Berlin Recap: Part I
And I'm back! I've been slowly adjusting to being back in Brooklyn after a week in Berlin, Germany. While I'm happy to be home and back with the pup, our vacation went by way too quick.
We had a 6PM flight out of Newark which put us into Berlin at 8AM on Thursday, or 2AM our time :/ We took a bus to the S-Bahn (the commuter train line) to our airbnb in Prenzlauer Berg. The apartment we stayed in was in an old, charming building near all the public transportation* and lots of restaurants and shops. It was perfect. We promptly passed out since we didn't really sleep on the flight over.
*Side note: Berlin has so much public transportation and we took all of them. Bus, S-Bahn for traveling outside of the city center, U-Bahn for inner city travel, and a street trolley. Getting around is so so easy.
When planning for this trip, I picked a few big things I wanted to do and then left the rest of time for wandering and exploring. Thursday night there is a street food night at Markethalle Neun in the Kreuzberg neighborhood and we headed there. After grabbing a glass of pilsner, we scoped out all the food options.
We ended up getting a delicious slice of broccoli-sausage pizza and these amazing pelmeni (russian dumplings). The ones we had were traditional meat dumplings topped with sour cream and vinegar and a slice of rye to sop up all the juices. So so good.
We grabbed another beer at the market before heading around the corner to a bar to finish out the night.
Friday we had plans to visit the dome on top of the Reichstag, Germany's parliament building. Its best to make a reservation ahead of time online. We had few hours before hand so we took our time getting there. I grabbed a latte from Bonzana Coffee Roasters and we were off.
We stopped at a very cute Italian market on Schoenhauser Alle and had a prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich which was just what we needed. Whenever I'm in Europe, I tend to grab sandwiches in the morning on my way to wherever I'm headed. Sandwiches there are usually super simple meat+cheese+bread and are always fresh.
Mostly the weather was grey, wet and chilly but as we arrived at the Reichstag the sun miraculously came out. From the dome there's 360 degree views of the city. You're given an audio tour guide to listen to as you walk up and down the spiraled dome. It was definitely the most touristy thing we did but I liked hearing about the long history of the city. Following the Reichstag, we walked by the Brandenburg Tor to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
We then continued onwards and literally stumbled upon the Berlin Wall and the Topographies of Terror. We stopped to look at the bombed out SS headquarters and then kept moving towards Kreuzberg.
We ended up Hallesches Haus, a home goods store and cafe. After perusing the store, we settled in for a drink and a snack. The space was huge with a charming garden. I loved all the plants hanging from the ceiling.
Most nights, we'd go out for dinner+drinks and end up coming home around midnight. We never adjusted to the time change (which worked out in our favor coming back to the US) so we'd stay up watching TV shows we had downloaded on my computer. Black Mirror and Atlanta all the way.
Saturday we took the U-bahn to the Bauhaus Archiv. We listened to an audio guide as we walked around learning the history of Bauhaus and looking at pieces of iconic work. My favorite part was looking at the textiles and hearing about how the collaborated with local industry to create better products.
After a bit of (unsuccessful) shopping on Kastanienallee, we ended up at Prater Garten, a beer garden that's been around since the 1830s, for dinner. We settled in with a beer and ordered schnitzel which was plenty for the both of us. As we sipped our beers, I enjoyed watching family and friends gather for a Saturday night meal.
See that lovely potato salad? Its served warm in Berlin and is just perfect. We are trying to recreate at home. I magically still had room for apfelstrudel (apple strudel) with vanilla sauce.
On our walk home from dinner, we passed fans leaving Germany's Superbowl for American football. Weird.