What I learned in Berlin

Being in Berlin for a long weekend made me realize a couple of things. As done by now on several other occasions (see here or here) this is what I learned in Berlin.

1.) When you make a dinner reservation, you don’t get a table for the evening. You only get a time slot for 2 hours. So be quick to finish your meal. They even recall this to your attention if you order a beer 10 minutes before your allotted time ends.

2.) Ask your friends before the trip if they also want to see a certain museum. If they do, reserve your tickets online!

3.) If you hear a fire alarm in your hotel/restaurant/any place, get up and go. It might be a false alarm, but it is definitely not a drill.

4.) And in the above mentioned situation, don’t go looking for your book first. Or call your friend and discuss the alarm. Just go!

5.) I am not twenty anymore. I am old enough to be a possible parent of someone in their twenties (sounds depressing, but will be more depressing for some of my friends in 10 years when they realize that their kids are still far away from their twenties)

6.) It’s good to re-read my advice (aka What I learned in…) before a trip. I brought three pairs of shoes this time.

7.) Berlin is not a chic city. Charming and multicultural, vibrant and hip, but there is no need to dress up.

8.) Don’t use the public trash bin for any kind of bucket challenge.IMG_9931

9.) Everything looks better in color and with flowers. Even if you only sell fabric.IMG_9844

Or ride the metro.IMG_9854

10.) If you avoid German food then food in Germany is amazing! Same is true for the wine.

11.) And once again, traveling with friends is the best!!

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The doors of Berlin

Taking pictures of doors started innocently enough (click here) but then became part of my ‘thing’ (click here). So now whenever I go on a trip I search for nice and/or different doors to show to you.

All pictures were taken during our walks around the city. Since we mostly strolled through Schöneberg, Berlin Mitte and the Scheunenviertel these pictures here are not representative for all of Berlin. Please enjoy.
Yours, Pollybert
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Last day in Berlin

When you have fun, time flies. Our Berlin vacation weekend was almost at an end. Just one more breakfast and that was basically it. Of course we started the day late, it was the weekend after all and everyone needed their beauty sleep. Late in this case meant by 11am since we had to check out from the Lindemann’s which was the perfect hotel for this trip except for the fire alarm the first day.

I think I didn’t tell you about that one. Why? Maybe I still had to come to terms how I reacted to it. It took me ages to realize that there was actually a fire alarm. And not a car gone haywire outside. Once I recognized the sound was coming from the hotel, I deliberated if I should get up. By that time the alarm had gone already for a couple of minutes. When I finally got up I checked first the hall if there was any smoke or smell. Since I couldn’t detect any, I deliberated a bit more and eventually decided to go downstairs. All the while the alarm kept ringing. Of course the moment I had my jeans on the alarm stopped.

Great, back to bed. What to do when you are already awake? You check your phone for new messages. While doing so the alarm started again. Urgh, finally called Christoph to ask him if he wanted to go downstairs. Together we decided to do so and that I would pick him up on the way down. When I took my handbag it was more important for me to check if I had my passport, my book and my kindle then saving myself by rushing downstairs. I even searched for the book since it was not in my bag. When I finally got outside my room the alarm had been easily ringing for 10 minutes. Eventually we met a guy on top of the staircase who told us it was a false alarm and we went back to our rooms. But I am still astonished about my laid-back reaction to the whole alarm thing. I really need to work on my priority skills! Survival first!

Anyway, I digress. I wanted to tell you about our last morning in Berlin. We stayed again in Schöneberg for breakfast but went to a French bistro/shop called La Cantine d’Augusta this time.IMG_9851
The name apparently came from the owner’s grandmother who was also on the cover of the menu.IMG_0106
Breakfast here was different; no eggs but instead olives, sun-dried tomatoes and a fruit salad were served with ham, salami and a variety of cheeses.IMG_0115
It was once again excellent and a great choice for our last morning. I really loved the shop, there was so much great food from France available. In a way I am glad I don’t live around the corner from it, could be the death of all good resolutions.

Sadly there was no time to linger over coffee. Just a bit later and we were taking the metro to get to the airport. As said before, public transport in Berlin is amazing. Just one metro ride and one change onto a bus was all it took to get us to the airport. Not more than 35-40 minutes tops. In no time we had to say good-bye. So very hard to do after our lovely weekend. But you know what? We will do it again!
Yours, Pollybert
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Still raining in Berlin 

After lining up for at least 45 minutes at the Pergamon Museum without seeing anything, it was time to move on. Since we were near the Hackesche Höfe we were sure to find a place to warm up. Actually you can find that anywhere in Berlin. This city is full of great restaurants, coffee shops and bars.

So a short while later we sat down in Yo Soy, a tapas bar with delicious Majorcan wine. Just a few minutes later the drizzle increased to a downpour and we were glad to have found a dry haven. Of course once you order wine in a tapas bar you also order some tapas. They enhance the taste of the wine (and maybe the consumption of more wine as well).IMG_0041IMG_0044IMG_0074IMG_0079IMG_0097

I don’t know what happened but on this afternoon we never made it back to the Hotel Lindemann’s to change for the evening. Not that it was necessary because we had a reservation at The Bird, a very relaxed burger joint. Another great reservation (thanks Christina!!!) which was just perfect for us. The Bird is extremely popular as was noticeable by the crowd. And rightly so. We shared some chicken wings as a starter, the orange sauce on the picture was called ‘Napalm’ and had a fire bombing effect on my mouth. The burgers were huge, the meat delicious, only the mountain of fries was a bit much and too greasy.IMG_0068IMG_0053IMG_0052IMG_0065IMG_0080

Exactly two hours after our arrival we had to leave again. Pushed out into the cold we took a cab and drove to the Neue Odessa Bar. Which turned out to be ok, not more not less. But it was definitely not a mood booster. We stayed for a drink and then went home. Who would have thought that we were already tired? Not a great picture but you might an impression.
Yours, Pollybert
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A rainy day in Berlin

After being lucky the day before we woke up on Saturday to a bleak and grey sky. Good then that we were sleeping in and not in hurry to go for breakfast. This time we had reservations at the Schwarzes Cafe in Charlottenburg (thank you Sophie!!). The place looked inviting and comfortable, just perfect for another long and lazy breakfast. IMG_0014  IMG_0001  IMG_0002  IMG_0006  IMG_0007 IMG_0012

Just looking at it now makes me realize that this breakfast was delicious, actually each meal we had that weekend was perfect. On hindsight what astonishes me more than the great meals (you know how critical I can be) was with which consequence Sophie polished off every last morsel on her plate. Every time we went anywhere for food, no matter what time, day or meal. The rest of us just started to dig in the moment I put my phone away, while Sophie took her time and then steadily ate everything on her plate. I wonder how she does that?.

Eventually we left our cozy nook and took the S-train to ‘Hackescher Markt’ to visit the Museum Island. From the beginning I wanted to see the Pergamon Museum and the others were nice enough to accommodate me. Since I read the book “Limit” by Frank Schätzing I wanted to go (actually already before but after reading it I wanted to go soon).

On the way to the museum the weather god was still gracious, which bode well for us and was also great for the abundance of brides we saw (there were three, but I only took a picture of one) on the island. IMG_0024    IMG_0027IMG_0031  IMG_0034

While lining up for the museum it started to drizzle.IMG_0035IMG_0038
Not getting deterred we stayed in line until we finally came upon a sign on which it said that the hall with the Pergamon Altar was currently undergoing renovations and will not be open until 2020. None of us was prepared to wait that long, so after a short consultation we agreed on going for a drink. Of course there were other things to see, but my disappointment was just too big and needed to be fixed. But this is another story.
Yours, Pollybert