Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Berlin: from super-fancy, to super-grungy

trying on New Year's hats. :)
Berlin really does have it all...today we started at the super fancy Kaufhaus des Westens, and ended up in Tacheles, a graffiti-covered, zoo-like-smelling artist squat.

But now from the beginning.

After walking around the Bergmannkiez (grocery stores, postcards, market hall), we took the U-Bahn west to the KaDeWe--foodie paradise. (Jessica's visit is planned a lot around eating certain things.)  There were lots of people out and about. I guess that's what happens when you keep Germans closed up in their homes for three days with all stores closed. They stir-crazy and can't wait to get out to Ku'damm. We wandered around the gourmet floor, admiring the tortes, the champagne bars, lobster bar, rows and rows of jams and jellies, French bakeries, stinky cheeses, strange meat pâtés...and made one purchase: some tea (Ginger-Orange, and Märchenwald). We also laughed at the displays of American products: squirt cheese, root beer, and a can of pumpkin for 7 EUR! (Also a box of Macaroni and Cheese for 4 EUR.)

From KaDeWe we walked down Tauenzienstraße to the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtnis Kirche. Unfortunately, it is being "renovated" (renovating a ruined church?), but you can still walk into the remaining foyer area. (You just can't see the church from the outside.) Here you can see the golden mosaic with the Kaiser, and they have a nice historical timeline of the church in its glory days, and in its ruined state after the war. It was left half-intact as a memorial to the war.

After popping into a few (super busy!) stores, we were in need of Verstärkung, a little "pick-me-up." We went up to the Café Kranzler, overlooking the Kurfürstendamm shopping mile, and shared a piece of Marzipan-Torte and had a cup of tea.

For dinner, we went out to a place called Schwarzwaldstuben in Mitte. It's southern German food: the traditional Spätzle, Schnitzel, Maultauschen, etc. Michael had the Maultaschen, Jessica got a venison dish with brussel sprouts and Serviettenknödel, a savory bread pudding-like thing, sliced into round pieces. I had a Flammkuchen with duck and apple. This food was not so easy to photograph, but Jessica and Michael definitely had the best food. And of course some good German Pils to go with it!

After dinner we walked down Oranienburger Straße and went into Tacheles, a large old building taken over by artists post-1989...that reeks like a zoo and is covered in graffiti. Ah, Berlin... Only here. In no other European capital can you still find gems like this. But developers are threatening to evict the people, and I'm not sure what is going to happen to the place. Anyways, it's like so much of Berlin...changing quickly!

1 comment:

  1. You two look like Cindy Loo Hoo with all that gingerbread in your hair! I love it!