Despite the fact that it is going to be sehr kalt, I can’t wait to go back to the Berlin, especially at this festive time of year. The city blew my socks off in a way that I had not anticipated.
Here are some of my musings from the first full day of my last visit . . .
Today is 3rd night of my visit, sat in a Prenzlauer Berg cafe Kollberg, drinking a pilsner. Reflecting on yesterday, highlights have been Netto where I bought 1 Karotte und honig juice 59c, 1 fruit smoothie 89c, 1 large Sharon fruit 59c (beautiful my favourite fruit of all)
Me and Adam set off for Alexanderplatz where we sought out our first coffee of the day. Scuppered at the Altes Museum cafe by our weary legs – we paid too much for a double espresso. Off to Linden Straße, lined with lime trees, which have been replanted. There are some very strange shops, Mercedes with a cafe, Nivea with a cafe and ghastly beaches in the middle of the street. We spot Segafredo and later Adam grants me my wish, though not a patch on the Paris meze meze.
I confess I succumbed to a Starbucks frappucino 4,40c for lemon sugar – my blood levels were low, this was my justification.
We join a walking tour at Brandenburg Tol, with a guy leading who we’ll call Kai for we both knew such a chap. He takes us to the memorial where we see how it fits into our modern day understanding. A Jewish American architect designed the site and it is open to interpretation. But, of course things are put into circulation about what it means that we take as our own. It moved me as a place that says we are privileged, it’s a reminder of over 11 million Jews who died and a reminder for all those who have past due to injustice. It was an amazing experience to walk against the pillars to bigger unknown and holding strangers in my thoughts. We catch back up to the walking tour at Hitler’s bunker, now a dog shitting site and a car park. The reasons well thought and fitting, this makes me appreciate the good people of the world. There’s no way to bring back Hitler’s end site as a memorial – there is apology written all over this place. Now to the tax office as it once was known, once the Ministry of Ministries! 1952’s ideal of communism pictured on the wall juxtaposed against the picture of the people on the ground in 1953 who were massacred there.
Adam had the hunger and I knew mine would creep, so we jumped back on the u-bahn to reach our awol suitcase and a pastrami sandwich and salat mit tuna fisch and yoghurt, refuel and the afternoon begins.
We got off at Alexanderplatz and attempted to make a visit to the film museum, but ended up at Sony Mecca centre. Very bizarre everyone was dressed like those green squidgy toys out of Toys Story, wrapped in lime green blankets. We went through the park after me throwing a hissy fit about my hands needing washing. Through the tiergarten and we purchase our museum passes. To Altes Nationale Gallerie, Adam felt faint and so we need a rest to Prenzlauer Berg, a beer around the park, we got amazing food in Butter. I had chickpea and chicken casserole, Adam nachos and chilli. We make our way to mitte, to a not great place where we meet a chap from Amsterdam, who was nice.
Then to Tacheles gallery – an old department store now an artist commune, we stroll through mitte and the prostitutes galore, past a shop named Dom with spangles.
A beer and two shisha lovers Christopher and Amil drink with us, in a bar that I can’t remember the name of. We went onto sit outside a late shop and drink traditional Berlin beer and sampled club mate a guarana based drink. Played fußball – I sucked, it was 4 in the morning we succumbed to Burger King, large hot choc and cheese burger. Slept till 1.30 today
What I am looking forward to:
– Revisiting the incredible Jewish museum and seeing what light falls on it in winter
– Drinking cafe Einstein, and getting our free coffee from Best Western because we returned within 4 months
– Having a day trip to Leipzig where my friend Thea Hirst has an exhibition her and her husband Teddy were involved with setting up
– Wrapping up warm and trawling the streets, whilst drinking mulled wine
– Going to see Best Coast on arrival in the magnet
– Having a new experience in a magical and bustly city that doesn’t sleep too heavy