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Maria & Brett's HUGE Trip 06-07-08-09-? ok, so the Socceroos lost in 'that' penalty against Italy; Adriatic summers aren't long enough (bliss!); and we found that you should never use the term "Eastern Bloc" when talking to a Czech (Central Europe, please).

Gettin' down 'n' dirty in Berlin

GERMANY | Wednesday, 19 November 2008 | Views [1459]

We opted for a different ride home to Prague. Stuff the train!

We opted for a different ride home to Prague. Stuff the train!

What better way to show off the wonderful city of Prague and its beautiful, nice-smelling people (especially at gyms, squash courts and on any public transport vehicle) than by comparing it all with their brethren up the road in Deutschland who... are so ... different? Having the privilege of opening up our home to guests doesn't come along very often, so when it does we relish it - and that's why we got outta town to Berlin when Dan & Rob came for a visit.

So a continental train trip was in order, and therefore enough refreshments to say goodbye to the working week and officially kick-start the weekend with D&R. At least it helped our karaoke skills as we barrelled down the mountain and sought to make international relations with other fare-paying passengers.

Berlin greeted us with a big hug - the kind you get when you arrive at a huge multi-leveled central station after a six-pack of beer and some delicious cab sav from down under. Before too long we were settled in the hotel and pounding the pavement for a late night pizza in some suitably themed mexican cantina with painted senoritas and blokes in cowboy hats on the walls. Jager bombs all round, mister!

Dan set the standard pretty early on as we sat down to a cruisy Saturday morning brekky of lattes and paninis and muffins in a local cafe. "So what do you guys want to see?" we asked the boys. "Is there a G-Star shop in Berlin?" Rob replied. So we paid the nice lady, jumped on a tram and made our way across town - past the Berlin Wall Documentation Centre on Bernauer Strasse (opposite part of the remaining intact sections of the wall) down to the centre of town to the infamous Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) - like a huge David Jones but bigger and better. Like a bee to honey, Rob wasted no time in locating with G-Star section with pinpoint accuracy...

With the retail therapy bug abated for the time being, we followed our noses up to the 6th floor where we found the most sumptuous gourmet offerings on the planet - well so it seemed at the time. Foodies beware! We strolled past freshly shucked oysters (the shuckers were hard at it!), whole tuna and salmon being filleted on demand for foodies sipping on a crisp sauv blanc, a steak and grill bar pummelling the floor with whiff after whiff of mouth watering smells, a pasta bar with the freshest parcels of ravioli just waiting to be cooked up, a seafood bar with a queue out the door, and.... a coffee bar with the aroma of something that was just too good to be true. So we stretched our 2.50 euros and enjoyed a latte while we ogled and salivated at what was going on around us.

With bellies warmed up by tastebuds that wouldn't take no for an answer, our mission that night was to head out in Prenzlauer Berg area (north-east Berlin) for a nice meal and a load of laughs. The laughs wouldn't be a problem, but we felt a little daunted at the task of finding a rare gem in this bustling city of thousands of taste-tempting eateries offering delicious menus from all over the globe, this international city being as eclectic and magnetic as it is. Oh well, we thought, let's just head out and see what we find.

It didn't take long before we stopped in front of one place and stood there peering in through the window, speechless. Not that the couple we were staring at minded at all. In front of them were two steaming bowls of tender pieces of beef and lamb, each sitting in pools of the most deliciously thickly curried sauces - and garnished by simply stunning arrangements of vegetables that had been painstakingly carved to form swans or or some other birds that were about to fly through the window and nip off our noses for being so nosey... Well it worked. We didn't dare look at the prices as we strolled through the already packed restaurant, gorgeous thai waitresses flitting in between tables carrying ever more of these steamy dishes that were doing more to our sense of smell than our watering palates could handle.

We were told by one of these smiling waitresses that unfortunately the restaurant was full that night (cue: collective sigh - awwww), but that if we wanted to wait 5 minutes she would be happy to show us to the bar, where she offered to take our coats. Before we turned around again there were 4 cocktails sitting on the bar in front of us: surely this isn't intended as punishment for not making a reservation, we thought. And then devised a scam where we'd crawl through Berlin from packed restaurant to packed restaurant getting loaded up on free cocktails before moving to the next... "Your table is ready", she urged us, as we snapped out of our collective scheme and followed her to our table surrounded by a throng of other guests devouring heady dishes and washing it all down with cool whites or spicy reds - but leaving the intricately carved feathered things untouched as a sign of respect to the apprentice's skill or just not knowing where the hell to start or what to do with it.

'Goodtime' was unanimously voted as THE best thai restaurant on the planet - or at least in Berlin, or anyway at least for all 4 of us on that night. It set the bar extremely high and we reckon you should just book a flight and challenge your senses - just DON'T book ahead: http://goodtime-berlin.de/goodtime_main.html

The rest of the weekend's antics just can't compare, though they're definitely worth a mention for their randomness:

(1) Maria and Dan rewriting the history of the Brandenburg Gate as the place where a KaDeWe bag with unspecified items inside withstood the force of Maria's hand in a retaliatory blow to Dan's cheek (in more ways than one!)

(2)Dan turning his nose up at just about everything:

(3) D&R not missing any opportunity to pose for the camera, regardless of the where and the when:

So it was all over far, far to soon when we boarded the Prague-bound train after a weekend of fab food, fab fun and we can't forget to mention a fab bike ride round the city that offers Praguers a fab opportunity to showcase what they've got - if you know what we mean :)

We miss you Dan and Rob! Come back for a visit anytime.


See our gallery for the rest of our photos: http://journals.worldnomads.com/maria_brett/gallery/14321.aspx

Tags: berlin, thai


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