It’s that time of year again. Back to work after the Christmas break, new year resolutions are in full swing (some more than others), it’s cold, it’s dark, and the January blues have officially hit.

Or so you may think... Here at SearchStar it’s a totally different story. January means it’s time for our belated Christmas party to Dan’s city of choice. In case you missed the wurst pun ever in the title (you’re welcome), this year we popped over to Berlin for the weekend.

Swing Bars & Strolling

Arriving late Friday night, after stopping at the hotel we headed straight out to dive head first into Berlin’s rich and historic culture. First stop, the Irish Pub. After a few drinks and celebrations a few of the group decided to call it a night, opting for a cosy night Berl-in.

The rest of us went Berl-out-out. On Dan’s recommendation, we ended up in a German swing bar. Needless to say, there were a few sore heads (and legs) the next morning.

With SearchStar growing so rapidly, it can be tricky to find things for 50+ people to all do at the same time. Saturday and Sunday saw us left to our own devices. Despite the cold and damp weather, one group ventured out with our friends at Intrepid to learn all about Berlin and its history on an Urban Adventures walking tour.

Others opted for bikes and took in the city on two wheels, while some decided to enjoy the city at their own pace on foot. One lesson learned (or reinforced) by most is that building a wall to separate people is probably not the answer. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” is a quote that springs to mind. We wonder whether Trump read much George Santayana in his youth.

Was That...?

Those who had done their homework and pre-booked were able to visit the Reichstag building, home of the German parliament. Although a fully working government building, nobody notable was spotted as we entered the building and took the lift up to the dome on the roof.

Nonetheless, Dan managed to bump into (not literally, thankfully) none other than Angela Merkel, sporting a rain mac while taking a stroll along the river. From what I hear, it went something like this…

That woman looks a bit like Angela Merkel

That woman looks a lot like Angela Merkel

Walks past her and spots the two security guards behind – “Yep, that was definitely Angela Merkel

Saturday night saw another “culture overload” as we explored the city and its pubs by night/early morning. Germany is famed for its beer so it was only right to sample what was on offer - some more than others! Also, does taking an Uber count as embracing German culture?

Sunday saw yet more rain, more bikes, more walking tours, visits to the zoo and aquarium, exploring the flea market, and a whole host of general touristy adventures (pubs). Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the airport and make our way back to Bath.

Danke schön, Berlin (and Dan & Donna), for a sehr wunderbares Wochenede.