The waiter is at the right place, but wrong century at Sigmund Freud's favorite Viennese café: Café Landtmann. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

In Berlin, Fresh From Vienna

The waiter is at the right place, but wrong century at Sigmund Freud's favorite Viennese café: Café Landtmann. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle
The waiter is at the right place, but wrong century at Sigmund Freud’s favorite Viennese café: Café Landtmann. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Ich bin ein Berliner — until next Monday.

I’m here, still on vacation, as I wrote in my column last week.

Even so, I am exploring Berlin for cruise passengers.

First of all, avid cruisers can travel to Berlin on day trips when their ships call at Rostock/Warnemunde. That makes for a long day, however, so I have another suggestion: Don’t shortchange Berlin. Visit the city before or after your Baltic Cruises. It’s easier than you think.

You’ll find Berlin to be lively, inexpensive and easily accessible. Flights are cheap. I paid less than US$100 to get here from Vienna. It cost me only about 2 euros to take the excellent public transport from the airport to my hotel, 30 minutes away.

While you’re in Berlin, consider traveling by train to Dresden, a little more than two hours away by rail. A few years ago, I enjoyed sitting in the dining car, sipping on a cup of coffee and dipping my fork into a slice of Apple Strudel while zipping past the beautiful countryside.

I’ll be reporting more from Berlin this week, even though I am technically on vacation. I do it all for you, dear reader. You are welcome.

I spent the past weekend in Vienna. You may think I’m crazy to spend my vacation in central and northern Europe during the winter.

You’d be right in assuming that it is cold. The temperature dipped into the 20s (Fahrenheit) more than once since I’ve been here, and there was so much snow last Thursday that Vienna’s international airport had to shut down. That delayed my getting into bed by more than 12 hours past my scheduled arrival.

I chose Vienna because it is a key river cruise destination that has much more to offer than river cruisers will ever be able to see on daylong stops while traveling between Nuremberg and Budapest.

That’s why I encourage river cruisers to consider Vienna as a pre- and post-cruise option. In fact, river cruisers may want to consider booking their flights to Vienna, staying a few days, then transferring to their river cruises in Budapest. If you’re beginning your cruise in Nuremberg, consider staying there for a couple of days.

To help you decide if Vienna is a good choice for you, check out Avid Cruiser’s Best of Vienna posts:

Also see Exploring Venerable Vienna, Austria & In Vienna: A Tale Of Two Hotels

Or launch our Flickr slideshow featuring Vienna.


The Meaning Of ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’

For those interested in history and German grammar

I had quite a few concerned readers who felt compelled to correct my German when they read, “Ich bin ein Berliner” in my latest post, In Berlin, Fresh From Vienna.

The line is from what is considered to be one of John F. Kennedy’s greatest speeches, when in June of 1963 he expressed U.S. support of West Germany 22 months after the Soviet-supported East Germany erected the Berlin Wall as a barrier to prevent movement between East and West.

Did Kennedy Err?

According to Wikipedia, there is a misconception that Kennedy made a risible error by saying Ich bin ein Berliner in that he referred to himself not as a “citizen of Berlin” but as a “jelly doughnut,” known in Berlin as a “Pfannkuchen” but as “Berliner” in the north and west and as “Krapfen” in the south of Germany and in Austria.

Kennedy could have said Ich bin Berliner to mean “I am a person from Berlin,” and so adding the indefinite article ein to his statement implied he was a non-human Berliner, thus, “I am a jelly doughnut.”

However, while the indefinite article ein is omitted when speaking of an individual’s profession or residence, it is still necessary when speaking in a figurative sense as Kennedy did.

As the President was not from Berlin but only declaring his solidarity with its citizens, Ich bin ein Berliner was correct.

Was the Avid Cruiser correct? Absolutely. Ich bin ein Berliner.

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