posted Friday, August 29, 2014 by Lindsay Smith

The Brookettes love to travel and are always up for an adventure. As a new installment of the Brookette blog, we're going to take you on the road. First stop: Lindsay goes to Berlin and Amsterdam

BERLIN:

“Paris will always be Paris, but Berlin is still becoming Berlin”

Going in with very few expectations, Berlin ended up being one of my all-time favorite cities. What I imagined as a place full of bratwurst, lederhosen and pints, proved to be a magical city filled with history, a budding culture and charm.

We soaked in the varied history, visiting the Brandenburg Gate, remains of the Berlin Wall, the Holocaust Memorial and Museum, restored government buildings, Checkpoint Charlie and more. 

      

We had a taste of traditional German fare- bratwurst, curry wurst, schnitzel, and sauerkraut - and enjoyed the afternoons discovering off-the-beaten-path biergartens. 

  

Whenever we travel, we make a goal to “do as the locals do.” In Berlin, we rented bikes and explored Tiergarten park, got a first-hand look at the city’s growing graffiti culture and spent Sunday watching a spontaneous gathering of karaoke.

  

A traveler from the UK, who had been living in Germany for 3 years, summed it up by saying, “Berlin a city full of Peter Pans, everyone just wants to live, but nobody wants to grow up.” 

AMSTERDAM:

Our hotel was in the "Times Square" of Amsterdam- right in the heart of the city- with easy, walk-able access to all of the sights. 

First impressions are lasting, and the beauty of the city took my breath away. As we walked out of the city center, we happened upon the canals and bridges that fell between each street. Each was lined with picturesque houses and house boats.

 

NYC City bikes are no match for the culture of Amsterdam. Cyclists rule the road, and have the right of way over drivers and pedestrians.

Our visit included stops at the Anne Frank house, Van Gogh museum and one of the last of the Dutch wind mills within city limits. My favorite pastime was wandering through the charming city’s winding, narrow streets filled with unique antique shops, quaint cafes and more countless museums including cheese, tulips, torture, houseboats and more.