Tag Archive: Kreuzberg


More from Mitte

‘lo, 

End of the working week today (assuming this is finished/published on Friday and not three weeks hence or whatever). Yesterday, I was feeling somewhat drained folks, a combination of post-holiday fatigue and Wednesday’s office lunch which began at 12.30, moved to the pub around 3pm and where we remained for eight hours. It wasn’t a pretty sight when I came home. The food was very good (hats off in particular to the sweet pumpkin dish), the company pleasant, the crackers appalling and the twenty or so games of Spyfall very welcome.

Picking up from the last blog entry, the rest of the Berlin trip was pretty quiet, pretty chilled. I was able to wander around the city mostly unaffected by ankle problems and as reported, my shoes and I have reached a state of détente. I think that all in all, I visited a dozen Xmas markets, most of which were the usual tat but the ones at Alexanderplatz and outside the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church had more arts and crafts and handmade goods than the others. I bought a couple of odds and sods (pictures maybe in the next blog entry), drank some Glüwein, ate some bratwurst and dodged the pickpockets – there was one who wasn’t being discreet but after a fierce scowl, she skulked off.

General shopping: not much. Only bought a single pullover in a sale which is a massive change from the usual haul. Sweets & chocolate – naturally although that’ll mostly be given away. Except the Ritter Sport and the Riesen Pieces. I also bought myself a Lego kit of Berlin from the Architecture range. You build your own mini Reichstag, Fernsehenturn, Mauer, Victory Monument, DB Tower and Brandenberg Tor. Spent an hour last night putting it together, very enjoyable. Was tempted by a couple of the board games which had English rules included but ultimately wimped out. And at the Video Game Museum (I had three hours to kill between leaving the hotel and heading to the airport), I bought a Monkey Island towel and a Gameboy cookie cutter. Geek-chic at its finest.

What was old and what was new about this trip? I finally made it to the Communication Museum which was a nice way to spend the Sunday morning – well, it was either that or get drowned in the rain. Worth a trip, especially with a mere €4 entry fee. I also went to a new bunch of eateries – Café Em about ten minutes from the hotel, a Vietmanese café just up the road from the Hotel, few other places that don’t necessarily stick out in my head but were nonetheless all good fare. Of course a lot of time was spent gawping at Xmas markets. Probably spent more time around Kreuzberg and Mitte this time compared with other areas of Berlin. 

Think I need to head out to Spandau and/or Potsdam next time, definitely want to have a day trip to either Leipzig, Dresden or Warsaw. And I’m going to visit the Stasi Museum for sure as well as another museum on the Island.

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Berlin IV pt 2

Mehringdamm – after Boiler and a good old fashioned sweat, went to the East London Café as I had a craving for jacket potato (always in Berlin with the jacket potato: why???) and this is one of two (now three) places I know where they’re served. Had I not still felt hungover, I might have had a cider to go with it. I like the EL Café, it attracts the expats sure but sometimes when your diet has completely morphed, going back to basics is more of a treat.

And speaking of expats, someone I’d been speaking with online in late 2014 who lived in Berlin – finally met up and had liquid stimulation in the form of Pils at a local bar near to my hotel. Let’s call him…Doctor F. Not to be confused with Herr Doktor/the Doctor. Anyway, Doctor F as it transpired used to live literally down the road from me in Vauxhall/Oval way so we know some of the same people and it was good to have someone to chat to, particularly as iJack couldn’t make it to Berlin. Even though plenty of German people are perfectly happy and willing to talk in English, I have that vague guilt about not speaking it back and half the time, it’s a Han Solo/Chewbacca thing.

Anyhoo, a few hours later, had a quick meal in Euro Kebab (the kebab shop on Frankfurter Allee) of some very nice Falafel and back to the hotel to pass right out. Now Thursday was the one day where I had absolutely nothing planned. I did consider perhaps another museum or something else culturally related but the urge to just have a day of chill (not the Vauxhall sort of chill btw) and go slow overrode priorities. After another scrambled egg on Pumpkin bread breakfast, I made my way to KaDaWe for a look around; thought about viewing Karstadt too but couldn’t make myself. Indulged in a guilty pleasure of looking at all the board games and browsing the stationery porn (pens, books, folders…hardcore stuff) before slipping out to view the sights of KuDamm. Finally made myself look at the ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the one that gets all blown up in John Gardner’s novel Golgotha. Ultimately back to Alex for Thai lunch (more Talisman) and then Kaiser in the Ring Centre.

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Had dinner with Doctor F in Vapiano at Alex – bloody rain that evening was torrential and half of the pavement by the Fernsehenturn seemed to be under water. Food was good though I paid for my chili pepper pizza the next day. And then to Kreuzberg to a bar he knows which put me in mind of the Coronet back in Stratford when that was open. Jever Lime which was way more lime with a touch of beer rather than the other way around. Drinkable though. It was during dinner that it hit me that I was going to go home the next day. Didn’t feel the same strength of longing to remain that I did in October though it was present. Missed the last U-Bahn back from Alex by one minute so had to walk all the way back to the hotel (40 mins). At least the rain had stopped.

Friday – it all worked out great. Had breakfast, checked out just before 12, took the U-Bahn to Alex and had a coffee before getting the bus to the airport which arrived just as the hailstorm started and the rest of the day lined up smoothly until it was time to land. Of course back in London things weren’t pretty (obnoxious people on the Tube and also at the station). Put away the food, did a load of laundry, caught up with whatever I’d missed and went to bed at 11 shattered.

All in all, it was a good trip. Not successful but a solidly good trip. Five days felt a bit on the long side but I feel that had this been spring/summer rather than mid-winter, there’d have been more to do upping the success factor. I might have been tempted for example to hop on a train and go to somewhere like Dresden, Leipzig or even Szczecin. I got what I wanted though – five days of self indulgence, ticked some things off my list, enjoyed spending my time with Doctor F and didn’t push myself too hard even though I was managing about 10 miles a day walking, according to my 3DS.

Rest of the weekend – Saturday was spend catching up domestically and finally finishing off that game of Beyond Earth (won Transcendence Victory) whilst Sunday was spend at Draughts Café. We played mostly new games (I was going to hammer Ceajay at chess but we quit as everyone arrived) and I won a round of Fluxx.