Germany Part 1 - Berlin

Long overdue post on my trip to Germany! But here it is, finally! I've broken it down into parts based on cities/towns to make it less overwhelming. 

Berlin manhole cover with main attractions on it - Berlin TV Tower, Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Marienkirche, Olympia Stadium, Victory Column

Starting off our trip, our flight from Toronto departed late by 20 minutes from Air Canada and we had unfortunately missed our connecting flight from Lufthansa. Thankfully, the service desk was able to re-book us onto the next connecting flight. Unfortunately, no one had informed us that we had to pick up our luggage and have it re-checked in. On our flight from Munich to Berlin with Lufthansa, we discovered our luggage did not come on the same flight. I thought that would've been common sense to automatically send our luggage to where we're headed to. We had to go to the baggage service desk to make a lost luggage claim and it was explained to us that our luggage were still in Munich. We had deposited our keys for our luggage with the gentleman who filed our claim. I had received my luggage the same night without my deposited key. Jo had his luggage and keys the following morning.  Thankfully, I did not leave both set of keys to my luggage with Lufthansa. Otherwise it would've added to my nightmare. Service was a hit-and-miss.

Chocolate Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate

After all that mayhem at the airport, we decided to try some German food. Near our hotel was a restaurant called Maximilians. The portions were very generous and much more than we had anticipated. Two meals felt like a feast for a family of four! Nonetheless, I would describe the first Bavarian meal as savory, delicious and hearty. What a great start to many more meals to come!

Berliner Kindl Weisse - Raspberry syrup

Berliner Kindl Weisse - Raspberry syrup

Paulaner Weissbier

Paulaner Weissbier

Currywurst with fries - fried sausage with ketchup and curry powder

Currywurst with fries - fried sausage with ketchup and curry powder

Boiled pork knuckle with sauerkraut and potato dumplings

Boiled pork knuckle with sauerkraut and potato dumplings

Festival of Lights was an event that was happening in Berlin at the time we were there. It was the last weekend of the festival and we tried to make the most of it while we could.

Festival of Lights: House of Cards - Potsdamer Platz

The festival occurs every October in Berlin, where the city becomes a display of lights. Buildings become illuminated with beautiful art exhibits either as still images or animated video with music in the background. It was a lively event and was a great way to see the main sites of Berlin.

Festival of Lights: Brandenburg Gate
Festival of Lights: Faculty of Law - Humboldt University Berlin
Festival of Lights: Humboldt-University Berlin HUMBOLDT-UNIVERSITY BERLIN
Festival of Lights: Hotel de Rome
Festival of Lights: Palais am Festungsgraben

Our hotel was located near the Gendarmenmarkt, a square in Berlin. There was quite a lot of construction happening and unfortunately both the French and German churches were under construction. Around Christmas, this square becomes very festive.

Gendarmenmarkt - German Church
Gendarmenmarkt - Konzerhaus
Gendarmenmarkt - French Church

Close by was an amazing restaurant where we had breakfast. Quchnia was a cozy and relaxed cafe serving delicious food.

Pumpkin and aubergine quiche (Special of the day) 

Pumpkin and aubergine quiche (Special of the day) 

Spinach and feta flammkuchen (flambé tart) 
Spinach and feta flammkuchen (flambé tart) 

Spinach and feta flammkuchen (flambé tart) 

Blood orange and elderflower biozisch
Ampelmann

Ampelmann was something unique in Berlin, as a symbol of East Germany. It was a pedestrian light signal used in the former East Germany. When the Berlin Wall fell, Ampelmann was suppose to disappear as well after the reunification of Germany. However, it was preserved and became the icon of East German culture and a global brand.

Pedestrian signal - Ampelmann
Pedestrian signals

Berlin was a city that was affected by war. There were many reminders of the history of Berlin as we walked around the city.

Berlin Cathedral with TV tower

Berlin Cathedral with TV tower

Berlin Cathedral
Marienkirche

Marienkirche

Neue Wasche

Neue Wasche

Neue Wache

Neue Wache was built as a "memorial to those who fell in the World War" in 1931 and unfortunately it was bombed during the World War II. It was restored to serve as a "memorial to the victims of facism and militarism" from 1960. And since 1993, it served as the central memorial of federal republic of Germany. Mother with her dead son stands in the center of the memorial.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Murdered Jews of Europe Museum
Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint
Original Part of Berlin Wall

Original Part of Berlin Wall

Where the Berlin Wall stood dividing Berlin in East and West

Where the Berlin Wall stood dividing Berlin in East and West

Pink pipes could be seen around the city of Berlin and I was curious what they were for.

Pink pipes of Berlin near Alexanderplatz

Berlin was surrounded by lakes and the foundation was marshy. From the Proto-slavic language, "Berl" meant swamp, thus Berlin was named as swamp-city.  In order to prevent flooding the city center during construction, water had to be pumped away and transported to canals. The company "Pollems" was responsible for the pipe system and had asked a psychologist which colours to paint the pipes, and it was suggested either pink or purple as it was preferred by children. The pipes had a lot of twists and turns in order to prevent the material from shrinking and breaking when temperatures fell below 15 degrees. It was a unique landmarks of Berlin to see!

Pink pipes of Berlin
Trabi

It was also a unique sight to see Trabi cars driving on the street of Berlin. It was a reminder of East Germany. At the DDR museum, you could try driving a Trabi car in the simulator. It was harder than it looked to drive one properly.

DDR Museum
Overlooking Museum Island

Overlooking Museum Island

Egyptian Museum of Berlin

Egyptian Museum of Berlin

Museum Island in Berlin was a unique experience and it was a nice visit to see the art and history of Berlin. Unfortunately, the Pergamon museum was under construction at the time we were visiting. Pergamon Altar was closed off and will be closed off until 2019. But the other halls of the musem was still breathtaking.

Market Gate of Miletus

Market Gate of Miletus

Pergamon Museum Hallway
Altes Museum

Altes Museum

Reichstag

Reichstag

For a beautiful view of Berlin, I would recommend visiting Reichstag, the parliament and mirror of German history. Unfortunately, the dome was closed for cleaning when we were visiting, but it was still a gorgeous view of Berlin on the rooftop. 

Reichstag Dome
Reichstag Dome
Skyline view of Berlin on top of Reichstag Building - Brandenburg Gate

A visit to Berlin could not be complete without seeing the East-side Gallery of the Berlin Wall. There were a lot of graffiti on the actual wall than I had anticipated. Two people were actually cleaning the graffiti off the wall, when we were there.


Overall, the food in Berlin was delicious and amazing. I cannot say the food was bad. It was all delicious and mouth-watering. Instead of mentioning all the places that we ate at, I figured I could highlight the most memorable and unique experiences.

Doner kebab

Doner kebab

Trying the Doner Kebab was a must in Berlin at the Pergamon Grill - Doner and Pizza. The rotating kebab was grilled and parts of it was shaved off. It was crispy and wafer thin. It was very good! It was also very messy and hard to eat. Getting it as a wrap would've made it easier to eat.

Jendermann's - Sausage and Potato Dumplings

Jendermann's - Sausage and Potato Dumplings

Jendermann's - Steak and Fries

Jendermann's - Steak and Fries

Berliner Kindle Weisse - Woodruff syrup

Berliner Kindle Weisse - Woodruff syrup

Nante Eck - 1/4 roasted duck with potato dumplings and red cabbage

Nante Eck - 1/4 roasted duck with potato dumplings and red cabbage

Bode Museum Cafe - Potato and Sausage

Bode Museum Cafe - Potato and Sausage

Bode Museum Cafe - Potato Soup

Bode Museum Cafe - Potato Soup

Gasthaus Julchen Hoppe - Marinated wild boar in red wine sauce served with brussel sprouts, carrots and potato croquettes

Gasthaus Julchen Hoppe - Marinated wild boar in red wine sauce served with brussel sprouts, carrots and potato croquettes

Near Museum Island, was a nice little restaurant and pub serving German food, Gasthaus Julchen Hoppe. Portions as expected were large and tasty. It was reasonably priced. We were seated next to a cute old couple who kept eyeing us as well. Jo decided to order the same beer choice as they did. As we left, the old couple wished us goodbye hoping that we'd enjoy the rest of our Berlin trip.

Gasthaus Julchen Hoppe - Homemade meatball with fried egg, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and brown butter with crispy fried potato

Gasthaus Julchen Hoppe - Homemade meatball with fried egg, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and brown butter with crispy fried potato

Cadadia - Thai Coconut Soup

Cadadia - Thai Coconut Soup

Cadadia - Pumpkin Soup

Cadadia - Pumpkin Soup

Cadadia was an amazing find and was close by our hotel as well. It was cold and I wanted something warm and hearty like soup. They had a variety of soups available, which could be served with a bowl of rice. It was crazy busy in the restaurant during lunch service. Menu was all in German, however, the cashier was nice enough to translate in English which soups they were serving that day. This was probably the best soup I had in Germany

Ristorante a Mano - Tuna carpaccio with olive oil and rose pepper

Ristorante a Mano - Tuna carpaccio with olive oil and rose pepper

For a change, we wanted to try something different in Berlin. Not that we were sick of German food, yet. We were craving pasta and tried an Italian restaurant, Ristorante a Mano. It was at full capacity, but the waiter was nice enough to ask if we wanted to wait for a table and we agreed. Looking back our trip, if the restaurant was at full capacity, the Germans would deny service. Restaurants in Germany appeared to cater to the entire service for seated guests and did not value quick turn-over of guests like in Toronto with a two hour dining limit for some. He poured us two glasses of wine while we waited inside. Food was impeccable and service was undeniably attentive. Atmosphere was very relaxed and romantic.

Ristorante a Mano - Spaghetti with scampi

Ristorante a Mano - Spaghetti with scampi

Ristorante a Mano - Tagliatelle with scampi

Ristorante a Mano - Tagliatelle with scampi

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

Pistachio parfait with raspberry compote

Pistachio parfait with raspberry compote

Berlin Skyline with cathedral (dom) in sight

Farewell Berlin, until next time.

Ritter Sport Bunte Schokowelt