I'm so glad to be home. I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz when she found herself in Kansas again.
Going to Germany was an adventure that I will never forget. Being a world away from my home and my family was a hurdle I didn't expect to find so hard to overcome.
My sister and I arrived at the San Francisco airport with a friend, "K" who organized the trip for us.
Eleven hours later we landed in Frankfurt, transferred to another airplane and flew for another hour to Berlin.
We found a taxi with a friendly young German man who, again, didn't speak much English. We showed him the address for the hotel on our itinerary. He put our luggage into the trunk and off we drove trusting a taxi driver, in a strange city. He took us to the Berlin Marriott...
"K" had no idea why the tour people were not there to pick us up. She got a ride with them from the airport. They said they would go back and pick us up but they didn't. It's all a mystery.
Even though we both had phones and paid for international connections, we couldn't call each other there in Germany. These are the little "snafu's" that can make or break your sense of vacation security.
I began to feel the distance between where I was... and home. I was also very tired. We had come a long way in a very short time. I was told I was suffering from "Jet lag". It felt like being lost and disoriented.
We took a nap and later we walked to a shopping center that was a few blocks away. There was a small Christmas market in this area.
We ate dinner at this small restaurant that enticed us with a hot gluhwein outside its door. We ate soup and enjoyed the festivities.
The walk down through the open mall was filled with trees, lights and people... and many children with their parents.
The big mall at the end of the street was like a huge holiday ornament shinning in the darkness.
After dinner we walked back to the hotel thorough the Sony Center.
The air was bitter cold and we learned that gloves, scarves and hats were standard accessories along with winter underwear, a heavy coat, warm socks and good walking shoes or boots. You never went outside without all of this.The Berliners have taken winter wear to a high style. They are some of the best looking and best dressed people I have ever seen.
The wind moves through the city's high buildings with determination.
We were ready for the heat of the lobby in our hotel
Tomorrow we would met our tour guide Carl, (with a "C") and begin our journey.