My last stories were from Stockholm so how did I get from Sweden to Berlin? I flew. The original plan was to cycle north from Stockholm and circumvent the Gulf of Bothnia over into Finland and down to Helsinki (roughly 600 miles). The weather nixed my plans. It's now October and I arrived in Stockholm a month later than planned. The weather has turned lousy (it's cold and has rained almost everyday for the past two weeks) and I'd be sure to hit snow. The snow would be nothing new though since four years ago I did the reverse trip going from Helsinki to Stockholm and encountering heavy snow along the way (This was in May!).

I fly into Berlin on a Friday and have a heck of a time finding a room. Why? It's a holiday weekend (Unification Day). The city is packed with visitors joining in the many festivities celebrating the anniversary of the not-too-long ago reunification of Germany. When I was here four years ago the city was one gigantic construction site. It still is.