Berlin this time was just about food and family. Mum and Dad found themselves at Berlin airport at the end of a Johann Sebastian Bach tour (I know, I know, who does these tours? My parents.) and had a few days in Berlin before flying out to London. We took on the onerous task of driving across to the Hauptstadt and spending some quality time with them, eating and drinking and, when we thought all scientific evidence pointed to it being a physical impossibility, eating some more. We were so busy eating, I didn’t get any pictures of food, including the cheese plate at Galeries Lafayette, which was a thing of extraordinary beauty. Like Gendarmenmarkt.
And florist shops that spill out onto the street.
And balconies on old buildings.
Berlin this time was sun and art markets by the Spree. It was shaggy-haired buskers in front of the Dom, pizza for lunch as the rain set in, and pistachio ice cream.
A traditional Austrian dinner facing Gendarmenmarkt, complete with hot apple strudel. An hour in The English Book Shop, and a pile of new books, including classics for die Lüdde like Where the Wild Things Are and The Tale of Peter Rabbit. And seeing this book on the shelves.
Emerging from a book fervour to find it pissing down. Buying little umbrellas in Rossman, and breaking one five minutes later. An Indian feast, die Lüdde learning how to use a straw just in time to finish a third of my mango lassi off. A wet walk past the Tor, through the oh so green Tiergarten, and finding Schloss Bellvue.
An ‘I don’t really need dinner’ dinner at the Bavarian place under the hotel. Loads of Obazda cheese and thick farmer’s bread. A cheese – for a change – plate with a glass of white wine at Galerie Lafayette on Bastille Day. Take away Thai, Einstein Kaffee every morning because it’s Dad’s favourite, endless rain. A drive out of the tourist-infested Mitte into Charlottenburg, the rain drum-like, the sky leaden. Wondering if the rain is ever going to end. (It did.)
Greek, with die Lüdde reconfirming her love of tzatziki, more rain. Coffee and a stroll through the Charlottenburg streets. A wander through the Schlossgarten. An excellent Thai curry for lunch – God bless the German Mittagstisch menu. Downtime with new books in the hotel room, the baby too. She may be The Gruffalo’s most fervant 11 month old fan.
Vietnamese for dinner with friends and their beautiful baby. Their beautiful baby finding die Lüdde’s raspberry blowing completely sensational, and joining in with gusto. The diners next to us turning around with repulsion etched into their very faces.
Milky coffee from the cutest little coffee shop for breakfast and a dirty, hot U and S-bahn ride into the Mitte. So much beauty in Berlin, so much of the opposite. From the sublime to the gore blimey, it’s all here. A wander around Oranienburgerstraße and the surrounding area. Coffee at ‘Berlin’s best’, The Barn, and a burger for SG at a super weird, kitsch 60’s American diner. The coffee was fine (superlative? I don’t think so.) and the American diner was super weird. Meeting lovely friends and their wonderful dog for another delicious Mittagstisch (so many deserved adjectives in one sentence. But really, so lovely, so wonderful, so delicious.). A baby that thinks napping in Berlin is a waste of time. Many would agree with her. Except her parents.
Hitting the road early the next morning, car packed, coffees full, baby unable to fight the lull of the car seat. Arriving home to a flooded kitchen, and cupboards and drawers full of dreckig water. And the realisation that holidays stopped being holidays the moment we became parents.
But that’s fine, because what a wonderful week.