We come from a very hot state. In Israel, summer starts in June, and ends in October, if we’re lucky. And by summer I mean around 30 degrees Celsius on a cool day. Also, Tel Aviv, our city, lies on the shore of the Mediterranean sea, so we are used to 80% humidity (“used to” is not exactly right. No matter how many years you live here, the feeling of walking into a sauna every time you go out is something you can never get used to). In other parts of the world, apparently this is not the case.
You can get information in advance on the weather forecasts for the place you are going to, of course. And we did. But the heavy rain in the middle of June, and certainly in the middle of August, was still a surprise.
We were also quite out of luck – when we came in August, we were informed that not so long ago, they had a few weeks of really nice and sunny weather. In general, if I can generalize from two visits, we got nice and sunny weather for a day or two, and then it started to get cold and rainy, and on the day we left to return to our summer hell, it got sunny again and remained sunny for a long time. Luckily, we were already so in love with the city, it didn’t really matter. And sometimes the rain was very appropriate, as in our trip to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp (of which we will talk later). It also added an interesting touch to the long night of museums (which will also get a post of its own, but what a night that was…).
The funny thing is how everybody always wants what they don’t have. Berlin, for instance, does not have a beach. But in the summer, they put up a lot of beach bars, with sand from the sea and beach chairs. We of course have a lot of such “beach bars” in Tel Aviv, on the beach, next to the sea. I myself am pretty tired of those places, and am also not too fond of getting this sticky sand all over me. I live 20 minutes walk from the sea, and haven’t been there for a long time, maybe 3 years. I don’t even own a bathing suit. Really.
But when we were in Berlin, we felt obliged to go to a beach bar, by the Spree River. The first one was quite a disappointment. It was somewhere not far from the Berlin Dom. I was starving, and they didn’t have any food there, only booze and soft drinks, so we didn’t stay. The second time we stumbled upon a beach bar was when we went to see what remained of the Berlin Wall (more to come…). Because of the gloomy weather, we were practically the only ones there. Here you can see me trying to make the best out of the situation (that is, by drinking). For comparison, we added a picture of the Gay Pride event (which concluded the parade) on the beach of Tel-Aviv.
On the same day, as we were walking towards the central train station, we came upon a real Sinai-like place, a beach bar with someone – a real nice, good looking guy, who knew his art – giving massages. That was a real treat, worth every euro cent (15 euros per massage, if I remember correctly). Unfortunately for our women and gay readers, we didn’t get his picture. Sorry, maybe next time.
Some useful links:
Here you can get a 5 days weather forecast for Berlin:
Berlin Weather BBC
Some Beach Bars in Tel Aviv
Berlin beach bars in the official tourist information site.