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Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend in Berlin

My second visit to Berlin.

I am usually a bad tourist, refusing to buy guide books and see all the usual tourist sites. Although my colleague always sends me with a list of the things I should not miss, I rarely look at the list and never make a plan to see the sites he has given me. As a result I do miss seeing some very good things I am sure. On the other hand, I also once stumbled upon the Coliseum in Rome quite by chance, which was an indescribably beautiful way to see it. It just rose in front of my eyes! So on balance, I am happy with my choice.

In this case I gave myself a pass as soon as I planned the visit to Berlin. I had after all done some sight seeing last visit, so I was truly off the hook. Good thing, since my flight was 2 hours delayed while we waited for maintenance to replace a loose screw (I kid you not). Finally arrived at 2PM, was met by my generous friend and headed to the hotel to check in. A very nice hotel it is: The Intercontinental with some spare rooms they sold for a song on line. Lucky me. Coolest feature: from the bathtub you can open a sliding door to watch tv,  and open a blind to see or be seen from the rest of the room.

We took a long meandering walk through Tiergarten, 
Berlin's oldest public park with 23 km of pathways  
shuffled through the piles of leaves to hear that delicious sound
they make, almost went into a tea house (Ian assures me they sell beer
"Everyone sells beer!), and finally caught a tram to Alexander Platz.
There we had a gluhwein while sitting in swings outside in the sun,
then at the next place a beer, then walked to a bar 50 feet
down the street for a glass of wine, and with only another 400 metres
to go had to catch a taxi to be at dinner on time to meet Sina.

Looks pink here but was delicious there!

Following a lovely dinner and bottle of wine at an Italian restaurant, 
we headed of to a bar, recently opened by Sina's boyfriend Ricardo.
There were only a few people there when we arrived, but it soon filled up.
Really nice place and Ricardo is an excellent bartender.
I had the best White Russian I have ever tasted,
and it was beautiful to look at. We had a fun people-watching, time
trying to guess the story each of them was living for the evening.  

Sunday's gentle start included coffee in the sun at Pottsdamer Platz, and gluhwein (manadatory!) under the heaters. Strolled through the Chrsitmas market stalls, enjoying the sights and smells.

Chrsitmas market
Pottsdamer Platz

Since the shops were all closed we had
a late lunch at Lutter & Wegner.
Excellent food and wine.
Young wine packed with
color and flavor.

We then went to see The Blue Man Group - interesting experience. I have seen it in Boston and New York, but never with an audience like this. We were surrounded by 40 or 50 party goers, including a young man in front of us who slept through pretty much the entire performance. They all had fun and  participated in the show except him. Finished the evening with you guessed it - gluhwein, and early to bed.

I am still at least a little in love with Berlin.


  1. Nice pictures.

    The Intercontinental sounds like how the modern luxury hotels are built. I have seen/been hotels in India where there is a glass window between the shower and the bedroom. You can actually watch the TV from the shower by opening the blinds. When a friend came over, I had to wait in the lobby till he finished the shower. I realized why after entering the room. There was no blinds between the shower and the bedroom, only the glass window! I'm glad I stayed in the lobby.

  2. Yes it appeared to be thoughtfully designed!

  3. That walk sounds absolutely charming and romantic. I'm with you regarding the tourist sites. Who wants to go see more tourists? Especially when you already live in touristy Paris! And that sounds like a beautiful way to come across the Coliseum.

  4. As I was heading to the airport on a lovely sunny morning we drove past the park again and I felt like turning around and just staying. Berlin gets under my skin.


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