Berlin was a short stop on my tour – that’s where I flew in and also left in less than 24 hours. It reminds me of New York City as there are many, many tourists so a variety of people to see and learn about. They are know for their curry schnitzel and even though I did not try it, you can find it on every corner vendor in the city. Along with beer, must have beer. Here walking around with beer on the streets is no big deal and everyone does it!
My boss is looking to hire a German Au-Pair and so she met us in Berlin so their relationship could be one more than over Skype. She had never been to Berlin either, which was pretty shocking since she is from Germany, but we were able to do some exploring together. My objective or “assignment” in Berlin was to be a typical tourist. Thankfully, everyone does speak English here. The German language is extremely difficult and even more so now when I am trying to read the street signs.
We were sent on a guided tour bus and all – which, usually I am one to just want to walk and explore, but in my time table this worked out for the best. I was able to see a variety of the streets of Berlin and see what a typical Saturday afternoon looks like. Honestly, it was a bunch of tourists so I did fit right in! We made a stop at the Brandenburg Gate – so a great photo opportunity and there were many people gathered. I stop every so often and think “Is this really happening?” – it is! Also, everyone wants to go to the 6th story “Ka De We” which is their giant department store. The best part? The top floor is all gourmet foods and places to eat. It was amazing! I was overwhelmed by the options as I was still taking everything in, but it was fabulous. To me, not much can beat the sight of freshly baked bread and pretzels hanging on the walls and this has even more than I could imagine!
There were so many little streets to go down and that was my favorite part. Sure, everyone wants to go the big shopping area, but I am interested in the “off the beaten path” mindset in finding the hidden gems in the places you wouldn’t think to look. This is where I found gorgeous fresh flower shops, kaffee shops, quaint restaurants where the tables and customers are pouring out in the streets, and lots of fresh bakeries. Bread is everything here and the smell of the freshly baked bread coming out of the oven is indescribable.
As my evening was coming to an end, I was ready to go to bed. Tired is an understatement but come on. We have to eat dinner, right? Italian in Germany is supposedly the way to go and that’s the way we went! Cash only, family owned, blow your mind Italian is what we did! I have always heard how amazing the food is in Europe and you have to experience it yourself and I have eaten so pretty darn good food in my day but, here’s what stood out to me – every “layer” of every dish was seasoned to perfection. When this harmony occurs, you get the most out of every bite you possibly can. Thankful that was my first dining experience – I was ordered for in German so had no idea what was coming and that unknown was exciting! Pizza, a variety of pasta, fish – just mind blowing. Of course all with a bottle of champagne and bottle of red wine. Thankfully today, after leaving Berlin, I walked 10 miles which makes that all possible!
Berlin, and Germany in general, is very “Americanized”. The signs to restaurants will have a German menu and an English menu and they are very American friendly. There are many fun, quirky details about Germany as a whole that I cannot wait to share but that will be for another time!
Now Berlin was a great start but it was then onto my second stop of Potsdam – I enjoyed that more and cannot wait to share! Traveled by train, visited Starbucks (the kaffee is definitely stronger in Germany), and like I mentioned, walked for 10 miles. I got to see a lot, learn a lot and taste some delicious beer along the way.
Will share soon.