Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and usually with a large thud. Reality screeches into view, the humdrum and mundane return. Life reverts to what it was before. But before all that, let me tell you about my last full day in Berlin.
Today’s plan was to take in some more of Berlin’s past, but we started with breakfast from Dunkin’ Donuts, plenty of sugar to keep us going through the day!
The first point of order was to go find the East Side Gallery, the longest still standing section of the Berlin Wall. Unfortunately getting there had a few hiccups, such as me leading us onto the U-Bahn going in the wrong direction, getting to the last station and then going past it, and stopping in the dark for a few minutes. I’d got us trapped on the tube, I went into a bit of a panic and could feel my breath getting shorter. Thankfully the driver noticed we were still on the train and said that she would now be going in the direction we wanted. But oh no, my mishaps didn’t stop there! Apple Maps, in it’s infite wisdom told us to follow signs that took us out of the station turning right, then right again, then another right, and then one final right. Yep, it took us in a squircle (square circle), I’d misguidedly thought that it was taking us to somewhere we could only get by going on a 20 minute walk (perhaps taking us under to a lower level) but that wasn’t the case, we should have just turned left out of the station.
There was some great street art to see here, though it’s a little sad that people can’t be trusted not to sign their names over people’s work, and that the majority of the pieces were behind fences.
After this walk in the baking heat I grew thirsty and we visited a little cafe on the side of the River Spree for a beer and a pretzel. I knew it would be a tourist trap kind of place and the prices confirmed it, but it was a welcome sit down in the shade with a cold pilsner.
I’d hoped to have seen Berlin’s TV tower a bit closer up but this was as close as I came to seeing it all weekend. Next time I’d like to visit the revolving restaurant at the top so I can see all of Berlin (they serve currywurst up there!)
I didn’t have any real interest in visiting Checkpoint Charlie other than the fact that it would irritate my dad because he would love to visit, and it was on the way to our next stop. Yes, I did pay €3 to have a photo with the guys dressed as American soldiers just to send to my dad to really rub salt into the wound.
This was the real reason we were near Checkpoint Charlie, call me uncultured, I don’t really mind, a museum about a national dish and it’s history is my kind of museum.
This map showed all the currywurst spots and the density of them throughout Berlin.
I’m sure this currywurst stand was supposed to be for kids to play currywurst vendor in, but I couldn’t resist striking a pose.
Honestly, I love playing with things. I’m a child at heart.
This part of the exhibit talked about the currywurst sauce, and various people’s “factor X”, I think this one with thickened coke sounded like something I want to try.
There was a section on Herta Heuwer, who is best known as the inventer of currywurst. She never told anybody her recipe for her curry ketchup recipe!
The museum finishes (or you can start with it, I’m not the boss) with a sample of “currywurst in the cup”, honestly I can say this was the best currywurst I had all weekend. I wish I’d bought a full portion! The outside of the wurst was crispy and the perfect quantity of sauce to currywurst.
After the currywurst museum we went on the hunt for an ice cream parlour, and after a several leads on Apple Maps led us only to stalls selling scoops of ice cream, we found ourselves at The Mall of Berlin where Al Teatro had what we wanted.
Spaghetti Ice is a classic German ice cream parlour treat. We both had a plate of “Carbonara” which was vanilla ice cream forced into spaghetti like strands, advocaat, hazlenuts, chocolate shavings and whipped cream!
Al Teatro afforded us a good view of Potsdamer Platz, where the Berlin wall used to cut through.
Fragments of the wall still remain in the centre of Potsdamer Platz, and there is a line of bricks in the ground showing you where it stood.
This green dude is the Ampelmann who will help you cross the street at the pedestrian crossings. He’s a beloved symbol who you will see on the lights in what used to be East Berlin, I bought myself a t-shirt and a bag of Ampelmann gummy sweets!
We had a walk around the Memorial To The Murdered Jews of Europe.
Our next stop was the rooftop of the Reichstag building, sadly as the dome was being worked on we weren’t able to access that and there were no guided tours on, but there were some brilliant views of the city!
On our last evening we returned to the Bavarian bar for dinner. I’d had currywurst and pork knuckle, the next items on my food hit list were the classic breaded veal cutlet, Wiener Schnitzel and Königsberger Klopse. Sadly the meatballs weren’t on the menu here, but I ordered schnitzel along with another litre stein of beer, this time a Paulaner Weissbier, a hazy unfiltered wheat beer.
My schnitzel came with a light and surprisingly refreshing potato salad.
You should never eat something bigger than your head… this was considerably large.
Sara ordered something I wish I’d had now, the jagerschnitzel, hunter’s schnitzel of pork with a rich creamy mushroom sauce and fried Spätzle. All I tried was a mushroom and a single noodle but this was completely delicious. Whilst my (way too big) Weiner Schnitzel was delicious, it couldn’t hold a flame to Sara’s!
We returned to the hotel for our last night’s sleep in this fantastic city. I was amused by the massive group of Pokemon Go players amassed near the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church once again. Suitcases were reluctantly packed and readied for our journey home in the morning. I did not want to leave.
The following morning we got up early, took our empty cans and bottles to Kaiser’s Supermarket (yay, we got €4!) and headed to Berlin Tegel Airport. We were too early to check in for our flight so we ordered a couple of pretzels from Kamp’s bakery and a coffee. I love the pretzels from Kamp’s they were super salty!
Eventually we checked in for our flight and had a look around the small duty free area, picked up some weissewurst in cans with a jar of weissewurstsenf so we could recreate our first supper at home, some massive Toblerones with salted almonds (they are the best Toblerones) and a bag of Ampellman gummies for me to snack on at work! We also ordered a bratwurst and a pair of bockwursts with a roll, ketchup and senf from the cafe in the airport. We washed it down with a glass of Becks, cheap and nasty beer but at least it was cheap.
Bye bye Berlin! See you again soon!
Back in Blighty with a rubbish caramel frappe from a coffee shop in Manchester airport served by one of the most surly people to have ever existed. I miss Berlin so much.