This ones a bit late, but I have some time on my hands and blogging about West Ham is getting a bit samey and monotonous. The Man City game was one of the worst performances of the season, but hey Sam’s nearly gone now, so onwards and upwards.
On the Friday of Easter weekend my wife suggested that a weekend away would be just the ticket and 20 minutes later via British Airways website we had a nice well priced trip to Berlin booked.
Quick spin round to Heathrow Saturday morning and we were in Germany for Lunchtime. We stayed in the fantastic Ritz-Carlton on Potsdamer Platz. For those of you that know your history, this is a pretty important area for Berlin, as the wall ran right through it, and then up the main drag to the Brandenburg Gate.
The hotel was very nice, and its not everywhere where you are met at the door by a real Beefeater. For any Americans/Non Brits reading (and I know some of you do) they normally live here . Our room was a fair size but we were here to sight see and not watch telly, so we ventured out. As I said Lunchtime was upon us, so we took a walk around but Mrs MrBen really wanted Schnitzel (which is Austrian, i know). The hotel recommended Augustiner’s near the Gendarmenmarkt square. Great recommendation. Filling was not the word.
So with a belly full of veal we set off back to the hotel after a walk around and finally got back to the hotel for drinks. They have a bar called Fragrances, which isn’t as strange a name as it sounds. Its a cocktail bar with a difference. All the cocktails are linked to a perfume, for taste and smell, and come in some pretty out there packaging. Mine was a bourbon based concoction which came in a small swiss house, with smoke coming from the chimney. Not any old smoke. They put the glass in the house and then pump in Sandlewood smoke to create the aroma. Just wish I could smell properly ! My wife had one that came in what I can only call a magic garden type arrangement. See photos. That evening we also took a short walk to the Brandenburg gate to take some photos of it lit. The gate was a symbol of the East West divide, with it being about 50 yrds into East Germany territory. It was where Ronald Reagan gave his famous “Tear down this wall !” speech.
The next morning we set of for some more touristy stuff. Back to the gate, and then the Reichstag. The Reichstag is the German equivalent of the Houses of Parliament and was very famous for signalling the end of WW2 in Europe when the Russians planted a large flag of theirs on it during the invasion of Berlin. It was bombed to hell and back like most of Berlin and its famous dome was redone in glass, and it now part of the tourist trail. the earliest ticket we could get for it was about 2 weeks in the future, so with that off the list it was lunchtime. We fancied some local food and went for Curry Wurst. This is a staple fast food of this neck of the woods ,and is basically a chopped sausage covered in curry powder and then smothered in a tasty tomato sauce. After some research it seemed the best place to go was a place off the tourist trail called Curry 36. When we got there the queue was crazy long or so we thought, until we noticed that that particular queue was for a small kebab hut literally about 70 yards (meters !) down the street. Crazy. We forgave Turkish food for Germany and had out Wursts. Good call the internet, that’s all I can say.
Next on the list was Checkpoint Charlie. A flashpoint during the cold war , as it became the only way to easily (!) get from East to West Berlin without being shot or mauled by dogs. It was also the scene of a Russian – US tank off, which nearly sparked WW3. Now its a hut in the road, with a McDonalds next to it. Classy. At least I guess we know who won !
From there it was off to the Gendarmenmarkt again, to Fassbender and Rausch, purveyors of the finest chocolates in Germany. We went to the restaurant for what else but hot chocolate and chocolate cakes. My wife had a Chilli Chocolate which was interesting . I went pretty Vanilla with a white Chocolate, and a nice mousse.
That evening we stayed in the hotel as we had done a lot of walking and the main bar sells cocktails as well, which they will make on the spot depending on what you fancy. These boys know their stuff, put it that way. Oh and Berliner Lager !
Back home the next day and queues all round the M25. Welcome home ……
Enjoy the photos.