Sunday, July 31, 2011

the berlin to-do-list

Before we left I had a written as well as mental list of things to do in Berlin (ah, the list-bliss!).


:: Climb Siegessäulecheck. 
Anyone who’ve seen “Der Himmel über Berlin” (one of my favourite movies) know this monument, the place where angels congregate. I’ve been fascinated by it ever since. It has been a little dream of mine to see it up close (even with my thing about statues). Now that dream is fulfilled. We climbed the 277+ spiral stairs up and down, 50 metres up in the air on a small, very windy, trellis balcony I could stare up the golden angel’s dress. It was pretty awesome. Perhaps a small step for mankind, a big step for me. More of this later in a post of its own (it takes ages to select photos to upload...). This is the Shoe Per Diem-post about the golden moment.

:: Go up the TV-tower check. 
One of those Berlin-things-to-do. You can see for miles and miles, which I suppose might be interesting, more for some than others.

Bonus-info: I also had an aha-moment standing in the queue for the two elevators "I wonder if they have one lift that only goes up and the other only down?" M stared at me dumstruck, but really only the most brilliant of minds can understand such mind-boggling reasoning, right? Right.


Overall, what I found most interesting up in the crowded tower was that I could spot the tiny specialized El Naturalista-shop very quickly from up there (only been there once, yes such is the spell of El Naturalista...). I hadn’t planned to visit it, since the range they carry is pitifully small. But I did. And I’m very pleased I did since I found one pair of shoes I missed out on earlier this year. Which of course brings me to:

:: Roam the shoe sales (naturally El Naturalistas only) – check. 
As one can never have too many comfortable, pretty, colourful, quirky shoes. It is kind of a deranged clever sport to find what you're looking for when it comes to El Naturalistas, you never know which colours and models the limited shoe-shops have to offer. Last year it was no problem to get size 41, this year that was sadly a trickier thing, but many 39, 40, 42 as well as smaller left. A pair of oxfords for autumn would have been lovely, but nope, not to be found. My general impression was that the sales weren't as overall fabulastic as last year, but on the other hand I am pretty specific on models and colours I'm my feet are looking for. Granted, they did well after all.


I am however feeling a tad bit silly about two pairs I got in the same fantastic denimblue shade turned out to be nearly twins at first glance (not bought in the same shop or on the same day), but really, looky, looky, the stitches and heels are quite different. Really. Suitable for different occasion.

:: See more castles - alas, only one, in Lutherstadt Wittenberg and that was not even a decent and proper castle in my-book-of-castles.


:: Visit Beelitz- Heilstätten - check. 
Some 60 abandoned old hospital buildings some miles south of Berlin. Goodness. Me. The eeriness, the beauty, the sadness, the decay. I'm so not a really daring urban explorer, but wow, I'd love to go return and explore some more... Soon-ish in a post of its own. For now Shoe Per Diem moment here.

:: Revisit KaDeWe - check. 
Had a lovely bobbaloo lunch in the Wintergarten top floor restaurant and did some food shopping. So. Much. Loveliness.


:: Get a vegan bag, preferably by recycled materials - check. 
Found a sporty red/white thing at BagAge at a very appealing price.

:: Get a pair of open-toes Birkenstock slippers - check. Obviously.

:: Buy a box or two of Nestlé white chocolate curly wafers - a guilty pleasure. They are lovely to feast on every five years or so. Didn't find.


:: Go to Berlin city beach - check. 
One of the best moments in Berlin where had at Strandgut. De-loveliness galore.

:: Visit the sand castle exhibition - no check.

:: Visit markets – flee markets - see above.

:: Enjoy meals at at least one new vegetarian or vegan restaurant - check. 
Only visited one new, but since I had one of the best meals in my life at that top notch vegan restaurant that counts for a lot. As it will get a post of its glorious own I will not spoil the *surprise* by mention its name just yet...


:: Eat at Yellow Sunshine vegetarian fast foodish diner again - check. 
Yum. But for the generous sprinkle of German sprouts on top of that salad... Seriously.
Edit: Oh I usually love sprouts, but there have been severe EHEC-cases reported from Germany, which apparently came from sprouts (that hadn't been handled correctly), these past few months. At least 20 dead only in Germany. So, until all clear-to-eat, no German sprouts for me...

:: Visit my friend and her family - sadly not, they were away on holidays of their own.

:: Eat several breakfasts at Café im Literaturhaus - check. Forever heart that place. One of my favourite places on earth in fact. The ambiance, the food...


:: Have a Berliner Weisse per day - oh noes, only had two. Both at Strandgut. But we did took some bottles with us home. So one can still enjoy Berlin in a bottle now and then.


:: Have cakes at Tillmann bakery - check. We saved them for the boat-trip back to Sweden. 66% of them were enjoyed by us both, 33% admittedly went into cake-heaven (not the tummy).

:: Take photos of this and that things I missed last yearsemi-check.

:: Buy ice tea at Tee Geschwender semi-check. Bought two. Would buy more to take home. Saved that or the last day, then oh vey, the shop was closed due to cash-desk issues. Sad face.

:: Buy something small at Berliner Zinnfiguren - check. A wise owl. Will get a post of its wise own.

:: Ride the tram - no check.

:: Practise mindfulness, be in the here and now, relax and don’t worry – semi-check. Some days were easier than others. It doesn't help when you get a rather upsetting work-mail on holiday *which you can't help but open*.

:: Have a walk in Tiergarten park - no check.


:: Visit old airport Tempelhof - check. Fascinating. Eerie.

:: Take a picture of the bobbaloos at Brandenburger Tor - for some reason, no check. We only passed in the car. And somehow old Tor photos just aren't the same without them bobs... So, well, if one lacked reasons to return to Berlin...


Fuzzy Tales said...

Oh, I'm so envious. It seems like it was a fabulous holiday, with *most* items on your to-do list checked off.

BTW, I like sprouts -- that salad looked yummy to me. :-)

My dad is returning to Bergamo, Italy, in the fall, to visit his brother who now lives there, but both are from Germany and will make a second trip (not sure where yet, what areas) together. Two old geezers, carrying on like kids -- they'll have fun! They hadn't been back to Germany together since they left after WWII, until April 2010 when Dad went to Italy for a month. I saw all his wonderful pics of the areas around Germany they visited (and Italy of course). Wonderful. ::Sigh::

John Teal said...

That's a clever idea, have a check list ! So often we come home and think "we didn't see....."

RJR Daydreamer

Elephant's Child said...

Looks like a wonderful break, with enough things left undone to demand a return visit. Very clever move.

DahnStarr said...

I love the hospital building! So creepy and stunning all at the same time. Would have been great to see it in its prime. Very impressed that you were able to go up to the top of the TV-tower. From the photo of the city it looks as if you were in a plane.

P.K said...

I enjoyed your Berlin post. It looks like you had a great visit. One can find many reasons to return to Berlin.

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