Friday, March 24, 2017

Best of Berlin

Hi all,

While I havent spent an especially signifigant amount of time in Berlin, I have been three times and feel I have experienced a fair enough sampling to offer up a report on some sweet spots.  I love the energy of Berlin.  There is an undercurrent and electric buzz that runs throughout this edgy city.  Berlin is artsy and hip.  Its the punk rock, grunge, too cool sister to a city like Frankfurt.


Berlin offers it all on a silver platter.  Grungy back alleyways for wandering.  Romantic cobbled streets.  Monsterous buildings done up in ornate, stunning architecture.  A trendy food and cafe scene.  Speaking of cafes, the offerings are endless in Berlin.  One can find any possible type of atmosphere for coffee and tea that one is able to dream up.

There are warm, cozy alcoves.  Bright, organic and simple spots.  Dark, romantic cafes.  Hipster vibing eateries.  The list goes on.  There are countless streets chock full of cafes, their perimeters lined near to bursting with a variety of charming, intriguing offerings.




And though my experience with this part of Berlin is very limited, the nightlife is said to be unparalleled.  To read more about the insanity of Berlin night life (think sex parties), here is an article from the New Yorker which describes the Scene in arresting detail.  Sounds pretty nuts. 

Berlin offers endless interest to both inhabitants and visitors alike.  Food, nightlife, eyecatching architecture and way cool graffiti, history, awesome atmosphere, it would be impossible to feel bored here.

Some of my own personal favorites in the city:

East Side Gallery aka the Berlin Wall.  Obviously.




RoamersGet ready for your brunching life to be altered forever.  This place is the spot of which brunch fantasies are made.






For more photos and a full review of this fabulous brunching locale, check out my article here.  Major food porn abound.


Fat Bike Tours in Berlin.

If you only have a couple of days in Berlin, this is without a doubt the easiest way to see a vast amount of the city in a short time.  Think of it as offering a sampler platter of Berlin sights.  I highly recommend the daytime tour.  For just 30 euro, you cycle to all the signifigant historical spots around Berlin meanwhile, making a pitstop in a beer garden for snacks and drinks.  Great fun.  Worth every penny!




Nikiovartel, a charming, beautiful nook of Berlin.  These cobbled streets and pastel shaded buildings are tucked into their own little corner of the city.  Romantic, whimsical, making for peaceful and dreamy wanderings.








A shop that offers all manner of tiny cupcakes, cake pops and other fun palm sized sweet treats.  The cupcakes arent just sweet and charming in size.  They are moist and delicious as well.  Cupcakes seem to be a relatively new idea catching on in Europe.  America almost always does them better, at least in my taste testing experience.  However these are among the top of which Ive sampled.

For more details, here is their website.








St. Marienkirche is lovely.  The exact date of building is unknown but its said to date back to the 13th century making it an oldie but a goodie.  In fact, its one of the oldest churches in Berlin.  The square its housed in it happening and bustling with loads of people watching potential and fun activity.



The Tiergarden.  Having read several books from the WW2 period, the tiergarden holds special interest for me.  All manner of dark happenings have occured in this wide expanse of forested park/garden.  Nazi dealings, murders, affairs, escapes and hidings, as well as of course the mundane and everyday (strolls, children playing and picnics).  The tiergarden holds a lot of history and intrigue.  Its also just a peaceful and pretty place to walk, picnic, cycle or hang out. 





 

Museum Allee and the Berlin cathedral church.  First off, this church is awe inspiring, massive and just such fun to gaze up upon.  It requires major craning of the neck.  Looming, gigantic, awesome.  The area surrounding is a plethora of intruiging musems worth checking out.




An einem Sonntag im August.  This cafe with its SoCo, trendy atmosphere is a memorable one to be sure, based on the seating alone.  One can choose from either sitting outside on a swing seat while dining, or sitting indoors on the tetris block like seats piled high against the wall.  This makes for a way cool and memorable eating experience.




For loads more photos, recommendations and top spots in Berlin, check out this photo laden entry, as well as this one.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Happening Heidelberg

Hi all,

This past Saturday was a fabulous day trip adventure spent in Heidelberg with Erika, my great friend and colleague.  (Lisa, we missed you). 

The entire day was a blast.  Though slightly overcast and gray, we walked from the train station across Heidelberg to the old town, roughly a 45 minute walk.  We chatted the entire time about a variety of topics.  Work, guys, our families, food, things we love, dream jobs.  We giggled and laughed.  We told each other stories. 

A lunch of burgers was devoured, then we ascended the hill towards the castle.  The quintessential Heidelberg activity.  Next time I am there, I intend to climb the hill on the other side of the river though.  So that my view of Heidelberg has the castle in it ;-)

We had a ball wandering the castle grounds and taking photos, talking all the while.  The late afternoon was spent wandering the famous shopping street of Heidelberg.  Leaps and bounds more beautiful than the main shopping drag in Frankfurt, the "Zeil" which is downright ugly.  The famous shopping street in Heidelberg is a mass of colorful, ornate architecture and beautiful design.  Eye-catching, charming, lovely.

We popped in and out of various shops, grabbed teas to go and then come 5pm, headed back towards the train station to catch our Flixbus to Frankfurt.  Twelve euro total for the round trip.  A steal of a deal when compared to a train ticket which costs 40 euro round trip.  I cannot believe I just discovered Flixbus!! 

The day was a stellar one.  I was shocked to find we talked easily throughout the entire day.  Erika offered the wonderful compliment of "you are great to talk to/tell things to.  You should be a counselor, Brooke," she told me.  "Just...the way that you respond is different from other people."  Wow.  That filled my heart.

I too loved her company.  Erika is easy to talk to, funny, warm hearted, interested in others, thoughtful, intelligent/insightful and great fun to be with.  I always have an great time with her.

Eight hours was spent together and it flew by.  Marvelous day, for sure.  Next adventure, here we come!!!

For more photos of previous trips to Heidelberg, as well as food photos and recommendations, check out this link, as well as this link.


Our view during lunch <3




My personal favorite square in Heidelberg.