Berlin – Part 7 – Checkpoint Charlie , KaDeWe and Potato Soup

The next day was our fifth and last full day in Berlin. We had to take a flight back to Paris the following day and then onto our return flight to Canada on Thursday. So we left it up to Kerstin and Janine to decide what they most wanted to show us that we hadn’t seen yet. After another amazing breakfast by Janine – I’ll talk more about those spectacular breakfasts in the next blog – we drove into Berlin and wandered around some sites we hadn’t visited before.

Our first stop was Checkpoint Charlie which, along with Glienicker Brücke in Potsdam,  was the best known border-crossing in the days of the Cold War. Until the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, it signified the border between West and East. Since then, Checkpoint Charlie has become a popular tourist attraction.

After taking a few pictures and reading the nearby information plaques detailing the history of this area, we made our way to the Breitscheidplatz area (taking pictures of some interesting architecture along the way). We passed the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which was built in the 1890s. The church was badly damaged in a bombing raid in 1943, but part of the spire and much of the entrance hall survived. We were glad to learn that this beautiful church was being restored.

Just past the church, we stopped at a food truck for a Berlin “delicacy” that Janine raved about…”Currywurst“…I have to admit it didn’t appeal to me at first. But when I saw the platters being served to other customers (this particular food truck was very popular) my mouth started to water. Janine was right, it was worth raving about. Something I would never have thought could go together – ketchup and curry powder poured over bratwurst sausage that was cut into bite-size pieces and served with fries – did go together surprisingly well, and tasted so good, my mouth is watering for more as I write this.

After our feast of Currywurst, we continued down the shop-lined boulevard to the KaDeWe at the corner of the Wittenbergplatz square and Tauentzienstraße (a major shopping street). KaDeWe (pronouned Ka-da-V and short for Kaufhaus des Westens) is Berlin’s shopping paradise. With over 60,000 sqm of selling space – the equivalent of nine football fields – spread out over 8 floors, and attracting 40,000-50,000 visitors a day, this is “the legendary, largest department store on the continent.” (see also here).

Janine had worked at this KaDeWe while in university, so gave us a wonderful tour of the store. My regular readers won’t be surprised to hear that our favourite part of the tour was the gourmet Food Hall on the 6th floor. It is impossible to describe…as far as the eye could see in every direction…everything from every kind of cheese imaginable, fresh-baked pastries, fresh produce (some of which I’d never see before), meats from all over the world, huge displays of teas from all over the world, elaborately decorated cakes of every colour and size, wines, chocolates (some hand-made on the spot), seafood…and so many other food items that I can’t list them here. According to Wikipedia, the store has “two football fields of food” and on the 6th floor alone, there are “110 cooks and 40 bakers and confectioners supplying more than 30 gourmet counters.”

It’s no exaggeration when I say as far as the eye could see!

It was even more fun when some of Janine’s former co-workers provided samples for us to enjoy so we didn’t drool all over the floor.

Full of treats and wine, we eventually found our way to the U-Bahn station and back to our car, then home to Paulinenaue where Kerstin made her grandmother’s recipe for home-made Potato Soup. Filled with fresh vegetables and made with love, it was by far our favourite meal of the week. We enjoyed an evening at home, relaxing, laughing and enjoying pictures from Cuba.

So here are the pictures from the day. I didn’t take any inside the KaDeWe…it didn’t seem appropriate. But here is a glimpse into the rest of our last day in Berlin.

IMG_3374

The U-Bahn stop for Checkpoint Charlie

IMG_3376

Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin

IMG_3378

Tourists lined up to have pictures taken with American soldiers at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin

IMG_3382

Two iconic symbols of freedom and capitalism…at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin

IMG_3385

Info plaque at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin

IMG_3386

Warning signs still remain at Checkpoint Charlie

IMG_3387

A sign of freedom for the lucky ones who were able to leave East Berlin through Checkpoint Charlie.

IMG_3389

A glimpse of what Checkpoint Charlie looked like during the cold war…Checkpoint Charlie is in the upper right of this photo.

Neat manhole covers in Berlin

Neat manhole covers in Berlin

IMG_3392

I had to take a picture of this orange building (orange is my favourite colour) in Berlin

IMG_3396

Another picture of this orange building in Berlin

IMG_3394

Interesting sights and architecture along the way in Berlin

IMG_3399

More interesting architecture along the way in Berlin

IMG_3400

I really liked this building. In Berlin

IMG_3402

And this one too. In Berlin

IMG_3403

This was a very upscale shoe store in Berlin…very narrow, barely room to move, and yet enough room for that gorgeous chandelier!

IMG_3406

I never did understand the name of this hotel, only that those rooms at the very top cost about $10,000 a night! I think I heard that right. In Berlin.

IMG_3408

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin

IMG_3412

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Berlin

IMG_3415

Currywurst! Ketchup and curry poured over Bratwurst! It works!

IMG_3416

Waiting for our Currywurst in Berlin

IMG_3418

This is what Currywurst looks like, though it didn’t take long for half of it to disappear! (It tastes better than it looks)

Currywurst with mayo on the fries

Currywurst with mayo on the fries

IMG_3420

André, Janine and Kerstin eating Currywurst in Berlin

IMG_3421

A sculpture in the park along the way

IMG_3422

This window display was so cool, the manequins turned as the lights changed colours – purple, pink, yellow, blue, green and orange.

IMG_3423

Not sure what building this is, but it was eye-catching.

IMG_3429

The KaDeWe, Berlin’s 8 enormous floors of shopping paradise

IMG_3433

The other side of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin

IMG_3434

Last glimpse of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin

IMG_3432

An innovative busker!

IMG_3435

Any guesses as to what this is?

IMG_3430

Back to the car via U-Bahn

IMG_3437

A special picture for my girlfriends – there be cabana boys in the U-Bahn in Berlin!

IMG_3440

André fell asleep the moment we got home.

IMG_3442

Kerstin making Potato Soup

IMG_3443

Kerstin cooking up a storm! er, Potato Soup.

IMG_3445

Kerstin’s Potato Soup was a party in our mouths! Delicious. I want more!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Copyright © Sharon C. Matthies, Meanderings (blog), 2014. All rights reserved.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Advertisements

About Sharon

I love to write. I love to write myself into being right here right now. Writing releases something in me that needs wings, writing opens doors and windows that I often don't even realize are possible, writing helps me breathe out the dusty old, and to breathe in the new and possible. My hope is that maybe writing here in this blog will bring new light into these dusty old hallways and help me to clear out the thinking processes and mindsets that just don't work for me anymore. I seek to breathe new light and life into the nooks and crannies of a soul that has been feeling somewhat lost and frayed because of the last few patches of road I've had to travel.
This entry was posted in Berlin, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Berlin – Part 7 – Checkpoint Charlie , KaDeWe and Potato Soup

  1. I love that you threw in the cabana boy! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha.. Now if that Cabana boy would just step out of the poster. Wonderful shots… great clarity. I’ve been to Berlin many times. It was interesting to see it again through your eyes. That’s a lot of city walking. I think that is a hundred more times more strenuous than walking through the country side. I can sooo understand conking out afterwards.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sharon says:

      Yeah, he was a handsome find there in the tunnels of the U-Bahn! The moment I saw him, I thought “cabana boy” and snapped a picture. LOL.

      Berlin was so much more exciting and interesting that I had anticipated. I honestly didn’t expect Berlin to outshine Paris as much as it did. And yes, we did a lot of walking, but also took a lot of U-Bahn trains, which we all enjoyed too. Andre and I really enjoy walking through the cities we visit, that’s how we always find those little gems that can be so easily missed. I especially enjoy meandering through smaller villages.

      It doesn’t take much to put Andre to sleep, LOL. He can fall asleep just about anywhere anytime.

      Like

  3. Sharon says:

    LOL, hubby hasn’t done that yet, fallen asleep while standing, at least that I know of. But I can tell when he needs to find a place to sit or lie down now…though when we’re travelling, he surprises me with how long he CAN go without a nap. Won’t it be fun if we come to visit…we’ll just leave them napping in their chairs and go walking and chatting without having to worry about them.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s