Long weekend in Berlin? Yes, great idea, is definitely worth it. We drove as a gang of 10 people and we were worried that we would have problems finding a restaurant or a pub accommodating us. Not in Berlin. Strolling around the city was a pleasure, and the weather gave us wings.
Before we left, we booked a walking tour with a guide, via Trip Advisor. This is link ORIGINAL BERLIN WALKS
Again we were not sure what to expect. we were afraid that they add us to a very large group of people and we would follow our guide around the city at the pace of a running cheetah. Instead, this walk was a pure pleasure. Actually many of us think that it was the best point of the whole trip to Berlin. Especially our guide Darren, charming Irishman with a great sense of humour (I guess there is no Irish without a sense of humour, right?) was delightful. His knowledge knocked our socks off. He knew everything about Berlin, especially about the the Second World War. What was even more interesting he filled us not only with the dry facts, but he talked, with an incredible passion, about people of that time, their mental blemishes. He made us all think when he said that the more you study and read about this period, the less of it you understand. Because it is not easy to understand that the ordinary people could prepare such fate for other ordinary people.
I will write separate posts about places we visited with Darren. They are coming soon.
We stayed in the very centre of Berlin, nearby Checkpoint Charlie, famous or rather infamous border place between East and West Berlin. The hotel met our expectations, it was comfortable, clean, good enough to sleep well after a busy day. Downstairs there was a bar open until 1am. After returning from sightseeing we could go there for a drink, mostly a good beer in a one liter glass. Breakfast was tasty, there was plenty of choices,you could have sweet continental or proper english with egg and bacon. However, drinks were disappointing: cold coffee, untasty tea and especially juices, heavily diluted with water. If you expect a good breakfast English tea, like our friend Monica, go someplace else. This is the link to the hotel GAT CHECKPOINT CHARLIE
For saturday dinner, we booked a typical German Maximilians restaurant. It was a good idea because the next day we were walking like headless chickens looking for a restaurant, and finally, we found ourselves in an Italian tavern which leaves a lot to be desired. Especially the Italian waiter, who was probably a bit light-tipped. His jokes were on the bounds of decency and he would notoriously forget our orders. I should, however, note, that serving our group is sometimes not easy, because we like to change our minds and complicate the situation. Nevertheless, the service could have been nicer. When it comes to food, the pasta with sauces was very good, except for our friend Kristina, who got ravioli much harder than al dente. Much worse was the pizza. My so-called pizza bread was heavily desiccated and if it was not for the garlic oil I got as a dressing, it would be hard to eat it. The ice cream that we bought at the end was okey, but far from delight. Later, we read an article that Italian restaurants in Berlin don’t have a good reputation, and are rather at a mediocre level. Shame we did not know before. However fter 5 hours of walking, we were hungry and tired and just wanted to eat something. We had beer and wine to wash things down.
I will write a separate text about the German restaurant Maximilians mentioned above. For those interested, I will give you a link here, unfortunately, it is only in German: MAXIMILIANS
Before we appeared in Berlin, we booked another attraction for Saturday evening. It was a burlesque show at the Kleine Nachtrevue club. I must admit it was one of the most interesting things I had the opportunity to experience. Before entering we bet if we see women’s nipples there, but as it turned out we saw a lot more. But I will not reveal any details here. I must say that the show, despite its intimacy, was not vulgar, it was tasteful and often funny. Kevin’s dance with a towel was definitely our favourite. I will devote a separate article to this place, but for those interested here is the link: BURLESQUES SHOW KLEINE NACHTREVUE
The next day, we took a very long walk practically through the Mitte historical centre of Berlin, and on the place called Museum Island we visited Pergamon museum, where you can find beautifully restored babylonian gate of Ishtar. Unfortunately the second attraction, Pergamon altar was being restored and we couldn’t see it. My professor at university once told us, students, that if we want to study properly ancient civilisations we must first visit London, Paris and Berlin because all important relicts are collected there. This is link: Pergamon Museum
From the Mitte we walked along the typical communist-type blockhouse estates, up to the world’s largest murals gallery. The city authorities allowed artists from different countries to cover with paintings the remains of the former wall separating East Berlin from the West. Of course, I will write a separate text about it, because this is one of the most intriguing places in Berlin. Here, for a taste, I will show you some photos:
In the evening, we went to the highest pub in Berlin. Before leaving for Berlin, my father, who for many years worked in Germany, urged me to visit this amazing relic of the communist era. I mean the TV tower. We managed to get there to see the sunset and I would definitely recommend this time to admire the view.
We were however disappointed by the organization of the entire place, but I write about it another time. Here is the link TV TOWER
Last day in Berlin, Bank Holiday Monday, we spent visiting the Currywurst Museum. If is worth going there, everyone has to decide for themselves. For me, the exposition was too tiny and too plastic, but the sausages they gave us to taste at the end were good. And supposedly it contained as much as 93 percent of meat. Jatinder, one of our friends had some doubts about it, but i want to believe that is true. Because i like it very much.
Here is the link to the museum: CURRYWURST MUSEUM
We took the last stroll through Berlin along the Spree River, over which there are comfy-looking pubs and restaurants. We walked all the way to Hackescher Markt, where we ate our last German meal; most of us had currywurst with chips, I ate a pretzel with Bavarian cheese, Karen had lovely chicken salad and the two brave fellows tried themselves with a large portion of pork knuckle with meatloaf and sausages – typically German meal. Apparently, it tasted divine. This is the link to the restaurant: WEIHENSTEPHANER RESTAURANT
Maybe it was the weather, or maybe a good, cold beer, but we were leaving Berlin with tenderness and nostalgia. We learned a lot, even though we did not even see a substitute of what Berlin has to offer, but above all, once again we confirmed that we like spending time together.