Planes, trains and lakes

The flight to Berlin is relatively uneventful. T has a couple of outbursts at the airport before we get on the plane, but that seems to be his traveling norm now and I bribe him to keep walking with the promise of some Fanta when we get on the plane. A couple of people make their point by moving their seats away from us at the gate, but once he has rice cake and Fanta in hand he is a happy camper again.

Berlin is HOT when we land. Record temperatures are in store for us and at 38 degrees Celsius, it’s pretty steamy. Day soon turns into evening. I join my cousin for a cooling off swim in the lake. The Schlachtensee (http://www.berlin.de/badegewaesser/detail/schlachtensee.html) is beautiful and super clean. Swimming in it is amazing and it’s a fantastic feeling to tread water in the middle of the lake and take stock of my surroundings. Life is good.

Some g-free goodies await. Thank you to all! We have a BBQ for dinner and so food is not a stress-point at this stage in the game. Phew.

We gather around the tv for the Wold Cup final. Most of the room is supporting Spain and the one Netherlands supporter soon trades places after the many fowls. Pretty full-on game. Great result!

We wake up to another steamy day and despite all of my instincts to stay put, do nothing and let the kids paddle about in the paddling pool, I for some reason decide that it makes sense to take the kids to the book store in Steglitz. When they start to go on strike on route to the S-bahn, I consider turning around, but then we agree that everyone wants to go to the book store. Not the best decision ever. The temperatures are at a high of almost 40 degrees C, there is no air con on the S-Bahn (train) and despite the walk at the other end only being short, T has several melt downs and only ice cream and sorbet gets us there and back.

It’s cool in the bookstore – a big relief. We pop in to the grocery store in the basement and check out the gluten free section. I buy pasta, rice cakes and some bread rolls. The choice is enough, but not huge and apparently the ‘Bio Laden’ is the place to go.

That afternoon we escape to the beach. The beach in Berlin? Indeed. The Berliners Costa Del Sol is the Strandbad Wannsee (http://www.berlin.de/badegewaesser/detail/schlachtensee.html). My jaw drops as I see the mass of people, the see of ‘Strandkoerber’, and the cool 100 year old architecture. It’s so cool and the kids have a great time splashing about, swimming and lounging on a blow-up boat. We round of the day with a big stash of ‘pommes’ (French fries) and the kids fall in to bed in an exhausted heap.

A storm that night provides a relief from the heat for the early part of the next morning. We drive to the KaDeWe (The Harrods of Berlin), where we have booked a haircut for the boys. My two, plus their cousin. At the hairdressers they get to sit on motorbikes and watch tv, while they are having their hair cut. They have been holding out on a hair cut for weeks, just waiting for this moment.

We head to my aunt and uncles house with very smart looking boys. C munches on the gluten free bread rolls that I’d bought yesterday for lunch and my uncle makes gluten free crepes on his crepe machine for the boys and all of their cousins for dinner. 8 kids in all. The afternoon is spent playing soccer, running in and out of the pool and letting small boats float on the pond at the bottom of the garden. Another perfect day.