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Four days in rainy Berlin


Duvel
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The first week of November are „autumn holidays“ in the area where I live. We wanted to use that time to go to Paris, but when my parents-in-law somewhat surprisingly announced they‘d be coming over from Spain for the whole of November, we scrapped that idea and looked for something more German …

 

So … Berlin. Not the best time to travel (cold & rainy), but with a couple of museums for the little one and the slightly older ones to enjoy together, plus some food options I was looking forward it was a destination we could all agree on. The Covid19 warnings in the Berlin subway support that notion …

 

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well I thought this tread was going to be about Gyros

 

from the small pic to the right of the threads.

 

and I was looking forward to finding out what the

 

Yellow ' tape ' was around each of the two Gyros.

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You need to bear with me. While still in Berlin I‘ll write in the breaks I take from entertaining my in-laws 😜

 

We started on Monday early morning. For the ~600 km we opted for the train, which is less hassle for me and usually an efficient medium of transport in Germany. It should have taken about 5h.
 

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We had to change in Frankfurt, and the second train took us through former East Germany, right up to the beautiful village of Neudietendorf.
 

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About 500 m before the place in the middle of nowhere our train hit something. We all hoped for a wild animal, but unfortunately not. Due to problematic nature of train incidents with persons we had first to wait in the train for about 2h, then it was hauled into the station 500m further down the track and a new train was send from Frankfurt. Changing the train took almost 1h for all passengers (I‘d say maybe 500 persons), and then the train had to be integrated again into the traffic. All in all we lost about 5h and arrived in Berlin at 18.30h …

 

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The reservation for the Pergamon museum in the afternoon was gone as well, and spirits were not too high. I felt it was not the right time to impose a Berlin cuisine regimen on my mostly Mediterranean-oriented family.

Little one behaved remarkably well, so we offered him to pick dinner. He wanted sushi and noodles 🤔

 

After checking into the hotel I found a small Vietnamese neighborhood joint offering both. Berlin has a huge Vietnamese population stemming from East German times, where Vietnamese were welcome migrant workers. The city now is brimming with Vietnamese restaurants, a Vietnamese shopping center and Karaoke bars. 
 

The restaurant was low key, but the food was nice & comforting and we had a good time after a somewhat unnerving day …

 

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Two versions of Bun bowls … the second one was spicy beef in betelnut leaves. Very good.

 

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My MIL wanted Pad Thai. The menu accommodated her 😉
 

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A tiiiiny bit tired maybe ?

 

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A small stroll around the block took us to the Gedächtniskirche and a Späti (all night convenience store), before heading back after a not quite planned first day in Berlin.

 

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Edited by Duvel (log)
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3 hours ago, heidih said:

I think it just means that 1,5 meters ahead are 2 Doner stands. Looks like it is set in sidewalk? The yellow to mimic rotating and to draw your eye? 


Like @gfweb expertly explained: this is an information sign on the subway station floors on keeping the distance of 1.5 m between people. And for those who don’t know what 1.5 m means they give you a scale every person in Berlin can relate to. The height of a Döner spit (or two, for that matter …).

 

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Edited by Duvel (log)
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The second day began with a leisurely stroll to the Museumsinsel, that is home to some of the best museums ins Germany.

 

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Little one and me share an interest in ancient Egyptian things, thus we went to the Neues Museum, that houses an excellent exhibition on the subject, including the famous bust of Nefertiti

 

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Ancient depiction of kitchen work. Please note the complete absence of chamber vacuum sealers or any other SV equipment. I wonder how they got their ibis steaks tender ..?

 

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It is only natural that the culture that developed the beer also developed the dice in order to play drinking games.

 

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It seems Ms. Piggy was also conceived in the Old Kingdom. While little one supported my theory, the curator we asked about that was less inclined to back it up.

 

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From the Museum it was a short walk to the Red City Hall (the seat of Berlins mayor) and Alexanderplatz, the former city center of East Berlin, featuring the world clock and the TV tower.

 

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Hungry by now, most members of our party settled for sandwiches in world renowned sandwich chain (because you could sit down there), while I headed out to the Currywurst shop at the back entrance of the Red City Hall. It was quite a queue, but the (spicy) Currywurst was worth the wait …

 

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Edited by Duvel (log)
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In the afternoon we visited the East Side Gallery, a 1.3 km long preserved strip of the Berlin Wall, that was given to artists to paint on. Some more famous works can be admired there …

 

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Truth to be told, everyone was pretty done after that. Upon return to the hotel I had to use all my power of persuasion to get the rest of the family mobilized. It didn’t help that I had booked a table in a local Russian restaurant, a cuisine none of us was familiar with …

 

A short (or „too long“, according to the little one) walk from the hotel we found ourselves in Grüne Laterne.

 

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I ordered a small crosssection of the menu …

 

Borscht

 

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(Georgian) Kharcho - this was fantastic 

 

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Pelmeni stuffed with meat, served with sour cream

 

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Carrot, apple & walnut salad

 

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Fresh blini with trout caviar & salmon

 

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Beef Stroganoff 

 

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Cabbage rolls with sour cream

 

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All enjoyed with some local black beer & Georgian red wine - it was a fine dinner. The sceptics in the family were converted ☺️

 

 

Edited by Duvel (log)
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@Duvel I visited the Pergamom museum a few years ago.  I was stunned that I was looking at the same tiles and walls that Nebuchadnezzar built and touched.

 

That currywurst has a poutine feel about it, eh?

 

Any details on that carrot /apple/ walnut salad?  Was it sweet...mayonnaisey..and any spice?

Edited by gfweb (log)
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2 minutes ago, gfweb said:

That currywurst has a poutine feel about it, eh?


With the fries you mean ?

 

You can get it just with a bread roll, but I had the feeling I was running already a dangerous calorie deficit with all that walking, so I better took the full monty …

 

 

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5 minutes ago, gfweb said:

Any details on that carrot /apple/ walnut salad?  Was it sweet...mayonnaisey..and any spice?


Our waitress said it was also Georgia-inspired. I think this recipe would come close,  plus some grated apple & a touch of coriander …

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The next day was supposed to be the one with the best weather, so we walked over to the Berlin Zoo. It is the oldest zoo still in existence in Germany, and an impressive one at that.

 

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The Aquarium featured a special on living fossils, some of which I had never seen before. Little one asked if one could eat these 😉 …

 

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Amphibians, insects and arachnids were on display as well …

 

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The day was bright and we enjoyed. For lunch we has the quintessential Berlin snack - Bulette mit Schrippe (or meatball on a breadroll). I bought that from a small butcher joint in the way. The meatball was heartily seasoned and “moist”, for the lack of a better description (no other condiments). A very healthy meat to bread ratio - one could argue this to be low carb.

 

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As the day commenced I found more and more animals to be lazy and Just hanging around, which turned out to be exactly what I wanted.

 

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About 5h and 12 km later we returned to the hotel …

 

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Edited by Duvel (log)
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Despite my best arguments, 60% of the family refused to step outside again. It was a bit rainy, yes, and the temperature did not support any linger walks either. I canceled our planned dinner and took my FIL to the Curry 36 branch next to Bahnhof Zoo. Curry 36 is the most popular West Berlin Currywurst vendor (we’ll get to the East Berlin one in due time). 
 

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Eating the sausages outside in the cold and watching other people do the same was fun. A truly democratic food - inexpensive & delicious, enjoyed by teenagers, workers, hipsters, tourists, grandmas alike. We had one with and one without casing (the latter being preferred by most Berliners), and a Berliner Kindl to wash it down.

 

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On the way back I picked up the food for my wife and the little one. They had their heart set on two burgers from 5 Guys, the branch just being opposite of our hotel. Little one was allowed to eat his bacon cheeseburger  with extra pickles in the bed, which made his day (beside of course the visit to the zoo) …

 

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I had a small dessert as well 🙂

 

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Edited by Duvel (log)
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13 minutes ago, gfweb said:

Looks like a 5 Guys. 

 

Did they put an extra scoop of fries in the bag?

 
Yeap. Took the small portion and it was still all in all too much for the two of them …

 

(lucky me 🥳)

Edited by Duvel (log)
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That is one significant "meatball". What seasoning do you think? Like your son on some creatures I wonder about edible? - like the also very ancient horseshoe crabs - not really a crab https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Invertebrates/Horseshoe-Crab  Hippos look so cuddly but I flash back to the famous Jacques Cousteau piece on them and how aggressive they can be in the water. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPm9jWYjgco  If your family has not experienced kayaking among cavorting seals - highly recommend - joyful.  And outdoor eaten sausages - thank you!

 

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2 minutes ago, heidih said:

That is one significant "meatball". What seasoning do you think?


I think it is very straightforward: salt, pepper & nutmeg. Some softened onions & egg (as a binder). And enough breadcrumbs to make it unsuitable for Atkins followers …

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So  the Farmer that stacked those

 

potatoes ?

 

probably not russet

 

but maybe !

 

thank your 

 

( so far )

 

on a wonderful , and delicious 

 

blog .

 

good to see The Little One

 

asking the key question @ the A :

 

is it tasty?

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