Berlin, Germany: Sharing Stories and Tips with Fellow Travelers

With special thanks to Slice of Life for giving writers inspiration, space, and voice

Slice of Life Day 25 of 31: Journeys (my March theme)

Travelers’ tales are classic Chaucer! Connecting with others by sharing about all the journeys we’ve taken, our traditions, our love of food and pets and family, and all of the deep points of connecting often occurs more naturally when traveling with complete strangers than with those we know in our own hometowns – at least it seems that way for me! I was thrilled to meet this group of educators, all training to be EF Tour Leaders, as we prepared to lead our own travel groups the summer before the world shut down during the Covid pandemic. Our proverbial wagon to Canterbury was rolling with travel tales as we sat around tables sharing meals and experiences we’d had throughout the world.

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On the steps of Sansoucci – Potsdam, Germany – May 2019
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EF Tour Leader Training, Berlin, Germany at the Brandenberg Gate – May 2019

Our Tour Guide each day was Silke, a native of Berlin who guided us through the city’s history and landmarks and shared her best travel tip for keeping large groups together in the context of our real time travels. All through the streets of the city, she held Squeaky high and squeezed it repetitively to keep us together. Where other guides used brightly colored umbrellas, we came to prefer the quirky duck because we could hear Squeaky better than we could keep track of an umbrella in the thick crowds no matter how festively it may have been decorated – plus, it was amusing watching crowd reactions and facial expressions to a grown woman squeaking a duck all through the streets.

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Silke with Squeaky, Berlin, Germany – May 2019

The subway was a prime example of Squeaky’s ability to keep us together better than an umbrella; when we couldn’t all fit in the same Subway cars, we knew how many stops to make and then we would hear the duck as we exited the train and made our way toward the squeaks.

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Berlin Subway Map
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Traffic Light Man is unique to Berlin, Germany
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Traffic Light Man
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Straddling the space where the Berlin Wall once stood – May 2019

The energy of enjoying life and making the most of it, the stories that happen along the way, the shared travel hacks, and the fellowship with others always keeps me looking forward to the next trip. I belong to several Facebook travel groups and frequently scan Pinterest for the latest travel ideas, but nothing compares to the heightened awareness of fully absorbing the details of the world like sharing our travel adventures with fellow travelers. Please join us at ethicalela.com throughout the month of April, and come share your own “quirky story” or travel adventure (or both) on April 11!

Judges 19:17

And he lifteth up his eyes, and seeth the man, the traveller, in a broad place of the city, and the aged man saith, ‘Whither goest thou? and whence comest thou?

8 Replies to “Berlin, Germany: Sharing Stories and Tips with Fellow Travelers”

  1. The squeak is great…but what if it caught on? I love the photos that tell the story. I’ve never been to Germany, though I have ancestors from there. I would like to see the walking man in person some day. Thanks for this post and invitation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting today. Yes, it would be disorienting if it caught on – not to mention annoying :). For sure! I would have been lost in the big city, crying, pleading, trying to get help from someone who only spoke German, telling them in English that I was lost and trying to find my squeaky duck. You can’t make this stuff up…..

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim, Inlove the duck! It really is a fantastic solution to the problem of funding one’s group in a crowd. Berlin is an amazing city. EF does such a fantastic job showing teachers and students the world. Are you traveling w/ students again?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glenda, I wish I were! One of the teachers in my system is taking a group to Italy this summer, but I’m not going on that trip. I loved traveling with students, and I would do it again in a heartbeat…….provided I had LOTS of chaperones. I can’t wait to see pictures and hear stories from your trip. I’m with you in spirit.

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    1. Charlene, I’m thrilled to connect here, too! I am in awe of Alaska and hope to go back soon. I loved the cruise, but I would love to go somewhere and stay in a little cabin for a week and sit in a local coffee shop and do some walking around a town. I only had less than a day in places when I was there, so I only got acquainted – I didn’t get to know. Do you have a favorite town? I’d love to return to somewhere different. I do hope you will join us in April for Verse Love. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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      1. Hmmmm, favorite town? It depends on what you are looking for. You say staying in a little cabin, walking and sipping coffee in a local shop. Do you care what the weather is like? As you’ve already discovered, Ketchikan is very wet, and Juneau is not far behind. Sitka is a cool town, as is Skagway, and they both have more sunshine. There are towns nearer Anchorage that are small and interesting, as well, such as Homer and Kenai.

        Liked by 1 person

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