A Detour: Berlin to Decin
Posted on: August 18, 2014, by Jill Murwin
After leaving the tightly coiled streets of Amsterdam, it was time to head eastward to our fifth stop, the sprawling metropolis of Berlin. We only had two nights scheduled for Germany, but while mostly confined to our section of the city we still managed to exhaust ourselves for 48 hours. During the first day we checked out some of the city’s open air art exhibits and walked the Berlin wall, but the second night showed us what no museum could: A Germany World Cup game at the Brandenburg Gate.German people only have the chance to watch their team play in the World Cup every four years, so when they do the Gate becomes frenzied. And this year, on one of our two nights in Berlin, the United States was their opponent. In a sea of 350,000 German fans we watched the US drop the match 1-0, and despite getting a few beers dumped on us, the view party was the most electrifying (and honestly frightening) experience of the trip to this point.
The next morning we took a train to the airport and rented a car; then hit the Audubon en route to the Bohemian region of the German/Czech border. We cruised for two hours at 160 km/hour (even still we were being passed by hell-bent Audis and BMWs) through sloped canyons, pastures, and patches of forest before arriving at the riverside town of Decin.Perched in the foothills of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains about an hour south of Dresden, Decin provided the perfect escape from our string of cities. Our hosts, expats Helena and Tony, are retired professors who run a bed and breakfast just outside of town. Helena converted her attic into a yoga studio, and Tony offers music lessons to locals. Fluent in English and Czech, the couple was able to recommend enough nearby hikes to keep us busy, and offered directions to the market for dinner.
The farther east we went, the more the ground seemed to weigh beneath us. At Tony and Helena’s the air was finally clean, and we could stretch our legs. We spent our three days focusing on the food we made, the trails we walked, and how much we could learn from our hosts. And the rest of our trip was undoubtedly improved because of it.