After an astounding 10 days in Copenhagen it was time to depart for the next leg of our trip! An early Monday morning brought us off to the train station to begin our journey to Berlin.
Using the train system was actually so simple and was relatively stress free for us. Though Rory had the unexpected experience of having to pay a few kroner at the station to use the washroom. Once we boarded it was so relaxing to just sit back and watch the countryside roll by for a few hours until our destination. On this route, we had the added pleasure of taking a ferry across from Denmark to Germany. Standing on the deck taking in the sea air was so refreshing.
The moment we got off the train at Berlin Central we noticed a definite change in the weather. While Copenhagen was blissfully temperate and overcast, it was clear that here, we were in for a very hot mid-summer week.
We navigated our way to our beautiful Airbnb apartment in Prenzlauer Berg. It was so crisp and well designed it immediately felt comfortable (and cool!), but the pièce-de-résistance of this place was the secret rooftop patio entrance.
When the sun went down and it would start to cool off, we could climb up a squeaky ladder to a small landing and could sit there, watch the sunset, and relax with a good book. This little place was probably our biggest highlight of Berlin. We could see across the rooftops and watch the clouds dance in the sky. It was the perfect place to slow down, reflect and feel inspired.
The neighbourhood itself was cute and quiet, we spent quite a bit of time taking in the shops and restaurants within walking distance. Jubel patisserie was a definite highlight, introducing me to a nectarine and hazelnut tart I will never forget.
On one of the cooler days we ventured a little further walking for hours through Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte discovering all the little shops that dotted along the way and enjoying the architecture. We started by taking in an adorable brunch at Anna Blume cafe (and flower shop), which was a delicious assortment of everything on a tiered platter. It was kinda like a breakfast charcuterie board and creating our own unique flavour combinations was gratifying.
From there we did pretty much all the window shopping imaginable. I especially loved the bright eclectic feel of VEB Orange and the local goods at Konk. I was delighted to find fabric at Frau Tulpe Stoffe and managed to restrain myself, acquiring only one new textile and a few accessories.
It was seemingly endless, with more to see the further we went. Even as we intended to head to our next destination, we would get a little off track, spotting a bunch more shops to pop into, like Type Hype, R.S.V.P and Claudia Skoda. It became addicting to try to see it all.
Through footbag, Rory had a few friends in the city that we were able to meet up with and hang out at Görlitzer Park and then later at his friend’s studio, which was located under the trains along the Spree. He refurbishes industrial furniture from old east Berlin warehouses and sells them to retailers, restaurants and collectors. It was really interesting to see the studio space and admire the assortment unique lights, chairs and playground equipment.
We did play tourist and took a hop-on-hop-off bus tour one afternoon. The 30 degree heat made it a little unbearable at the stops, but it was the perfect way to see everything in one succinct go. Afterwards, as much as we wanted to enjoy the atmosphere and food outdoors at Alexanderplatz, we ended up having dinner at a department store cafe because OMG they had air conditioning.
Having the weather be so hot kind of made Berlin difficult to enjoy, everywhere was stuffy and walking places wasn’t always fun. On our last day it was 37 outside and we decided to visit the German Museum of Science and Technology because we thought it would be a cool in more ways than one. However when we arrived we learned the museum was housed in a refurbished train station. It was really neat vibe (we walked up a ‘horse stairwell’ between floors) but it basically meant that was not outfitted with modern a/c. Now don’t get me wrong, I love summer and being warm, but it was really too much.
Beyond the heat, Berlin was a charming city and I know we barely made a dent in what it had to offer. It was the perfect place for us to relax and recharge for the second half of our trip. After five short days we were already onwards to Amsterdam.