Berlin Part 3- Auf Wiedersehen mein klein wurst
There’s a few skills in life that need grasping and perfecting- poaching an egg, sharpening a pencil with a knife (THE MANLY WAY) and how to tackle an All-You-Can-Eat situation. Waking up in Berlin on our third day, we put this to proper use at a buffet breakfast. This is how the pros do it:
Starter: Muesli and Yoghurt
Fish Course: Smoked Salmon and crusty hot rolls
Main Course: Sausages, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes and bacon
Cheese Course: Cheeses and charcuterie
Pudding: Fruit and Nutella.
After that FEAST and making full well we’d got our 11 Euros worth, we waddled down to Checkpoint Charlie to do some LEARNING. During the Cold War, Checkpoint Charlie was the most famous crossing point between East and West Berlin and today there’s a couple of museums which help you try and get your head around all the tricky politics alongside chunks of the old wall which still hold all the colourful and vivid graffiti.
I’ve always found the Berlin Wall a most sad and horrendous thing. Imagine if London was just suddenly split in half and it was impossible to get to the other side? Not being able to get to museums, or lay your eyes on the most famous sights of the city and abandon friends and loved ones? Reading about escape attempts and life whilst the wall was up was a most sobering experience.
We continued to quench our thirst for history and knowledge with an arts twist stirred into the mix by visiting the home and graves of Bertolt Brecht and his wife Helene Weigel. Having worked on a piece of theatre about Brecht last year I know what an absolute lad he was- wildly clever, mischievous, a bit of a boy, and fiercely passionate. His rooms have been kept nearly exactly as they were (just tidier we were informed by our guide) and it was actually very moving to see where he and Helene lived and worked.
After all that learning we needed some lolz so we crammed into one of Berlin’s photokabines which are dotted around the city and amidst giggles managed to take some snaps.
That night, following a recommendation from another handsome beardy bloke at the hostel, we wandered down the road to have some tapas at Ruz on Auguststrasse. OH GOD IT WAS DELICIOUS THOUGH. Spicy chorizo, piping hot wedges, pimentos de patron, devils on horseback, salty anchovies, tangy sun-dried tomatoes, manchego cheese which left more than a tickle on the tongue, big fat caperberries and lots of warm bread unashamedly dunked into spicy olive oil. YEAH I KNOW.
Handily our next drinking hole was situated just around the corner. We holed up for the night in Zosch Bar on Tucholskystrasse. Seemingly untouched in years, this shabby joint was just charming. Old wardrobe doors held mirrors, a cracked black and white chequered floor and a barman who provided free shots every half hour. WINNER. I was just gutted there was no live music on in the cellar bar downstairs, apparently it gets pretty raucous.
Shaking off the hangovers on Monday morning was seemingly impossible, so we shimmied down to KaffeeMitte on WeinmesiterStrasse, pausing to coo at some of the street art along the way.
Perched atop high stools and sipping on hot frothy lattes, we gazed out at Berlin as the streets became steadily more bustling. One of the coolest things about this place was that they infuse their tap water with basil and whole cherry tomatoes. IT WAS A REVELATION! Like Pizza-water. But delicious.
There was just time before our flight back to pop to the legendary Monsieur Vuong‘s Vietnamese Eatery for a big bowl of noodle soup and some glasses of magic healthy fruity mocktaily joy which helped to disarm and banish the loitering hangovers that were badgering about our brains.
We grabbed our bags and with heavy hearts climbed all aboard the double-decker train (I was BUZZING about that) and sped off to the airport. Berlin, you are a bloody beauty. You are a bit ugly yet utterly charming. You are doodled upon and have a torn and blistered history, yet you are teeming with art, culture and attitude by the bucketload. Your folk are lovely and helpful (and your men are also really really hot.) I can’t wait to run back into you Berlin, I hope it won’t be too long until we meet again.
AUF WIEDERSEHEN BERLIN! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx