Sat 23 Nov - Berlin, Germany

Last day in Berlin and we revisit the street art...

Our last full day in Berlin and we felt that we had given Berlin a good shakedown. Still, there were a few more places and events that we wanted to experience and as the weather was cloudy but no rain, so on went our boots and we hit the streets.

We wanted to check out more of the East Side Gallery than what we did during our "alternative" Berlin walking tour and also the Oberbaumbrücke that we saw on that tour, but from a distance. Also on the agenda was the Sunday Mauerpark Flea Markets which were supposed to be on a Saturday this weekend.

This is how we wandered the first part of the day.

On Wall Street (Wallstraße) we stumbled onto the Australian Embassy. Is that an appropriate street address?

Soon there was more Australiana as we passed this gallery...

Yes, the Billabong Wine Bar and Gallery, with proof of Australian wine tasting visible from the outside.

We passed Jannowitzbrücke and its train station which is on our U2 line to Spittelmarkt and Leipzigerstraße.

Ohm, sweet Ohm... First we walked on Ohmstraße and then we saw Kraftwerk referenced on this board. Hans almost started to look around for Kling-Klang Studios until he realized that we were not in Düsseldorf (for the uninitiated, the band Kraftwerk is from Düsseldorf and "Ohm sweet Ohm" is one of their "hit" songs)

This kiosk sold not only Currywurst but also almost any variation thereof that you can think of.

To get to the East aside Gallery on Mühlenstraße, we passed YAAM, Young African Art Market, that we also visited during the walking tour. A few more pics of the YAAM artwork outside on the brickwall.


Very Berlin this sign...a protest against development here.

Then on to the East Side Gallery where a long section of the former Berlin Wall has become a more than 1km canvas. Not all of it was art, lots of graffiti too, and some art was really not good, but there were enough good pieces to keep us interested. A sample of the better street art follows...

Every pink rose here represents one person killed trying to get to West Berlin from the East over the wall.

We learned in our first week here that the ultimate version of the wall was built in 1975 and since that time escapes this way became negligible. The stats back this up - 1976,'78 and '79 no escapes and several years afterwards too.

Of course, the wall theme on the wall was a given...

This piece was very colorful and we liked it a lot.

The Trabi yet again...

A couple of famous faces...

This guy made it look all too easy...

And this must have been tongue in cheek, but we were not sure what the message was.

A "selfie" in front of a very long piece of art as this went on for perhaps 10 meters or so.

After a while, we switched to the other side of the wall where there were pictures of "walls" from around the world. The usual suspects were there such as the US / Mexico border and the Israel / Palestine wall, but also pics from Iraq, Spain / Morrocco border and plenty from Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Ironically the flash Mercedes Benz building is in the old east...

The East Side Gallery runs along the river Spree here and opposite the wall and in the water were two floating hostels. This was the larger one of the two.

The Oberbaumbrücke is very close to the floating hostel above.

A few more pics on and from the Oberbaumbrücke...

Apparently the movie "Run Lola Run" is filmed here, but we haven't seen it so can't comment.

Also, on Oberbaumbrücke is where the annual Freidrichshain/ Kreuzberg rotten food fight takes place, where both sides are trying to get across to the other side first. Very few rules apparently apply.

The pedestrian access of the bridge.

Some more great street (or building) art on the Kreuzberg side.

Men in a man...

This small and detailed piece of art was in a sheltered nook of the bridge where couples may well come to kiss...

You know you're back in Kreuzberg when one of the first buildings you see looks like this!

Time for a coffee and where better than in a Turkish bakery in the old "Gast Arbeiter" district? Good pick, the best espresso coffee we've had for a very long time.

Afterwards we got chatting to the owner who had a musical instrument (like a lute) next to him with sheet music. He said it was called a Belaglama and then started surfing the web showing us different stuff about it and talking all the time in German (we got a bit of it, not much).

Clearly a passion for him, we nodded, smiled and said Danke.

We wandered back across Oberbaumbrücke to the Friedrichschain side, looking at getting onto tram number 10. This is the end stop with the bridge again in the background.

Tram M10 took us all the way to the Mauerpark Flea Market as per below.

Well, we got caught out yet again. The Mauerpark Flea Market was sort of happening, but only in a very small part of the market grounds. It is literally what you see in the picture and just a little bit more. It took us perhaps 15 minutes to walk to the end and back, checking out a few stalls along the way.

And looking the other way...

This bric-a-brac "scrapyard" was by far the most interesting stall. The proprietor had clearly bought up whole households and just chucked all the items into cardboard boxes for sale.

Di bought a wide belt for 2€ which actually sounded too much but we don't know the local customs - maybe haggling was the way of doing business here.

The most curious item that Hans found was somebody's old photo album, with holiday snaps from Madeira and Jamaica among others. Would anybody really buy something like that?

Somewhat disappointed, we decided to wander back towards town and find somewhere for a lunch bite as the time is now after 1pm.

Along the way, we found a mural with a football theme and a celebration of Brazilian football.

OK, Hans thought that we just couldn't leave Berlin without one last bite of that "traditional" Berlin food item, the Currywurst, accompanied by pommes as they call fries here and mayo.

Yep, it was really yummy. Perhaps not the most nutritious meal ever, but yummy.

Di was not so keen on the Currywurst, she had just a little bit of Hans pommes, so after being curried up, we took the train to Alexanderplatz for a final visit to Asian Gourmet. That's Di waiting for her Tom Kha Gai soup.

Yep, that soup hit the spot judging by Di's grin.

After our respective lunches, it was train back to Spittelmarkt and a break for a few hours before doing what we could in the form of packing bags as it will be a very early morning tomorrow flying to Munich.

As you may recall from a few days ago Di found a way to extend the life of her bag using a dog collar and soft foam bike handle. Today she added stabilizing duct tape loops and hoped it all would work at 6am tomorrow! Otherwise Hans may be stuck with switched bags yet again...

At 5pm, it was beer o'clock and we sat down on the couch with a drink and the remains of the Berg Käse (mountain cheese). All good.

Time for dinner and we wanted something casual and traditional German food for our final night in Berlin.

Firstly we looked into the "Irish Times" pub across the road (yep, very German) and were very tempted...not by food or drink so much as by Fußball, direct broadcast on Sky.

The game of the week in Bundesliga started at 6.30pm with the top 2 teams playing - FC Bayern München and Borossia Dortmund, number 1 and number 2 respectively currently in the table. All eyes were focused on multiple TV screens around the pub, but it was all drinking and no eating, so as tempting as it was, we moved on.

We aimed for Nickolaiviertel where Di had read there was a reasonable pub style restaurant, with a name starting with "Ge" and including letters "Br". It's not a big place so we decided to wander until we found it.

Berlin night scene looking north on the River Spree.

After checking out one street and a few different places we found it, Georgebrau... and it was packed.

The staff offered a shared table for us, with a couple also waiting and we took it. We found the English menu a bit difficult as we have gotten used to German names of dishes. So we flicked between the two language menus.

Pork was heavily featured so we stuck with this...schnitzel for Hans and roast for Di. Supplemented with the house beer - Georg Pils.

You might not be able to tell from this photo but Di got a mound of red cabbage that took a third of her plate. Delicious but crazy serving.

Mind you, our meal sizes were small compared to the stuffed cabbage roll that the guy we shared with ate (and finished). It was the size of a small football.

The food was OK but we had better food in Hamburg. We did enjoy the atmosphere and the service was quick so an hour later we were back out on the square.

The George and Dragon statue that gave the brauhouse its name looked fantastic at night.

We soon realized that THE game was still playing and made our way promptly back to "Irish Times" to watch the end of the game with a crowd.

The place was packed and with 10 minutes to full time, the score was Borossia Dortmund 0, FC Bayern München 1.

A few minutes later Arjen Robben scored a classy goal and it was 2 to Bayern. Not all the crowd were pleased but we celebrated.

Then another good goal to Bayern FC, this time from Thomas Müller, another player we admire.

End of the game with a major upset for Dortmund losing 0-3 at their home arena. We stayed to watch the full goal replay and to enjoy and finish our drinks as a lot of the punters made their way to somewhere else.

We were back home to Leipziger Straße 46 just before 9pm and we feel quite sad to be leaving Berlin tomorrow morning even after 13 nights here. Berlin is a seriously cool place and we could have stayed a lot longer.

Well, our bags are packed and we're ready to go onto our next adventure. Early morning tomorrow so for now it is good night.


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