Winter in Germany is a special time…lots of Christmas markets, snowfall, and festivities.

Oh, and -8°C /18°F temps.

My first winter in Germany, I escaped the cold by traveling to warmer climates. This year, I stayed in Berlin and got cozy at my apartment — the roommates and I celebrated with with holiday feasts and boardgames. To truly get into the Christmas spirit, we even made gingerbread houses…although they turned out to be more of gingerbread condos.

A few weeks later, I was off to London for a weekend reunion with a high school classmate. To absolutely nobody’s surprise, we wound up at a major cultural destination…Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters at Kings Cross Station.

Did the HP merchandizing have a maaaaaagical cart setup in place? Why yes, yes they did.

Our dueling house scarfs necessitated a duo photo.

Somehow, even though I ran away to London, I wound up back in Berlin. In the land of iconic…



and historic architecture…

…our flat ended up being in the middle of a construction project designed by — wait for it — the IRL inspiration for a James Bond villain.

True story.

When the description of a building begins with “Often compared to the architecture of communist East Germany…” I know I have absolutely not made it far enough away from those beautiful, beautiful landmarks of Berlin.

A few other odds-and-ends from around town, including delicious bakeries, sparkly light displays, famous train stations, an ancient book store, and a pano showing why London is called (by me) “the land of a thousand cranes.”

Photo credit of delicious baked goods and pretty much all pictures involving people goes to Emily, photographer extraordinaire. Thanks for the nerdy adventures, Em! 😁