Sunday, 19 August 2018

Germany Epic 5: Berlin

There is a team from Berlin called Hertha Berlin. There is a hot dog/frankfurter manufacturer called Herta. Are these things related? Concomitantly probably not. Thematically, yes.

Berlin is full of bears. Terrifying golden bears pulling chariots wherein another golden bear rides whilst making a "raise the roof" motion with his large golden paws. This happens in built-up areas and even multimedia complexes containing restaurants, cinemas, offices and cafes.

We stayed on Englische Strasse, near to the Tiergarten on the old "Western" side of the city. When we first arrived we went for a walk, found a laundrette (which would become relevant later) and generally saw what we could see. This perambulation included the Brandenburg gate, much of the Tiergarten, a long walk through Kurfurstendamm (or ku'damm as it's known), the Reichstag with it's big glass dome and comprehensively ugly anti-terrorism system, and an intense rain storm. After this big loop, we returned briefly to the hotel before going for two beers, one on a boat, one a short distance away in the park. I recommend the Schleusenkrug beer garden in the park although the Capt'n Schillow boat/resto/bar was by no means a bad choice.

The next day we rented bikes from the hotel and went a-riding. Yes, I know we had a motorbike already, but completely different. We saw lots of bits of Berlin wall and went to the Topography of Terror museum which is by no means fun but very worthwhile. We checked out some of the Eastern side, via Checkpoint Charlie, including the Museum islands. At Alexanderplatz we ate sausage from a street vendor (classic). Oh, there was a lot to see and do. We went to Wedding too. Riding around town is fun and effective. In the evening we put a wash on at the laundrette and, whilst it was running, managed to have an entire meal at a very nice Thai restaurant on the Ku'damm.

Overall we packed a load in. Things I had previously forgot: we went to the Bauhaus museum, which wasn't fantastic (it was a bit small) and saw/walked through the huge "monument" to the holocaust, which was impressive. The weather was not the best, but it was not too bad and we never got so wet it was uncomfortable. The B&B hotel was excellent. I really like B&B hotels. I even like their mint chocolate-chip colour scheme.

After two days and nights in Berlin (and one full day of not motorcycling, substituting bicycles as our methadone), the next day we were back on the road and off to one of the nicest places in the whole World...

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