Despite being tired from the day before, I woke up super early on the Saturday morning, excited for my first full day in Berlin!
We kicked off in style with a continental breakfast. Of course we couldn’t afford to have the hotel breakfast every day (€28!) so this was one pieced together through supermarkets, bakeries and Dunkin Donuts. It was a great start to what was due to be a long and busy day, as it was Christopher Street Day (Pride) in Berlin that day, something we were not aware of when booking but looked forward to when we found out!
We visited the Story of Berlin museum, an excellent place to learn all about Berlin, and how it has been shaped by the events of history, from when records began prior to the Margraviate of Brandenburg through to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The floor in this area was made to look like the spines of books, to represent the Nazi’s book burning.
One display showed how Adolf Hitler’s signature started very unsure, grew very definite in the height of his power and deteriorated to an illegible scrawl just prior to his suicide.
Nearly a century old tin of cheese. I’ll pass.
The museum also leads regular guided tours of a Berlin city centre nuclear bunker which we were lucky enough to be able to attend. This bunker which could only accommodate the lucky 1% of the population of Berlin who were closest should they make it in time, would hold almost 2000 people in cramped and sweaty conditions with no water to wash themselves, no privacy and in low light… for two week. I found myself wanting to leave after 30 minutes so I can’t imagine how it would have been had it have had to be used.
After the Story of Berlin we took in gay pride, something I’ve never attended at home as they are usually ticketed and exclusive affairs. That couldn’t be further from the truth during Berlin’s Christopher Street Day parade. This was a day out for the whole family, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Kids were getting their photo taken with the drag queens and others in flamboyant and OTT costumes, people were walking along Ku’Damm Strasse selling shots from a trolly, and singing along with the excellent tunes being pumped out from the lorries (a highlight for me was everyone around me on Wittenbergplatz singing along when The Spice Girls’ debut hit, Wannabee was blaring out!
The event’s slogan was a very passive aggressive “Thanks For Nothing” I’m not going to get too political but I did like that.
We picked up some boxed salads and beers from the supermarkets and soaked in the atmosphere.
Returned to the hotel for a cooling swim and took advantage of the happy hour at the hotel lobby bar. Our charming bartender from Mexico was clearly trying to get us drunk, as well as the drinks we ordered, Our Bramble, Italian Coffee, Aperol Spritz, Mojito and a Caipirinha he also gave us shots of Hugh quality tequila and tasters of what he was sending to his colleagues in the kitchen.
We then decided to visit the nearest supermarket, always a stellar idea when you’re a little half cut because you shop really sensibly(!) We definitely needed more beer and crisps and chocolate. Definitely. Aside from the hilarious name if you’re immature as us, Super Dickmanns are awesome. They’re like Tunnock’s Tea Cakes but with more marshmallow, a proper sugar rush!
Time for supper so we visited Curry 36, regarded as one of the best places for currywurst in Berlin. Much better than Witty’s and considerably cheaper! A more generous coating of curry ketchup, and red salt on the fries as well as ketchup and mayonnaise, and proper french fries too!
After supper we headed to the Brandenburg Gate for the Christopher Street Day rally!
Being Eurovision fans we were massively excited when we heard a voice from the stage start singing “Say Yay,” it was only bloody Barei from Eurovision 2016!
Barei was followed by a great German hip hop band, Culcha Candela, who had the audience bouncing. I had no idea what they were singing about but I made a note to check their music out when I got home!
I enjoy a good pun, I’ve never watched Breaking Bad but I still appreciate it!
The sheer amount of people was impressive, everyone was in high spirits and having a great time. Much beer was drunk until it came time to get the U-Bahn back to the hotel.
Not quite ready for bed yet, we had a can of Mixery, which is a pre-mix version of Diesel or Dirty Beer a common drink in pubs in Germany, cola and beer. It sounds disgusting but honestly is quite good indeed (so much so, I brought a couple of cans home and I’m drinking one as I type this post!)
Being a fan of pizza I had to try this when I saw it in Kaiser’s but it was truly awful and went straight into the bin after one bite. Truly awful, the worst thing that I ate all weekend.
However these giant bacon Wotsits were perfect “I’m drunk and hungry” eats. They didn’t really taste very bacony, but they were soon inhaled… then it was bedtime, we were going to the zoo the next day!