good value option near the hotel which means we could also use the car during the week if we needed to (which was not expected).

After a cup of tea and a short rest it was time to go to the supermarket to buy dinner and lunch for tomorrow (Sunday). We walked to the REWE Markt in Quartier 205, Friedrichstraße, and found some salads and a few other bits and bobs. However, I fancied something a bit more hearty, having done a 5k run in the morning before we headed off, so I walked down to Checkpoint Charlie to buy a KFC…

It was my first KFC for a year and I had no idea what was a good option on the menu but found a 5 Euro box which had two chicken burgers, a chicken leg, small fries and a small drink.

I had to sit outside (as I was not yet 14 days since my second vaccination) so found somewhere to perch and watched people walking around whilst eating my KFC, which I did indeed enjoy! Klaus and Lara had gone back to the apartment to eat their salads.

Berlin is much busier than when we were there last summer when Corona was becoming more of a thing. There were loads of people out and about walking, eating meals and the feeling of life was back to the city, which was lovely to see!

We went out for a walk in the evening plus an ice cream.

There was a Christopher March/Pride event going on at the Brandenburg Gate so that was interesting to see, and then we walked round the back of the Reichstag and down Friedrichstraße, then to Bebelplatz back to the hotel. Well, I went straight back but Klaus and Lara visited Gendarmenmarkt for some Blaue Stunde photography.

Photo by Klaus

The next day was Sunday where most things are shut, so we decided to get a day public transport ticket and visit some sites.

As it was forecasted to be hot again we decided to go earlyish in the morning to Gesundbrunnen to visit again the Flakturm. Klaus and I had visited it last year and talked to Lara about it. So off we went by bus to Wedding where we changed to an S-Bahn to Gesundbrunnen. But first we did some Wedding photography.

We got the S-Bahn to Gesundbrunnen and then walked up the steps to the Flakturm.

Here is a bit of information in English about these flak towers. We have also watched a couple of videos about the towers and their design purpose. They apparently had room for almost 40,000 citizens to shelter there during the bombing! It’s hard now to see what is there as there are trees all round it but from the top you have good views over Berlin.

We walked down again and decided it was definitely time for lunch as we were all peckish, so we got the S-Bahn and then U-Bahn back to our Apartment and ate a salad.

Klaus had bought all-day travel tickets for us so we planned to do another journey in the afternoon, this would be taking the bus number 100 from one end to the other of its route as it goes past lots of interesting sights. We had hoped the bus would have air conditioning (sadly not!).

So first of all we caught the bus to Alexanderplatz where we had a short walk around but it was very quiet and bare due to it being a Sunday. I was pleased to see lots of Pride rainbows around though.

Klaus also took the photo below of one of the hundreds of e-scooters that we see lying around. However, I must say that we see an awful lot of them in use too. It seems that in Berlin they may be successful, particularly as lots of roads are now closed to cars and are just for bikes/scooters.

Photo by Klaus

They can, of course, be a bit of a menace, although I would say the vast majority of users seem to be using them sensibly. What is a problem is people riding them on pedestrian-only pavements and also young kids riding too fast. The Terms & Conditions say that you need a Haftpflichtversicherung which means that people under 18 aren’t allowed to ride them but we saw vast quantities of kids riding them so they obviously ignore that.

We also saw a scooter accident which was a classic. We were walking along the pavement and were overtaken on the pavement by two young kids on scooters. They were going much to fast, passed very close to us, and then came to a corner – and at that moment a cyclist also rounded the corner (also on the pavement). The scooters couldn’t stop and so one crashed into the cyclist. He was annoyed but seemed OK. But he also should not have been on the pavement! If they had been on the road this would have been fine (and the road here was very quiet, hardly any cars).

Anyway, back to the tour. We then got on the bus number 100 and wound our way along Unter den Linden, round the back of the Reichstag and then along the Tiergarten to Zoologische Garten. I had found what looked like a promising café for cake so this was our destination, an 800 metre walk from the end of the bus line.

We passed these giant ducks – no idea what they were about!

It was pretty warm now and so we were relieved when we found the cake shop and could sit down. The cake shop was next to a Shisha bar so our cakes were experienced from a cloud of steam from the bar next door but they still tasted good. I had a chocolate pistachio mousse cream torte:

And Klaus went for a cheesecake which he said was excellent.

We got the S-Bahn back from Savignyplatz to Friedrichstraße where we changed to the U-Bahn for two stations south; I planned to stop at Französische Straße but didn’t realise it had been closed in 2020 so we continued on to Stadtmitte. The entire station is no longer as there has been a new station called Unter den Linden created at the join of Friedrichstraße and Unter den Linden and the previous station called Unter den Linden, much further west than Friedrichstraße, has been renamed Brandenburger Tor. This makes sense but was a bit of a surprise! We then had a longer-than-expected walk back to our apartment due to the train not stopping where I expected.

After a bit of a relax it was time to head off for our evening meal at an Italian we had seen just off Friedrichstraße. As we stepped out of the hotel the rain started and we very quickly had to wait in a kind of covered passage for the rain to ease a bit before we ran across the road and to the restaurant. It was lucky it was only 400 metres away!

We had some nice Italian food and Klaus had a beer.

The rain continued for a good hour and a half but had stopped when it was time for us to go home, all feeling very stuffed with good food! Klaus suggested a walk to Potsdamer Platz but Lara and I were both feeling a bit tired so we went back to the apartment.

Our plan for the next day was shopping in Mall of Berlin. Klaus needed a new suit as his existing ones are too big, and Lara wanted to get some decent smart shoes. Mall of Berlin would hopefully provide all the shopping opportunities we require!

It is a walk of just one and a half kilometres from where we were staying so we trooped off in the morning to hit the shops.

The first shop was Peek & Cloppenburg where Klaus found himself a rather nice suit. The trouser legs were a bit long so the in-store tailor came to measure him up and would shorten the legs for us so we could pick up the completed trousers three days later.

We also looked at some shoes for Lara and found some good ones but needed to try on a few more first so she was sure they were the best.

Suit and shoes had taken a while so we decided to walk back for our salad lunch (Lara and Klaus had salad left over, I bought one on the walk back). Then it was time to return to Mall of Berlin for the next shopping stage.

What was really noticeable to us was how much busier the Mall was than when we were there last year in June when there was hardly anyone there. To be honest, it feels like Berlin has returned to normal (apart from everyone wearing masks). I also heard a LOT of American accents so I don’t know if this is tourism again or if it is Americans who live over here.

Klaus was also successful with shopping, buying a couple of shirts, some zip-off trousers, some trainers and of course his suit. We bought Lara’s shoes and a few small bits and bobs for me, and then walked back to our apartment again. We decided we needed some cake on the way back though so stopped at an Einstein Café in Friedrichstraße. These cafes are everywhere as they are a chain so not necessarily the best food but my New York Cheesecake was tasty, even if it collapsed a bit.

Klaus had a standard raspberry slice.

Friedrichstraße is an important north-south road that cuts through the centre of Berlin. What is rather lovely is that they have pedestrianised a long section of it south of Unter den Linden and it now just has two bike lanes. The saved space beside the road (which no longer has cars parked) now has benches, street vendors, seating areas for cafes and static displays from shops in mini greenhouse-like structures.

It makes Friedrichstraße a much nicer place to be and there are loads of people walking around looking in shop windows – I imagine footfall has increased significantly.

Photo by Klaus

We went back to the apartment and tried on the various things we had bought. One of my items would have to be returned so I decided to take it back there and then whilst Klaus and Lara chilled out. So I did another walk back to Mall of Berlin, exchanged my item and then walked back again.

Klaus cooked dinner for us (scrambled egg with smoked salmon) and then we decided to go out for an ice cream. There was an Eiscafé in Gendarmenmarkt round the corner so we went there – but it was shut. We walked on and ended up in the Nikolaiviertel and then at Alexanderplatz where I bought an ice cream from a stand. Klaus’s back was hurting rather at this point so he had to sit down for a bit.

Alexanderplatz by Klaus

The new Stadtschloss/Humboldforum is now open – it was still under construction last year.

Photo by Klaus
photo by Klaus

By the end of the day my watch told me I had walked quite a long way (Monday, the previous day on the screenshot below). 24.6 kilometres!

The next day we had pre-booked tickets to tour Tempelhof Airport in the late afternoon. The morning was free so we made another visit to Mall of Berlin to return the trainers Klaus had bought as they turned out to be overpriced. In the end he managed to negotiate with the lady that she refunded him the difference from the online price from this shop. She was very grumpy about it and said he should have checked the price before he bought the trainers – but he didn’t know what he was going to buy before he went into the shop!

We wandered around a few other shops and then headed back, picking up our lunch on the way so we had another salad lunch in our apartment.

We then took the U6 tube south for the three stops on the “Kurzstrecke Ticket” to Mehringdamm. This train ticket is just 2 Euros so we went for that and walked a bit further to save money! From Mehringdamm we walked to Bergmannstraße where we wanted to have tea and cake. The place we ate at last year with fab cakes said on its website that it was closed but I wasn’t sure as that seemed a bit unlikely; we had found another café further up the road so were aiming for that one, but as we passed Frau Behrens Torten it was indeed open. So we had cake.

Chocolate Ganache Torte
Himbeer Marzipan Torte
Blueberry Cheesecake / Heidelbeer Käsekuchen

We sat outside looking at Bergmannstraße which is a busy road in the Kreuzberg area – there were lots of people and different shops, including several vintage clothing shops.

Lara and I went and looked around one second hand clothes shop. The place was huge and stuffed full of clothing including ball dresses, winter coats, shoes, everyday clothes… but it was hard to find the sizes of the clothes you were looking at, or the price. We spent nearly an hour in there but came out empty handed.

Our next event was the tour of Tempelhof Airport. Klaus and I had visited last year but not done the tour and we thought it would be worthwhile – it was!

Tempelhof was built by the Nazis and is a huge building with over 7000 rooms. It has been changed over time, including some of the more impressive Nazi architecture being toned down, for example by lowering the ceilings. Here is the main entrance hall, 100 metres long.

We then went outside where you can see the huge arms that go either side of the centra building, with a roof over them. The people flying in to Tempelhof would not get wet when getting out of the planes!

Photo by Helen
Photo by Klaus

There were also aircraft hangars built in to the massive two arms of the building with huge doors.

Photo by Klaus

There is normally a Rosinenbomber plane standing outside but it had been moved as they were preparing for a Formula E race the next day. You can just see it in the distance in this photo, below the tall white radar tower.

Here is looking back at the central building.

And the building curving away to the other side.

We walked up one of the towers built into the structure (which was meant to make it look a bit like a fort). This tower was one used by the Americans and it had not only a bowling alley in it but also a basketball court.

Unfortunately as you can see from the photo the roof now leaks so they have to put down plastic sheeting. The guide also told us that they have calculated that the changes the Americans made were actually too heavy for the structure so it is not safe to walk on that floor now either.

Americans so unfamiliar with European football (Soccer) that they can’t spell it!

We then went below to a room which is above the false ceiling of the main entrance hall. This entrance way was originally 12 metres higher than it now is as the Americans put in the false ceiling. This was the real ceiling above, damaged by smoke from some of the WW2 fighting, and then with the marble column cladding removed to be used in other places which were visible to the public. Apparently this room was used in the Hunger Games films.

Photo by Helen
Photo by Klaus

We were then taken to the air raid shelters which were designed for people to shelter for 30 minutes, although in reality they were sometimes there for three days. With no toilets! There were moralistic messages painted on the walls of the rooms. Here you see the painting on the wall to show where the gas overpressure line is.

One of the gas lines to ensure positive pressure in the air raid rooms.

The tour was two hours in total and is well worth it – we walked a fair way and learned a lot about Tempelhof. My father flew his light plane into Tempelhof just before it closed so there is a small bit of family history involved for me.

We took another Kurzstrecke U-Bahn ticket back towards home, getting off at Checkpoint Charlie so we only did the 3 stops (the “short distance ticket”) and then wandered back looking for a restaurant – we found an Italian and had a nice meal, following up with an ice cream in Gendarmenmarkt. Although we had done a lot of walking it was less for me than the previous day – only 17,000 steps or 12.9km in total.

The next morning I went for my second run in Berlin.

This was a similar route to last time but running a bit further west so I turned just before the Siegesäule. On the way back I passed the memorial to murdered homosexual people which had huge flower displays laid before it. I had been impressed to see the pride flags flying outside the British and American Embassy buildings on Unter den Linden, it is good to see that there has been some progress made at least since WW2!

I enjoyed my 5k run and was happy to have burned the calories as we were going out for a posh sushi meal in the evening!

We did our shopping for our salad lunch and made and ate our lunch and then afterwards went by bus and tram to Hackescher Markt, which is a series of boutique shops in a rabbit warren of buildings.

Klaus got sidetracked by a nice watch shop but was eventually able to tear himself away.

We wandered around some vintage and second hand clothes shops and stopped for tea and a small piece of brownie before heading back to our apartment to get ready for the sushi meal. We dressed up smartly for this and then had to walk quite a long way to U-Bahn stations and then at the other end to the restaurant so my feet were complaining a bit. But the fantastic food at Sticks & Sushi made it well worth it – we can heartily recommend this restaurant.

The next morning we decided to make the most of our remaining 24 hour Public Transport card and so got the S-Bahn to Schlachtensee in the south west of Berlin, almost at Wannsee, to walk around the Schlachtensee lake.

Photo by Klaus
Photo by Klaus

It’s a good 5km round and we saw lots of people swimming as well as joggers, dog walkers, cyclists, people pushing prams and more.

We stopped for a cuppa when we returned to the town near Schlachtensee and I enjoyed some Quarkbällchen.

After a nice relaxing sit outside a bakery to drink our drinks we headed back on the train. I am rather pleased with this photo where you can see Klaus and Helen reflected in Lara’s sunglasses!

We returned to the centre of Berlin, stopping off at Mall of Berlin for Klaus to collect his suit trousers which had been altered to fit, and picking up our salad for the day.

We had a lazy afternoon (well, Lara went out walking on her own) as we were going relatively early to Potsdamer Platz to meet Lara and Lars, our landlady’s children, for a curry.

We met at the restaurant Amrit at Potsdamer Platz – this was a huge Indian restaurant with lots of outside seating. We were sitting outside as Lara cycled there on her posh bike and wanted to keep an eye on it – the last time we met for a curry in Berlin her bike was stolen!

Here are Lars, Lara and me.

And here are the rest of us.

We had a lovely evening and then walked back, admiring Lars’s new car on the way (a BMW 1-Series) and I stopped off at the British Embassy for a photo.

Klaus also took some more great pics of Friedrichstraße/Unter den Linden.

Photo by Klaus

And also of Mall of Berlin.

Photo by Klaus

We picked up an ice cream on the way back to the hotel, so our evening meal was very high carbohydrate (I had a Naan bread and rice with my curry). That meant I had a not-so-comfortable night as I struggle to digest lots of refined carbs these days…

And the next morning was my running morning, the last of my challenge to run 5 kilometres three times per week in July. But I managed it!

Lara decided to do her own thing that morning so Klaus and I went off for a bit of a walk with the aim to find him some new jeans. Rather than making our fifth visit to Mall of Berlin we decided to head to Alexanderplatz for the shops instead. We walked there and passed the new Museumsinsel U-Bahn station which was being built last time we were here.

We also were able to go into the new Stadtschloss which was also still being built last year. It’s a huge new building but with a fascia and the back in the old style (the side elevations are modern). Klaus did some of his excellent photography again.

Photo by Klaus

My more normal offering is below, a view from inside the Stadtschloss.

I liked the trumpets in the relief!

Photo by Klaus

And here we are.

Klaus also did some photography outside. As you can see, we weren’t that far from the Fernsehturm!

We were successful in C&A and managed to find Klaus a pair of jeans and a pair of casual trousers – but in a smaller size than before. He, too, has lost weight and his current trousers were all a bit too large. He thinks it’s at least 30 years since he was able to fit into trousers this small.

We walked back to the apartment for our salad lunch and then had a bit of a relax. Lara came back later, having explored alone, visiting an English bookshop and more. She had eaten lunch whilst out and about.

We were meeting with Klaus’s friend Istvan that afternoon. Istvan had been working in Berlin for six months or so and his family had moved to Berlin to join him two days before our visit. They lived in Roermond before and we had visited them on our Round the Netherlands Velomobile tour in 2019. It was good to see them again and they had provided a good selection of cakes!

It was really good to speak to Istvan and his wife, particularly about their experiences registering in Germany having previously lived in the Netherlands. Istvan is also doing a rather dramatic shake-up of a company in Germany, bringing the Dutch can-do attitude to what sounds like a traditional German company which is perhaps wary of change. Interesting times for him! Their two children will be going to an International school for the two years that Istvan is seconded to Berlin.

After a very enjoyable afternoon we headed back, picking up dinner for the evening on our way (salad with chicken, mushrooms and onions). After the salad it was time for our traditional evening walk.

This time I decided to have a go on one of the Electric Scooters which are everywhere in central Berlin.

It was actually good fun and I got on better with it than expected (seeing as I have ridden 3-wheeled bikes for the last 12 years). Klaus and Lara both also had a go.

After six minutes on the scooter (which totalled 2,14 €) it was time to park it and go back to walking! We wandered along the Spree and looked back at the Reichstag. You can see the difference between my photo and Klaus’s (he has the iPhone 11 Pro and uses a special app and HDR and filters).

Photo by Helen
Photo by Klaus

He took this lovely photo of Lara as well!

Looking at the Stadtschloss from beside Museumsinsel.

Photo by Klaus

Then it was back to the hotel for a cuppa before bed. The next day we were driving home.

Our journey back was easy with one stop for lunch (Burger King salad!) and then a second stop to change drivers as I was feeling tired. We were very happy to see Poppy when we got home, and to follow Lara’s triathlon that she was doing in Berlin – she got third place in the women’s middle distance triathlon. Well done Lara!

So now it is back to work for Klaus and for me to start my new job in two weeks but first… I will be heading to England in a couple of days to visit Mum as the UK now accepts European vaccination certificates. You can read about my England visit next month!

Keep safe everyone!


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