Berlin is a city I’ve visited twice now. Once on a school A-level trip back in 1992 and once just last month as we watched the Berlin Marathon. It was on day 1 of our sightseeing that we introduced ourselves to the city with a 35 minutes walk from the Brandenburg Gate down to “Checkpoint Charlie” but I really wanted to see more of the infamous Berlin wall.
Berlin Wall – East Side Gallery
Stumbling across many billboards dotted across the city describing ‘Der Berliner Mauer’ made we want to see an original stretch of it even more, and where better to see it than the ‘East Side Gallery’, SE of the city centre on Mühlenstraße in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg (Google link here). It’s the longest art gallery in the world with a length of 1,316 meters.
There are many other isolated pockets of the wall with the ‘Berlin Wall Memorial‘ on Bernauer Str and the Topography of Terror on Niederkirchnerstraße 8 being two great locations. However on this occasion the 4 of us wanted to visit this graffitted section with its famous artworks of Honecker, a Trabi car and various other thought-provoking pieces of artwork. Continue reading
Of course I’m not advocating rushing around a city in 35 minutes and certainly not somewhere as deep and meaningful as Berlin. However while plotting a route on our 2nd full day in Berlin this blue-spotted route appeared in front of us on Google Maps, one which you could easily turn into a full half day with various add-ons.
So what is this 35 minute walk? Well simply put it goes from The Reichstag > Brandenburg Gate > Hotel Aldlon > The Jewish Memorial > Potsdamer Platz > Checkpoint Charlie.
We were in Berlin for the marathon the next day on the Sunday so we wanted to see some sights but without having to walk too far. We had the day after the marathon on the Monday for that. So my little route encompasses 2 historical structures, a “comedy” moment spot, a newer memorial installation for some contemplation, a famous square and finally a fairly ordinary location which suddenly became suddenly became infamous in 1961. Continue reading
I always found Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte to be a little bit “full on” as a child and can’t actually remember the last time I had one, until a few weekends ago that is when we made a 50km detour while driving around Germany’s Black Forest to reach Café Schäfer in the small town of Triberg.
What it’s all about. The original recipe Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte
And why has we driven to to Café Schäfer in southern Germany? Well because confectioner Claus Schäfer uses the original 1915 recipe for his Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest gateaux). A recipe that layers chocolate cake infused with cherry brandy, whipped cream and sour cherries, which is then wrapped up in more cream and shaved chocolate. Mmmm! And this is our group expectently about to tuck in to it! Continue reading