The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

Retire early, be passionate, don't worry, die poor

Monday, April 21, 2014

Visiting Berlin

We left our quiet beach town to visit the big city of Berlin and a German family with whom we have become very good friends. In life you may be lucky to meet some of the best people the world has to offer - that's them.

Two shady characters in Berlin.

This is a boating blog, so I made a point of going on a canal boat trip.

I didn't see any beggars or derelicts walking around town, but I did spot this rudimentary studio apartment from the boat. 

Ana listening to the tour guide box. The boat had about 6 passengers. Now, if you estimate the cost of diesel, the captain and the stewardess I'd say they lost more money on this 1-hour trip than I lose on my boat during a week.

Never did figure out what exactly these roosters were protesting about, although it's pretty obvious that it was about inhumane chicken breeding/raising practices.

This the famous dome build over the parliament building. That's me taking a photograph with our friend on the left and his lovely daughter on the right.

This tower made of mirrors also functions as a heat capturing and ventilation mechanism. It's also great for combing your hair.

Berlin is a flat city swarming with bicycle riders.
One evening we walked through a gate and into a maze of courtyards with funky establishments. We drifted into a dark bar where the decor and clients created an ambiance of "we're not misfits or weirdos, but we don't give a shit." And suddenly I was back at Grossman's Tavern or at the other bars I frequented in Toronto in my former life. 

It was a very enjoyable trip. The only down side is that I caught a head cold on the last day while riding a sightseeing bus. It was a whopping 12º C and the bus driver peeled back the bus roof. An hour and a half later my head was frozen. Everyone else seemed fine, including Ana. Further proof that I'm allergic to cold.
The bus tour that gave me a magnificent head cold.
Flying back with a stuffed up head, I dozed off and, on waking up, saw people moving their lips but couldn't hear anything. I also realized the jet engines were silent. A bit scary. I snapped my fingers next to my ear and heard a faint sound. What a relief, I'll still be able to hear fog horns on the ocean.
I'm still a bit groggy and staying home. Jakatar will survive without me for a couple more days.

My next trip will definitely be on Jakatar down south this summer.


  1. Kinda nice being in a "civilized" city after being cooped up in the "rags". I'm assuming this as I've been cooped up for over 15 years. That's when I visited Berlin which was totally frozen over. The only tour I got was in a nicely heated Mercedes taxi!
    Judging the pics, you both look well rejuvenated.

    1. Pete,
      Civilized and friendly people, I might add.
      You've been cooped up for 15 years...maybe that's what those people in rooster costumes were protesting about - being cooped up.
      Another thing I noticed - after having lived for so many years in this semi-isolated beach - is that the younger generation is being remote-controlled by smartphones.