Summer of 2022.
Part 6: Return to Berlin.

July 18, 2022. Arnex-Sur-Orb, Switzerland, to Berlin, Germany. 

On the move again, this time back to Berlin by train. 

On the train, from Yverdon-les-Bains to Olten, there was a woman with a dreadful cough. We just hoped that it wasn’t Covid.

This train wasn’t very crowded, which meant we could keep our distance from the coughing woman.

However the train from Olten to Berlin was full and we had to wear a mask – yuk. 

It was a fast train and at some points we were travelling at 250kph but it didn’t seem like it. 

No sooner had we arrived in the capital, we were greeted by the welcoming call of the emergency sirens. 

The sirens are a very distinctive sound in Berlin, so much so that young Brianna can imitate them.

Dinner was at Lemke, a Berlin brewery very near our hotel. 

We had been there before. It’s a beer hall with good food and a variety of beers on tap. 

My favourite beer was a Hopfên Weisse, a Weizenbock IPA. At 7% it was a meal in itself. 

July 19, 2022. Berlin, Germany. 

H, A and B were back in Berlin from Rome and they are now starting to make plans to move to Granada, Spain, later in the year. 

To keep out of their way we are staying in the H4 hotel. It’s in a good location, midway between Hayden and Andrea’s place and the commercial area of Alexanderplatz. 

It’s also not far for us to walk to our favourite eating area near H and A. 

After checking into the hotel the previous night, our first task of the morning was battling the hotel internet.

We needed to get this sorted, as I had work to do and we also wanted to start planning the next stage of our journey.

In the afternoon we were out with Brianna for an ice cream and then some park time. This is always special and there is a range of playgrounds, nearby, that she enjoys.

Having visited Berlin many times since H and A moved there in 2015, we have noticed just how well this part of the city is set up for family apartment living.

Playgrounds and parks are everywhere and some apartment blocks, like H and A’s even have their own ‘child friendly’ space within the complex.

Plus, there seems to be acres of space for bikes – well, we are in Berlin and everyone rides one.

That night we had a family dinner at Metzer Eck, our favourite German restaurant, that’s not far from their apartment.

This is one of the oldest, family run restaurants in Prenzlauer Berg, dating back to 1913.

This was before the two World Wars and the division of Berlin, into East and West, after the second.

It has a very cozy interior, where you are surrounded by antiques and family heirlooms.

The food is traditional German cuisine, served with friendliness and warmth.

Surprisingly, given my dislike for potatoes, Bratkartoffelen is one of my favourite dishes.

This is simply roasted potatoes with fried Spec or pork pieces and roaster onion.

There is an abundance of very good Asian restaurants in the area as well, but we much prefer the beer halls and simple, homely, restaurants like Metzer Eck.

We can eat Asian food at home whenever we feel like it.


The Red Rathaus at dusk

July 20, 2022. Berlin, Germany. 

It’s a scorcher today, with the temperature getting up to 38ºC. However in other parts of Europe it’s in the 40s.

Even Switzerland.

As I have previously mentioned countries like Germany, the United Kingdom and Switzerland are not built for these kind of temperatures. For one, no one has air conditioning, only heating.

Even the asphalt melts on the roads, as it’s not designed for the heat.

The cities are also much more crowded, with high density housing and narrow streets, that have little tree cover. 

Sadly Brau Factum, the craft beer hall, is in decline.

It was so close to our hotel, that I was looking forward to a pint of their excellent beer before dinner. 

Just like we did in 2019.

However now their hours are limited and the offering isn’t as extensive. 

Another victim of Covid19 I’m afraid. 

Dinner was at the iconic Hofbräu House, which is almost next door to our hotel, then a short walk down to the Spree River. 

It was still around 33°C, so no exertion was needed. 

July 21, 2022. Berlin, Germany. 

Thea needed to visit the doctor for more tests, to see if she was on the mend.

After her appointment in the morning, we had a walk through the Tiergarten to the Brandenburg Gate, while we waited for the outcome of the tests.

Late in the day we returned to get the results – great news, she was on the improve.

After that we had a celebratory drink at Kaschk, a coffee and craft beer bar serving Brlo. It also has good wine. 

And the wine was cold, unlike the offering from the Hofbrau House the previous night. 

It was then to Khushu, an Indian restaurant, for dinner. We had been here in 2019 and it was great. 

History repeated itself. 

July 22, 2022. Berlin, Germany. 

Now Thea had the all clear from the doctor, it was time to plan the next stage of our adventure. 

As we can only spend 90 days in Europe, we will now head to the United Kingdom. 

That night dinner was with H, A and B, this time at one of our favourite Thai restaurants, Anjoy. 

We do occasionally go to one of the numerous Asian restaurants in Berlin.

July 23, 2022. Berlin, Germany. 

It was a Saturday and H and A weren’t working, so after coffee at The Barn, our go to spot in Berlin, then the market and two playgrounds, we had lunch at H&A’s.

Then in the afternoon another coffee and two more playgrounds. 

Brianna loves her playgrounds.

The evening concluded with a light dinner at Schankhalle in Pfefferberg. 

We discovered this restaurant, bar and brew pub, that’s very close to Hayden and Andrea’s apartment, in 2019 – it was good then and still is. 


A constant reminder of Russia’s ‘Special military operation’ in Ukraine

July 24, 2022. Berlin, Germany. 

Avocado on Toast at Kaffee Käthe for brunch.

We have been here many times before, as their take on this Aussie favourite is worth returning for.

Their coffee isn’t that bad either.

Then later in the afternoon, it was an Ice cream for Thea and a coffee for me. Then a slow walk down to the Spree and Museum Island.

There were still Ukrainian flags flying on many of the buildings, a constant reminder of Putin’s ‘Special Military Operation.’

It’s summer in Berlin and nothing seems to be open, especially the Craft Beer bars. 

So many of these places are privately owned and those owners go on holidays during, what they see as, the quiet period.

Pity about the poor tourists visiting Berlin.

That night we went to Tsomi, a Georgian restaurant, for dinner. We had passed this place a number of times and really wanted to try it.

Especially after visiting Georgia in 2014.

July 25, 2022. Berlin, Germany. 

Another warm day, this one in the mid thirties.

We spent most of it getting ready to move on Wednesday. 

There was clothes washing at the H and A Laundromat, followed by a playground visit with Brianna.

Late in the afternoon there were thunderstorms and heavy rain, with the temperature dropping.

That night we went to an Italian restaurant, near our hotel, and were given a table looking into the kitchen – we were very close.

It was like watching ‘Master Chef’ live, while having dinner. 

Normally we eat outside but we wanted to stay dry, so opted to move in and their wasn’t much space left, so that was the seat we were offered.

July 26, 2022. Berlin, Germany. 

It was a quiet day planning the next steps, then a park and playground excursion with Brianna in the afternoon.

Our last dinner, before heading to Britain for a couple of months, was at Hayden and Andrea’s.

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