Earlier this year, I embarked on a #destroy40 mission leading me to create this blog along with some pretty significant life changes. One thing I forgot was to plan an actual trip on my birthday. Berlin was on the short list and begins with the letter “b” too so, why not?
This would take a couple days worth of posts to explain so here’s the quick rundown: It was the culmination of a multi-year effort to change my life. It started slowly, picked up some speed in the second half of 2016, and then steam rolled over 2017 like nobody’s business.
I got my elderly mother, who was living alone and deteriorating fast, out of her house and into an assisted living facility which she badly needed. That was like a ton of bricks lifted off my shoulders since I had no help from my sister, who I finally told to go to hell once and for all. That felt good. I found a cure for my alcoholism, which sounds weird and semi-impossible, but after reading the detailed story [link to post here] it won’t. I decided to move back north of Boston to a place right on the water, waking up to the sunrise literally in my face every morning.
Let’s see, what else? Oh, I started going to the gym every day. Religiously. I lost 60 pounds and have the energy level of a 22 year old. I threw caution to the wind and decided to take on my biggest fear and jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. Now I am addicted to jumping out of airplanes. Oh yea, and I quit my corporate day job of 16 years without any notice (yep, just walked out one day) to pursue travel and other more rewarding life interests. That led to the creation of this blog and post you’re reading right now. There is plenty more but I won’t bore you. It’s quite the list, let’s just say that.
As far as the finish line for my birthday, I had a few destinations in mind but visa issues would prevent them from being a last minute decision so I decided on Berlin, Germany. Not being one to visit a single place in one trip, I expanded the journey to include a drive on the German autobahn [read that post here] and a short trip south to Dresden. Being that close to the border with the Czech Republic, the plan was to continue south crossing into Chechia to visit Prague for a couple of days.
I also didn’t want to go alone, and through a series of interesting circumstances, my ex-partner had the free time and jumped at the chance to tag along for the ride. Over the course of eight days, we did some tours around Berlin and learned more history about WWII in person than you can read from a book. Dresden and Prague were just as cool and interesting.
You’ll notice a couple of photos of gold/brass tiles in the pictures below. Some in Berlin. Some in Dresden. Some in Prague. These commemorate the victims of the holocaust since a majority of the victims don’t have actual graves. Our tour guide in Berlin explained their meaning the second day we were there. Once you learn about them, you start noticing them around the cities. After looking at the pictures, please read this article for more information as 1) we should never forget this tragedy and 2) you will learn something new today. Link: Stolperstein (Wikipedia)
That said, I shall let the pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy!