I am writing this post from my hotel room, with Jon sleeping in the other bed, and my parents also sound asleep in the other room. Yesterday, my family came to visit me for the first time in Berlin, ever since I started studying here. 😊 Under normal circumstances, they would’ve probably come sooner, and more often (Berlin is just a short direct flight away!) but given the sweet old pandemic, you know how things went the past two years.
Nonetheless, I am very happy that they finally managed to come for a visit – and we had a very lovely weekend together! While I waited for them to arrive, I actually had the chance to check in to our bougie hotel a little earlier and enjoy it for myself! This was a very pleasant change from my usual student-life routine in my little town in the outskirts of Berlin. My dad really knows how to plan the best family vacations ever 💖 – ever since we were children, and even before digitalization really took off, he was the dad with the travel guide books full of bookmarks and manual
Google maps Map Quest print outs ready to go. Ah, throwbacks! 🙂
After what felt like a solo eternity, the fam finally arrived in Berlin as well, and we began our adventure. The thing about family is no matter how long you don’t see each other for, the moment you reconnect, everything clicks again and you pick right back where you left off! 💖 The first destination was of course the Christmas markets of Berlin. 🎄 We stopped by the one by the Rotes Rathaus in Mitte and enjoyed ourselves with some magical views, Christmas music and all the street food one could wish for.
A little tired from the long day of travelling (for them), we ended the evening early and headed back to recharge for the next day.
The next day (today, as I am writing this) we ended up walking some 30,000 steps! I love travel days like these! We started the day off by stopping by a pharmacy to help my family convert their foreign vaccine certificates into digital ones that are scannable in Germany. Once we got that big to do out of the way, we could enjoy ourselves without worrying about whether we’d get into restaurants or not. And so, our day of sightseeing officially began!
Because this was the first time my dad was in Berlin, we took him to all the major sights during the morning. How did we manage, you ask? A mix of prioritizing, speed walking, picking sights in geo-clusters and Uber. In the end, we ended up seeing the Museum Island, Brandenburg Gate, the Jewish Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall. Honestly, the only sight we missed was probably Berghain but hey, I have yet to experience that myself. (Joking!😂)
After this very speedy sightseeing tour from yours truly (I did try to complement this experience with newly gained historical knowledge on Berlin, from my university program!), we spent the rest of the day walking and window shopping around Hackescher Markt and Kurfürstendamm. Are you really Albanian if you don’t spend at least some of your holiday shopping?
In the end (so, like an hour ago!), we ended the trip with a surprise I had planned for my parents! In fact, due to its immense popularity, I had booked this particular surprise before my parents even booked their flights and hotel haha. Risky, I know! The surprise was another Escape Room experience for the four of us!
When my mom heard we were doing that, she resorted to her usually super funny sense of humor: go without me, no way, not for me, let me just go somewhere to drink coffee instead. Of course, attendance was mandatory from everyone! In the end, we also managed to escape from this one! 🗝
This particular escape room was us going through four different rooms and solving clues in each, before either crawling through tunnels or climbing through windows to get to the next room. As you can imagine, me and Jon died laughing at mom and dad as they went along 😂💖
In the end, even though it was just 36 hours, it felt like 100! We did so much and had so much fun 🙂 I really think sometimes its so worth it to plan ultra short trips like these because you’re really forced to use every moment to the fullest.
And, to end this blog post in my usual cheesy note, isn’t life about living every moment to the fullest anyways?
Tomorrow we part ways again, and I miss them already! But I’ll be home soon enough 🙂
As always, thank you very much for taking the time to read my blog, or to just check out the pictures! I appreciate everyone that does! 💖