Wednesday, 3 September 2014

A weekend in Berlin ... again

We just spent another weekend in Berlin. And this time we took things really slow. Slept in, had lazy breakfasts and epxplored the city with mostly no plan as to where we were going. And it was fun. Even though the weather didn't really play its part we saw some sun.

When we arrived Friday afternoon we went for some coffee and ice cream at Amorino on Kurfürstendamm. I knew what I was getting into, but every time I have their ice cream,  I am pleasantly surprised at how good it is.

Because the summer seemingly wanted to surprise us with a nice evening, we headed towards the Museumsinsel and the MonBijou-Theater. It is an amphitheatre and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. We spontaneously bought tickets for their performance of 'La Mandragola' by Niccolo Machiavelli and it was brilliant. I really mean it. The actors were beyond great and unbelievably entertaining and witty.

Luckily for us, they usually have two performances each evening. We waited for the play to start sitting in their outside bar area and watching people learn to dance. And yes, we had some beer and a very tasty pepperoni pizza, that was authentically made in a wood fired brick-oven.

I strongly suggest you go and check it out when you are in the Berlin-area in the summer months. (...not just the, pizza of course)

Saturday started with the best croissants in town. Yes, I am very sure of that. I know that everybody has their own favourite bakery and there are a few places where you can actually get decent croissants in Berlin. (....sadly, elsewhere, it is not as easy), but these taste exactly like the ones I usually have in France. So for me: the best in Berlin.
Get them at 'Baguette, Croissant & Co.' on Hohenstaufenstraße.

Oh and if you speak french, give it a go. The Baker will be very pleased.

Next we headed towards the 'Topography of Terror' exhibition. We were impressed with the diligence and attention to detail, that obviously went into creating the exhibition. If you are interested in going there, there is an app available that provides you with an audio guide.

On our way there we saw a billboard for a concert by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in Waldbühne on Sunday and, again very spontaneously, tried to get tickets. We tried calling (sadly, everybody was on holiday) and the online store. For some reason they would not allow digital copies  of your tickets, but printing them out is easier said than done when you are on a city trip and no printer in sight. So we decided to go to an actual ticket-selling place. A wise decision. The lady at the counter was very helpful and gave us a couple of tips on how to get there and to be a little early because there only would be free seating.

Saturday ended with a dinner at 'Auszeit' in Friedrichshain. This place is seriously great. Very small, an admirable wine selection and a very competent chef. Even though the food was excellent, for me, the best part was the service. Very attentive and friendly without being intrusive or meddling. I have a thing about good service in restaurants, maybe because I've worked in that field... I don't know, but it is not that hard to be at least somewhat friendly, or is it?
Well, at this place we felt right at home.

Our Sunday started pretty much the same way as our Saturday. Croissants... and coffee of course.
Followed by a stroll through the gardens of Schloss Charlottenburg and some neighbourhoods on our way to the concert.

The concert was exceptional. It probably was one of the more enjoyable things I've done as of late. Although we were hit with heavy rain for a few minutes before it started our mood did not waver. It is hard to explain but there was a sense of excitement in the audience.
Just an altogether brilliant evening.

On our way back we had a late night Currywurst at Curry 36 at the train station 'Zoologischer Garten'. In my opinion one of the better Currywurst-places. They actually have a second store at Mehringdamm 36; the original one. And for some reason they don't charge the same prices at both stores. (The Mehringdamm location was cheaper by 30 cents - yes we went to both places...)
What is a trip to Berlin without a Currywurst, right?

Now I have the strong urge to try and recreate their curry-sauce from memory. The next time I should probably just buy a bottle.

Before hitting the road back home the next morning we had a grand breakfast at Cafe Einstein Stammhaus. There simply is no other way to describe it. Sadly the garden was closed, because there were too many bees, but the marble tables and the good-natured service made up for that.

On our way back home we decided to make a slight detour towards Potsdam and take a walk around Schloss Sanouci.

A good decision... it was raining when we got back home.

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