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