Currywurst and Checkpoint Charlie

Berlin Travel Blog

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The Jewish Holocaust Memorial
We got a late start in the morning...we got to bed at 3am, and Darja and Tobias only had a few hours of sleep, yet they still got up and set out a large breakfast spread: cold cuts, veggies, bread with flammekuche-flavored spread (yum!) and fried eggs, and then the 4 of us went out to sightsee. Gorgeously clear weather too - the only real blue skies we'd seen this whole trip.

They both have public transport cards which allows them to bring along one guest each on weekends, so we went everywhere on the U-bahn for free. (Yay! Free! We love free!) We started by the market just outside their flat, then went to the immense Holocaust Memorial (to the Murdered Jews of Europe)- a series of concrete blocks in neat rows, but in gradiated sizes, and the ground changes level in undulating waves, so that in the middle of the memorial, the blocks are quite tall.
Hi Angela Merkel!
Tobias says there's an underground museum in the middle, but that he only found it once, and was never able to find it again! We went by the new Sony Center - a huge complex of shops, offices, restaurants under a glass and steel canopy - a striking work of architecture.

We had heard from travel shows and city guides that we needed to try currywurst in Berlin. Darja and Tobias kept saying what we really needed to try was a kebab. which was originated by Turkish immigrants in Berlin. They said a lot of the currywurst in the city is crap - not very flavorful wurst and absolutely smothered in a curry ketchup. But we had to try one, so they took us to Curry 36 for currywurst, curry balls (don't remember the name) and fries with mayo and paprika.
Darja and I with our currywurst. She warned us that it wasn't all that and a side of fries (well, actually, the side of fries is accurate), and she insisted the kebabs were the thing to try
It was good (and probably great when you're drunk!), but I agreed it wasn't anything to write home about (although I'm blogging about it, so there ya go). There was a small line at Curry 36, but then we looked down the street and there was a kebab stand which was absolutely slammed with a huge line. Darja said it's called Mustapha and is reputed to be the best, but they had never been there because it always has a 30-45 minute wait. We resolved to get a kebab the next day.

We walked around the Parliament building and waved at Angela Merkel (we didn't see her, just waved in her general direction), then checked out the Brandenburg Gate, where there was a demonstration going on...they were imploring the U.S. to intervene militarily in Iran (haven't they been watching how our other 2 military campaigns have gone?) and Checkpoint Charlie (we didn't have time to see the museum.
Alexanderplatz
..we'll save it for another trip) and then the sun went down and it got cold, so we stopped for coffee and spicy hot chocolate with chili.

After dark, we walked around Alexanderplatz and took some pix of the huge TV tower, and got a jelly donut (the "Berliner" donut of the Pres. Kennedy mis-step "Ich bin ein Berliner") in the U-bahn station (apparently the best place to get them) - and it was really good.

We stopped off in a typical Berlin bar...the kind you see in movies, where it's all arty and funky and dark and smoky. We walked through the alley to the courtyard to get to it, and there was grafitti, posters and stickers everywhere, and then you come upon this huge metal sculpture of a monster, eerily lit. Every once in awhile it comes to life and moves around.
New church next to the famous bombed-out church ruins that Berlin left up as a paean to WW2. Unforunately, the old church was under scaffolding, so we couldn't see it.
The bar itself was so smoky that we reeked when we came out. We went through the huge new hauptbahnhof (main train station) and went to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church - a very modern, round concrete building with small blocks of stain glass comprising the entire top half. The modern church was built right next to the original church which was badly damaged in WW2. It was left up in its damaged state as a memorial, but it was under scaffolding so we didn't see it.

Morgan wanted traditional German food for dinner, and we wanted to take Darja and Tobias to dinner to thank them for letting us crash at their place, so Morgan found a charming place on TripAdvisor, and it turns out it was Bavarian food...stuff that Tobias' grandma used to make. The food was delicious - I had rabbit with a large dumpling and red cabbage. We had a lovely bottle of wine, and shared an appetizer (a smoked meat dish) and a dessert of tipsy prunes (I don't remember what liquor they were soaked in) with ice cream - delicious. Excellent end to the day.
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The Jewish Holocaust Memorial
The Jewish Holocaust Memorial
Hi Angela Merkel!
Hi Angela Merkel!
Darja and I with our currywurst.  …
Darja and I with our currywurst. …
Alexanderplatz
Alexanderplatz
New church next to the famous bomb…
New church next to the famous bom…
Church outside Darjas and Tobias…
Church outside Darja's and Tobias…
The new Sony Center
The new Sony Center
A preserved part of the historic h…
A preserved part of the historic …
Sony Center
Sony Center
Darja peeking out...you can get lo…
Darja peeking out...you can get l…
Jewish Holocaust Memorial
Jewish Holocaust Memorial
Darja, contemplating the state of …
Darja, contemplating the state of…
Self-portrait
Self-portrait
Tobias, Morgan and Darja
Tobias, Morgan and Darja
Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate
There was a little demonstration g…
There was a little demonstration …
Outside a toy store
Outside a toy store
Currywurst!
Currywurst!
Curry 36 - packed at mid-day, but …
Curry 36 - packed at mid-day, but…
Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie
Trying an obligatory Berliner (jel…
Trying an obligatory Berliner (je…
The funky (and a bit creepy) bar t…
The funky (and a bit creepy) bar …
Bathroom of the funky bar.  Looked…
Bathroom of the funky bar. Looke…
Menu item at the Bavarian restaura…
Menu item at the Bavarian restaur…
Smoked meat appetizer
Smoked meat appetizer
Prunes stewed in kirsch, with a cr…
Prunes stewed in kirsch, with a c…
Berlin
photo by: CFD