Doug Estey

Berlin

Introduction
Berlin

Rich in history, full of life – a city so vast that exploring just a few pieces of it makes Toronto feel like a small village.

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Yeah, this is definitely Berlin.

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We really hit the ground running here, thanks to a delayed flight and a set we really wanted to catch. Our cab driver was up to the task, demonstrating just how fast a fully loaded Prius can launch into terrifying speed from a full stop.

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We laughed. It was an experience that would become a fitting metaphor for our first two nights in this enormous city – nights from which I have little to no photographs (strict door policies being problem #1), but that suits me just fine. Berghain in particular was an incredible experience that I’ll never forget.

Don’t worry mom and dad, we did more than just dance.

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This city is huge, and it doesn’t wait. We quickly realized we’d been pretty spoiled by the pace of Scandinavia, and it took some getting used to. If you’ve never been here, imagine Toronto all grown up: a few more hundred years under its belt, a real, sprawling transit system, and, unfortunately, the same stubborn love for cars. Cycling infrastructure, though, feels much more complete. Maybe they even listen to their planning experts...

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One of the things we quickly discovered of Berlin is its sheer size. There are so many different people here, from every kind of background you can think of. This kind of diversity is something I’ve grown to love about Toronto, and it's in full force here.

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We spent the last leg of our stay visiting some of the memorials that have been established to commemorate the great amount of pain this country witnessed in the 20th century - the Topography of Terror and Memorial For The Murdered Jews Of Europe are particularly heavy, but well worth the encounter.

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Until next time, Berlin. And there will be a next time.

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Doug Estey

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