Ticking another major European city off the list, on Saturday we did the tourist thing in Berlin. Kirsten and I had originally intended for her friend Moni to be our tour guide, but her dad proved a far more knowledgeable resource. He in turn was there for an Egyptian exhibition.
Lunch was atop an old TV tower that looks out across the sprawling city (a “proper” city in the old sense with none of those new fangled American grids). After the ludicrously expensive €8 elevator ride to the top, the food itself seemed remarkably cheap given the surroundings in a revolving restaurant. I had a great leg of rabbit with a proper Berlin beer.
Having disposed of our food we proceded to tour Berlin on foot, checking in at all the notable sites including the Humboldt University and, of course, its law faculty which is ironically located across the square in which the Nazis held their large ceremonial book-burning. An interesting memorial of empty white shelves lies below the plaza. We continued up the road to the Brandenburg Gate and through to the new Reichstag building (the old one having been consumed in an all-too-convenient fire as the historically minded will recall). Its glass domed roof is a major tourist attraction so be prepared for queues even late in the evening. Pressed for time, we gave it a miss.
Moni then contacted us so Kirsten and I slipped away for a quick cocktail or three while her Dad leisurely perused the Egyptian exhibition. Moni was, as Kirsten correctly described her, basically a German version of Charlotte. Her English was also far better than I had imagined, perhaps because she was emboldened by the alcohol and so more willing to give it a go than the others I have met. A full set of Berlin photos will be available but may not emerge until I return.
Sausagewatch: Currywurst [kuh-ree-vorst] is something from which my dad warned me away and Kirsten could not recommend highly enough. It is essentially a typical German Wurst coated liberally in curry powder and then doused in tomato ketchup. Its delicate flavours tantalise the palette with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. While it was perfectly edible, it was not the sort of experience that I envision myself craving unless perhaps I was drunk. And therein lies the perfect comparison — Currywurst is essentially the German answer to the kebab.