A perfect winter Sunday

We’ve had some snow this week but Sunday we really got some! Just walking to the train which is about 1.3 blocks away, we look like we had been flocked. It was snowing so hard that at several of the semi-indoor train stations it was snowing, inside. We were heading to 2 different Christmas markets today with our neighbor/friend Emily and our friends Jesse and Jenni. The 1st one was inside of what was once the Hauptbanhof (the main train station of a town) but now it’s known as Ostbanhof. It was all hand-made items from paper, clothing, jewelry, yarn-y things, etc. My friend Dominika had a booth there, so we stopped by to see her and I finally found a pair of fingerless gloves that I absolutely love! Found some really cute things and was very impressed with the prices, especially since there wasn’t anything mass produced there.

Then we headed towards our next stop: a design/fashion Christmas market that was housed in one of the old indoor swimming halls. The line was unexpectantly long so we had some coffee in a cute little cafe across the street and tried to decide if waiting outside in the (pouring?  – what does one say for heavy snowfall that is equivalent to “pouring” ) snow would be worth it. We decided it was worth the and the line moved quickly enough, although we all got flocked again. We were a bit disappointed that they charged 3€ entrance fee especially because we thought it was free but we bit the bullet and paid the man. Inside it was quite lovely, you could totally tell it was an old swimming pool, there were booths set up inside the old pool, all around it and in what, I think, were the old dressing rooms. This market was definitely more up-scale and pricey but we saw some really well crafted things. Some of our favorite items: these Berlin art-in-a-box kits that you could sculpt, carve marble, or paint; wooden postcards that had critters or items perforated-ly cut out so you could make a rhino or a star or Christmas tree; a very clever t-shirt design that was sick and twisted but quite funny and thought provoking. We also found some cinnamon liquor that was so yummy we bought a small bottle.

As we walked to our 1st choice for dinner we happened across the “slopes” of Mauerpark – an embankment that families were making amazing use of with sleds – it was great to see! We wanted to go to this fantastic burger joint called The Bird but they were all “booked” for the night – it wasn’t even 5pm and the restaurant was mostly empty. Don’t think I will ever get totally used to the German restaurants and the sometimes bizarre service. Rather sad as they do have amazing food. So we walked (and slid and maybe even fell but can neither confirm nor deny said falling) in much snow to the train station to find another place we all wanted to eat, a pizzeria. We have eaten at its sister-restaurant across town and it was quite good. A pleasant meal was a great way to end a lovely, snowy day in Berlin.

Side note on the weather, I think this winter is going to be much harsher than last year, as we have already had more snow so far than we did all of last winter and it’s only the beginning of December and technically not even winter for another 10 days or so. The temperature also seems much colder than I recall, there were 2 weeks in late January that were miserable at about 5°F and later this week we are supposed to get close to that. Might need to really settle into winter this year. Unfortunately, we get to move at the end of the month so that will be fun, sigh.