Berlin

The last place we decided to visit before heading back to Canada ended up being Berlin. We probably should have included a warm place and after being away from home for so long, we were starting to get tired of travelling but being so close to Berlin, I think it’s a very important place to visit and experience and am glad we did visit.

We weren’t expecting there to be snow though and to be as cold when we booked our trip. Fortunately, we did bring our fall coats from Canada which do handle the cold quite well but you do still feel the cold after being outside for long periods of time. Our first day there didn’t have much snow as it looked like it snowed previously but when we woke up the next day, there was about 2 to 3 inches and more snow was falling for the rest of the trip. I think it was just preparing us for our return to Canada. All it did was make me miss having a car that much more.

We ended up staying at Adina Apartment Hotel in Hackescher Markt and is that hotel ever awesome. Probably the best hotel we’ve ever stayed in compared to all the other hotels we stayed at for each of the places we visited. It made me sad that this hotel apartment was nicer than the place we are renting in London. It had a dishwasher and a microwave! Their comforter was weird that it was actuall 2 separate comforters but it worked out. The only problem I had with the hotel, as I do with most hotels, is that they always choose to use down pillows. They’re too soft and don’t provide any support and that the bathroom didn’t have heated floors but otherwise, extremely happy with the hotel.

The bed… it’s glorious…

Museum island was informative and educational and filled with all the usual stuff and after travelling to all these places, they tend to start to feel the same. History is important, don’t get me wrong but you can only take pictures of statues and and old walls so many times which is why I think we tend to take non-serious pictures.

Just another day ruling the world

We also had some tasty meals in Berlin including schnitzel and the best apple strudel I have ever eaten. Some of the best beer I’ve ever drank, which is saying a lot since I don’t actually like beer but it went down pretty easy.

The experience of Berlin was a nice way to close our trips as we count down our final days in London.

This is my gate now…

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Rome

Rome was an incredible city to visit and was extremely happy with the time that we decided to go. Travelling in the off season is probably one of the best ways to visit any city since there’ll be less tourists everywhere which means that there’ll be less lines for each attraction that you visit. Almost all the sites we visited had no lines and when they did have lines, they were very short to non-exisistent.

There was a bit of rain while we were there but it was only for one of the days that we were there so it didn’t stop us from exploring the city although this did result in me having to buy an umbrella while there and since I didn’t want to spend too much, I bought an umbrella from those shady street sellers who are relentless and will ask anybody who doesn’t have an umbrella. They were asking for 5 Euros but was able to get one for 3 Euros because I didn’t really want one and started walking away. The prices always seem to start dropping as soon as you walk away. Unfortunately, the umbrella only lasted one day. It was falling apart near the end of the day because of the winds.

One nice part of Rome is that it is relatively small allowing us to be able to walk to just about all the places we wanted within 30 to 45 minutes from our hotel. Since everything was relatively close, we’d end up stumbling across famous landmarks like the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon and then look down the road and there would appear the Colloseum.

It’s quite grande and amazing

Overall, Rome is an incredible city filled with beautiful sights and extremely tasty food and some of the best coffee we’ll ever have. I don’t even like coffee but what was made for me was delicious.

Just taking it in

Radiohead

One of the few things that I definitely wanted to do was hopefully hit up a Radiohead concert while here, pending if Radiohead did tour in London as they never come to Edmonton, AB and just usually hit up the bigger cities in Canada. I grabbed tickets as soon as they went on sale and was not disappointed with the show that they gave although it would have been nice if they interacted a bit more with the crowd and played a few more hits from the past.

When they played Karma Police, the entire crowd sang along and it was chilling. Also, their older songs got the biggest applause but they’re probably tired of playing their older stuff as they have slowly been pumping out more and more experimental music that is slowly starting to turn into just noise to me.

Regardless, awesome show, awesome stage/light show too.

Edinburgh

Before we left for Edinburgh, quite a few people said that it was going to be cold. What they keep failing to realize is that we grew up in the cold and that the people that tell us it’s going to be cold, do not actually know what cold is. They know what it’s like to be chilly or for the weather to be brisk but they do not know what it is to be cold. Until you’ve experienced -30 degrees Celsius on a dark evening, you don’t really know cold.

It was windy in Edinburgh but not a cold wind and it was also quite sunny throughout the days that we were there giving some more warmth to our explorations.

Not impressed

The best part of exploring Edinburgh I though was the fact that in sight of just about most of their downtown, you can see Castle Edinburgh on top of the hill. Just sitting there in plain sight for all to see and everybody carrying on in their own world when they have a giant that dates back to apparently 9th century BC. Nothing special, nope. All we have in Edmonton, AB is just the biggest mall in North America but that is no castle as grande as that is.

It’s smaller than you thank

But what a view it is…

The parts I think that I enjoy the most is when we go on walking tours. The one in Amsterdam was interesting and informative but the one we chose to do in Edinburgh was a Witchery tour hosted by Adam Lyal (deceased). This one was in the evening when it turns dark out and the person behind the counter told us they go for fun rather than trying to be super scary, which meant nothing to me as I thought it’d just be us going around Edinburgh and the host telling us about something spooky. What I didn’t expect was entertainment, which we got a whole lot of.

Leone was accused of being a witch. I’m pretty sure he is right.

On our last day, we also checked out their zoo. All I remember is that most of it was us walking uphill throughout the entire facility.

Out of nowhere, a random bird appeared and was pretty curious about us and stayed still enough for me to capture this photo.

Edinburgh was a great place to visit and the fact that we went in sort of an off-season period made it even better I think. Less people out and about. We even went to a Chinese restaurant that had dim sum but still not quite what I wanted. I miss North American Chinese food so much. The food we had was still pretty tasty but on par with the food we have been experiencing in London.

Here’s a summary video of our entire trip

Two taps for one sink [TIDU]

Why does the UK have 2 taps for the majority of their sinks? Most of the places you go will usually have a tap for ice cold and a tap for boiling hot water. To get warm water, you have to plug the sink and let it fill up first. Why do they insist on this way? The locals can try and defend it all they want but I only bring it up because in the tub will have just a single tap usually so they obviously know that you can mix the water right away before letting it out to provide people with the luxury of warm water rather than 2 extremes.

In the kitchen, usually for older places, the tap is one but it’s not mixed before it comes out. I think it’s a pipe in a pipe and then it comes out as 2 different streams but as a single stream.

For a while, I implemented the MacGyver fix using a 2 litre bottle method I saw online and for a while, it was good but often, the water would sit as it wasn’t done properly. Later, I found an attachment that goes over the faucets and mixes into a single output in a B&Q hardware store for only £10 which solved the issue of the sitting water and all was good again. Warm water for all.

Mixer taps make sense and I didn’t even know they were called mixer taps until I was here.

Things I don’t understand.