Early on a Thursday morning, still recovering from the aftershocks of the Wednesday night’s symphony concert, I made my way to the Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof (main trainstation) to board an incredibly early train to Berlin. My trip north had been planned since the beginning of the year. The occasion: meeting up with my Highschool horn teacher/mentor and his lovely wife.
The week prior, I had almost cancelled the upcoming getaway, as I had been asked to play a few concerts over the weekend that was meant to be my Berlin trip. However, I convinced myself that going for even a day would be well worth it. And it was.
I arrived approximately 6 hours later (my train was delayed for an hour) and made my way to Charlottenburg so that I could leave my things at a friend’s place and get to the Deutsche Opera for my daily practice session.
I met up with the Duhigs at their hip airbnb flat in Mitte (central Berlin). It was so surreal to see them here in Germany! We decided on the vegetarian restaurant, Seerose, for dinner and invited along a German friend of theirs and my good friend Rosie. The food was spectacular and they had some fantastic vegan options for Rosie and I! After a few hours of catch up, cheese-rolling videos and attempted group selfies, we went our separate ways, with Rosie and I continuing our night by heading into Kreuzberg to check out some Berlin Kneipen (bars).
The first on our list was Madame Claude’s, which is a brothel-turned-bar and known for the furniture hanging from the roof. After a lap around and checking out the nooks and basement, we decided it wasn’t our thing (smoking inside determined that rather quickly) and we moved on. The next place, Hopfenreich, had been a star on my google maps for well over a year and I was so excited that I could finally check it out! It was exactly what I like. Craft beer, good service, nice atmosphere, not too loud and non-smoking! After our drink, we considered heading to a karaoke party, but realized the time and how long it would take for us to return home, so we decided to call it a night!
I woke up Friday morning and made my way back over to meet up with the Duhigs so we could commmence our jam-packed day of checking out some of my favourite sites and eateries. We started off by heading towards the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral), walking past the architecturally stunning Neue Synagoge on the way. After frolicking in the Lustgarten, nature called and we decided to sneak into a hotel to make use of their lavatories. Bladders now emptied, we walked over to the Rotes Rathaus (Red City Hall) and Nikolaikirche (St Nikolai Church) before heading off to see how the new Staatsoper was coming along (it’s going to be pretty damn amazing when finished!), and peeked into the Book Burning memorial before walking to Gendarmenmarkt to lay eyes on the stunning Berlin Konzerthaus.
Our bellies rumbling, we decided that it was lunch time and caught the U-Bahn to Friedrichshain for lunch at Goodies. I had a really tasty lunch-bowl, Theresa the baked sweet potato and Paul the California wrap! We were considering the dessert there but decided to hold off for doughnuts later on!
Next was the 1.3km stretch of the Berlin Wall, which is magnificently covered in art (and graffiti). This is always my favourite part of tourist Berlin. We then braced ourselves for the 30 min walk to the doughnut cafe Bammibal’s Donuts. Halfway there, I was really unsure if the doughnuts were worth the pain in my feet, but my gosh, they definitely were.
Brammibal’s had come highly recommended by a few friends, as they are vegan and make absolutely fantastic doughnuts alongside pastries and some other baked goods. I’m glad we got to try it out and the 3 of us devoured the small selection of doughnuts that we ordered!
With our hands full with one-for-the-road, we made our way back to the closest U-Bahn station, so I could get back in time to collect my horn and suitcase before my scheduled train to Lünen.
I was absolutely shattered after my short time in Berlin and from the moment I was on the train, slept a solid hour. Berlin, it was short, but I still loved every moment. Until next time.