I’m not going on holiday this year. A mixture of lack of annual leave and attempting to put away savings for a Big Trip next year means that this summer I am sticking around these parts.
Aside from a weekend back in Hertfordshire in a couple of weeks and a visit to Scarborough and Manchester in September, I have no major holiday plans, and to be honest it has caused me to feel a little bereft as everyone else jets off to far flung places.
So, I decided that I should use all the good things about where I live and make the most of a summer spent in Berlin. I’ve lived in a few places in Europe but honestly, there is nowhere like Berlin between June and September.
I am really lucky that I have a lovely balcony to sit on, so I have been taking full advantage of that this year. In fact, I am sat here right now, with a glass of wine, typing out this post.
The big drawback with appartment-living is of course the lack of garden. Luckily Berlin makes up for this big time with its fabulous parks and open spaces like Tempelhofer Feld.
This week, me and a few friends made the most of the warm temperatures and had a posh picnic (read: with table and chairs) at Viktoriapark in Kreuzberg. We became quite the spectacle with people walking past and taking photos of us, almost like they had never seen such a thing before.
It was really nice to spend an evening sat by a river, under the trees with some candles, wine and good food and forget that we were in the middle of a city. I almost felt like I was on holiday.
Getting out of Berlin
So when I say I am staying in Berlin for the summer, I mean the Berlin-Brandenburg area, and a bit beyond it. Sometimes city life gets too much, I am not really a city gal at heart, and you just need to get out.
When the trams, car drivers, flea markets and general Berlin life gets too much, I head to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for a bit of R&R. This area of Germany has amazing nature with crystal clear lakes and it’s usually pretty empty so you can enjoy a swim in peace.
At the start of the summer I had all these grand plans to go for a swim EVERY DAY BEFORE WORK. Obviously, this did not happen. But this week, I did go to the open air pool near my office for the first time, to finally fulfil that summer wish.
I hauled myself out of bed at 6 and got to Sommerbad Kreuzberg by 7am and there was a massive queue! I was not the only one who thought that going for a pre-work dip when it was going to be 38 degrees was a good idea.
But it was really nice be submerged in the water for half an hour or so and work up an appetite for my breakfast as soon as I got in the office. My favourite thing when I am on actual holiday is spending all my waking hours in the pool (yes, I am 7), so this helped assuage my lack of holiday feelings a little bit. I think I might go again next week…