Monday, July 6, 2015

Saturday, July 4th – Day 19 in Berlin

Complaining about the weather seems to be the running theme of the week, and I am not one to break with tradition. So, as the temperature climbed into the high 90s/low 100s, sticking to U-Bahn seats became a real problem, ice cream an acceptable meal substitute, and air conditioning a sought-after luxury.

On Saturday, some of us managed to brave the heat and head out to Schlachtensee and Wansee, a couple of lakes just southwest of Berlin. While some of the U-Bahn trip and the walk to find a shady spot on the shore was nearly unbearable, the scenery was beautiful. Locals and tourists alike were out enjoying the day in boats, swimming around, or biking around the lake. The better outfitted among us took a dip in the water, making the acquaintance of some friendly fish and the occasional giant floating beetle. It almost felt like a quintessential Fourth of July celebration (by the way, Happy Fourth!). Without the weeklong lead in of sale promotions, shady firework dealings, and patriotically printed napkins, it nearly slipped my mind. Still, we managed to get a little more traditional with a dinner of burgers and fries. Go USA.

Sunday, July 5th – Day 20 in Berlin

This Sunday was projected to be the hottest day during our time in Berlin, and it most certainly lived up to expectations. After planning on spending the day hiding from the sun, I joined a group ventured to Mauerpark in Prenzlauerberg for the weekly flea market. We were dripping with sweat, and I maintain that if I were less sun-dazed I would have made fewer impulse purchases, but the day was enjoyable nonetheless. Much like the lakes, the Flohmarkt seemed to draw a bunch of tourists. The vendors were also equally diverse, and I heard many different languages during our walk through the stalls. If you’re looking to purchase anything from handmade jewelry and antique furniture, to bottle caps and some random’s beat up old Converse, the Mauerpark Flohmarkt is your best bet.

An aside to round off the weekend of heat-induced madness: we are 110% sure we saw Michael Cera, of Juno fame, at the flea market. After some initial stalking, and a quick powwow with a group of British girls who had the same idea, we knew it was him. The bravest of souls, Natalie, managed to say “hi” to him as we casually walked by, to which he gave the shortest, most annoyed “hi” back and speed walked in the opposite direction. That happened.

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