I’ve just started reading this second-hand, 1973 paperback – a Christmas present from my son’s German girlfriend. Admire the book’s yellow pages – it’s 48 years-old! The enclosed bookmark says the book came from one of the many Berlin bookshops selling English books.
Astonishingly, Berlin bookshops are considered ‘essential services’ during lockdown and allowed to stay open – we in the UK can only dream.
Some images from a wonderful weekend in a hot and sunny Berlin. It’s a relaxing, manageable city, with big buildings, big spaces and a gorgeous park. A youthful population, a fantastic mix of crisscrossing transport, and a million and one cafés and restaurants, make for a wonderfully, bustling city.
I always like to include a couple of highly processed images!
A walk through the beautiful Tiergarten park with my son, a late bread-breakfast in the park for him, accompanied by two jazz musicians.
A train to a huge lake at Tegel. Tegel is charming and one can imagine is packed with Berliners in the summer. There are large pleasure boats and smaller boats and yachts. We walked a couple of miles around the lake, had a plate of chips in a Turkish cafe as we sheltered from a couple of brief, heavy showers.
A plate of pasta cooked by my son rounded off another lovely day.
A visit to our son’s new flat – he passed the parental-approval test! Berlin flats are mainly rented and very affordable in comparison to London. Housing in Berlin seems so very sensible, though I do find it strange that every radiator has to have a gadget fixed to it that measures the amount of heat used and which needs to be read by a radiator-man every year.
On to a cafe and then to a building I’m sworn to secrecy. Then on to my son and girlfriend’s ‘garden with cottage attached’ – a delightful plot of land with a lawn, areas for growing fruit and vegetables, and with a wooden house! An amazing retreat for very little cost. Bread, an indecent amount of German cheese and a bottle of German red wine made for a lazy late-lunch.
Dinner in the truly amazing Bavarian restaurant Zur Haxe finished off a wonderful day.
London to Berlin. I was the oldest person on the flight and was sat close to a stag party. They were not too raucous, they were polite and they each drank just two small cans of beer during the flight – it could have been a lot worse. Note to self – it might be advisable to avoid Friday flights to Berlin.
Berlin’s Schonefeld airport is small and has the most unfriendly access to the train system one could imagine. The tunnel under the rail tracks has no live information boards, no staff and a handful of ticket machines with queues of flumoxed tourists. Note to self for next time – use the timetables on the walls to find out when your next train is and which platform it leaves from, and buy a ticket from the ticket machine on the platform.
My hotel and room was wonderful (Adina Apartment Hotel – Hauptbahnhof). I’d only just entered my room when the knock on the door indicated good-timing by my Berlin-resident son. In the evening we had an outdoor dinner (at Die Berliner Republik) alongside the river. The food was good, the service so-so. TripAdvisor negative comments seem to be mainly about the service!
I have returned to my hotel room at the end of the day and there is half a lemon on the desk. Is this normal in Berlin hotels? Perhaps this is how the maid wipes down the surfaces “without using any chemicals, electricity or water”. She just forgot to take the lemon with her!