Sure, we knew it would be cold in Berlin, but having passed so many mild winters in Istanbul, our memories of what real winter can be like were dulled. So it was that recently, we landed after dark at Tegel Airport and stepped out into several days of the kind of face-biting, bone-chilling cold that we remembered from our younger days and that Berliners claimed was abnormal for the middle of March. More shocking was that we had left home only hours before from a sunny, mild spring-like day in Istanbul.

So we had to adapt. Our transition was eased on that first evening by beer and the comfort of a large room in our favorite hotel, the Hackescher Markt. It was there we would spend our remaining nights in the city.

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