Posts Tagged ‘Berlin’

Well lookee here! I’ve scrounged up a few more photos from travel days that have already been covered in some form or ‘nother on this blog. Plus, I’ve still got another Paris post and all of Italy to chat about, so we haven’t hit the bottom of the travel well yet. Hurrah!

Carvings at Notre Dame, Paris

Don’t it always seem to go / that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone? (Notre Dame, Paris)

Penis Pasta

I might have expected to see this at a store selling Bacholerette Party paraphernalia, but no. This was in a Wimbledon toy store, just a metre or so down the shelf from the plastic baguette and kitchen appliance toy sets. Either For Shame, London... or Bravo, London. I haven’t quite made up my mind.

Paris building

I love Paris' architecture.

Statue, Berlin

The left hand says “I’m modest”, and yet the right hand says... the opposite. (Berlin)

Statue, Berlin

While this dude is all about the confident “look at me!” free-wheeling. (Berlin)

Shoes, Galeries LaFayette

Torture is wandering around the Galeries Lafayette shoe department when you have a bandaged toe and can’t try anything on. Funnily enough, I took a photo of these because they struck me as bad-interesting... but now I think they’re badtastic and I think I might love them. (I do have some brilliant heels from my previous US visit, which I could show y’all at some point if anyone's interested?)

Shoes, Galeries LaFayette

These shoes, however, remain utterly Le Stupid.

Dalloyau macarons, Galeries LaFayette

They really do love macarons in Paris. These were at the Dalloyau counter at the Galeries LaFayette.


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Never fear, readers! (I’m sure you’re all quaking in your boots. Yep.) We haven’t run the travel well dry yet; I still have many Paris and Italy posts to write up. However, as I’ve been rather verbose of late, I’ve decided to give you all a break from my [typed] voice and scavenge through my photos instead. So here you are: a “glimpses of” post that functions somewhat as a bonus post, as it relates to cities and places I’ve already covered on the blog.

Have at it!

T-Shirt in a Box

Asheville, North Carolina

Gee whiz, a t-shirt in a box! In a box. Asheville, your ingenuity astounds me. One question, though… doesn’t this product become indistinguishable from all other non-cardboard-packaged shirts once it’s, you know, out of the box?

To get my money’s worth, I’d be inclined to slip the story of the shirt into every conversation I had.

Ergo: “My name is Hannah and I’m having more toe surgery on Saturday, but that’s okay, because this t-shirt came IN A BOX”, or “What’s that you say, check-out-chick? $7.43 for these strangely addictive bags of popped popcorn and my kilo of green beans? I’m sorry, I thought you were commenting on the fact that I bought my t-shirt IN A BOX”.

Cheddar's, Kingsport

Cheddar's Restaurant In Kingsport, Tennessee (I think that's where we were, anyway)

Just so’s you know, Cheddar’s was where I was initiated into the LLC. This photo amuses me because I took two others like it, and it wasn’t until I loaded them on my computer that I discovered the fellow in the left-hand corner was staring at me in every one. Once with his eyebrows raised speculatively, too. I giggle because either a) he thought I was a crazy lady, or b) he thought I was taking photos of him and wanted his babies.

Ian's Mac and No Cheese

Suprisingly delicious...

Another one for the giggles. When I was staying at the lovely Lauren’s house, she carefully wrote my name on my Whole Foods-purchased microwavable snack so that her sibling wouldn’t eat it accidentally. Somehow, it didn’t seem likely to me that her college-football-star brother would be interested in a gluten-free and vegan mac ‘n’ cheese replica… but I appreciated the thought. Thanks Lauren!

Dear heavens, wasn’t this meant to be a less verbose post? Okay, back to captions, not paragraphs.

Maine Coon

Not only the fluffiest but the friendliest cat I’ve ever met. Correct me if I’m wrong, Lauren, but I believe he’s a Maine Coon?

Oxford Street Scene

I dropped my iPod while walking down this (or a similar) street in Oxford. At first I was cranky, but then I realised that every time I see the scratches I’ll remember being in Oxford with Y.CaptainPlanet, and that is A Good Thing.

Lion Statue in Munich

Don’t cry, Aslan! Munich may be far away from Narnia, but at least it offers the weary traveller multiple varieties of rye bread rather than soul-destroying Turkish Delight that tastes like soap and evil. P.S. Tangent: Tilda Swinton is fabulous.

Twilight Barbies

Et tu, Berlin?

*Cue Twilight Zone music*. Very odd – I’d never heard of Edward Monkton before arriving in Berlin, and yet I walked into a store there and found he’d drawn dozens of portraits of me. Spitting image, wouldn’t you say? I must have appeared to him in a dream.

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We seemed to have a little success with my last art/art commentary post, so I thought a repeat might work. But first, an update to last night’s update…

Dutiful as always, I got up bright and early this morning to take myself back to the hospital where I had been instructed, yesterday, to come every day starting today, for nurses to take care of my toe. So imagine my surprise when, upon arrival, I discovered that the clinic I was to go to was, well, you know, closed on Sundays.

Yep. This is the France I’ve heard about on David Lebovitz’ blog. Ah well, tomorrow then. The funny thing is that I can read the French on the medical papers given me by the nurse, and I also got a pharmacist to talk me through it, and it says “without urgency”.

In addition, all the papers instruct the nurse to do is apply Betadine, which I can easily do myself. In fact, the pharmacist didn’t think I needed to go to hospital at all, and neither did the Australian and Canadian girls who took me under their wing last night. Those two amazing women honest-to-goodness giftwrapped a packet of hope and happiness and calm for me, and on top of that got my mind off things by taking me out for a drink. (Yes, Australian friends. I actually imbibed alcomahol.)

Anyway, I’m still unsure as to what to do about my travels, as the foot is still swelling at inopportune moments and providing discomfort. I’m considering booking extra time in Paris and taking it easy here. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Now…

To the Art with Us!

Chandalier, Throne Room, Neuschwanstein Castle.

View from underneath the chandelier in the Throne Room of Neuschwanstein Castle in Munich. Yes, you aren't allowed to take photos. Yes, I took a photo. I blame my naughtiness on the Americans in my tour group, who took multiple photos in every room. I shall now go sit in the corner and think about what I did.

Garden of Exile, Judisches Museum, Berlin

Looking up in The Garden of Exile at the Jüdisches Museum in Berlin. I also really recommend this museum, for while it covered the horrific events of the Holocaust in a gets-into-your-bones way (entering the Holocaust Tower was physically and psychologically chilling), it also celebrated Jewish culture and conveyed so much about the Jewish faith, music, history, and art.

Adam and Eve with their First-Born, 1896, Lesser Ury

Yes, it's the mother-child bond again. No, I don't have a bun in the oven. Probably I'm just missing my own family a little bit. (This is a section of "Adam and Eve with their First-Born" by Lesser Ury, 1896, at the Jüdisches Museum, Berlin.)

British Empire Panel by Frank Brangwyn, Arentshuis, Bruges

Now that's a shifty-looking fellow if ever I saw one. ("British Empire Panel 1925-1930" by Frank Brangwyn, at Bruges' Arentshuis Museum.)

And now, a series I like to call “Hannah tells you the inner thoughts of four ye olden day women”:

“I ought to be prancing through tulips right now, not wasting my time sitting here with you. I’m considering stabbing you with my tapestry needle.” (Portrait of Miss Kinsoen, by Franciscus Josephus Kinsoen, at Bruges' Groeninge Museum.)

“I shall stare at you with my dead fish eyes until you fear me. Fear me! Also, my pug is not the ugly-cute kind of pug that Hannah likes. It is just ugly.” (Portrait of Sylvie de la Rue, by Joseph Octave van der Donckt, at Bruges’ Groeninge Museum.)

“I have arsenic hidden under my collar. However, I have also invented the first headwear that doubles as a pillow, so the jury may let me off.” (Portrait of Jeanne Bauwens-van Peteghem, by Franciscus Josephus Kinsoen, at Bruges’ Groeinge Museum.)

“I like opium.” (Portrait of Marie Josephine Lafont-Porcher, by Franciscus Josephus Kinsoen, at Bruges’ Groeinge Museum.)

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Jewish Holocaust Memorial, Berlin

The Holocaust Memorial, marking the 6 million lives lost. It’s a simple design and concept but, to me, truly moving. (I can’t say the same went for the three separate groups of teenagers who were laughing, shrieking, and jumping out at each other as they ran around this place. I was absolutely flabbergasted and wished I had an old-lady walking stick with which to clobber them all.)

Jewish Holocaust Memorial, Berlin

Something about these hardened trails of ice disappearing between monuments seemed a bit like nature’s way of memorialising. Maybe that’s me being silly, but it’s what I felt, and this blog’s about honesty, right? (Chocolate, travel, and honesty.)

Children's Memorial, Berlin

“1938 – 1945 Trains to Life / Trains to Death”, Children’s memorial by Lisa Shaefer

And now for some more light-hearted images…

Eyes on the road!

Drunk bear? Yoga bear? Whatever this fellow was up to, there were a lot of his compatriots all over town (usually right-way up, though).

Pop Tarts, must you follow me everywhere? I do not want you, Sam I Am.

Somehow, these don’t look *quite* like the macarons I’ve seen lauded all over the Internet and blog world... I shall endeavour to do proper macaron research in Paris (see below) and report back.

And now, a word from your not-so-stellar traveller: Remember to book a seat on the Thalys earlier than the day before. I didn’t realise how quickly they book up, and am now going to be spending all day (and possibly night) tomorrow changing trains constantly just to get Paris. But, as some wonderful worldly-travellers have comforted me by saying – I’ll get there eventually. Sigh.

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I very much enjoyed my time in Berlin (and there’ll be another “glimpses” post to prove this), but I am a bit disappointed that I missed out on an experience that I specifically journeyed to Germany for.

You see, partly contributing to my last-minute decision to add Berlin to the itinerary were these two posts by Kristy and Toby of In The Mood For Noodles, which showcased a variety of delicious-looking vegan meals and desserts. I was so determined to traverse myself off to a few of these places but, as I’ve mentioned not infrequently, Germany saw me lose my sense of taste and almost all capacity for cake-enjoyment.

When I finally did regain some sense of wellness and taste, I knew that I really had to go see Berlin’s sights, and not use my last days in Berlin to simply search out cake.

Consequently, I had the pretty-but-not-stellar erdbeer mit buttermilch from a cafe near my hostel and then, from another such cafe, this slice of käsekuchen.

Another fine-dining cardboard box, woot!

After Camille reassured me in my previous German cake post that käsekuchen is a traditional Bavarian dessert, I did a little bit of googling and discovered that by golly! She’s right! (I should never doubt a Queen of Ganache.) Käsekuchen isn’t simply the German word for the cheesecake found everywhere in Australia (or America), it is a German style of cheesecake. I could therefore count eating käsekuchen as a true travel experience – hurrah!

But what, you may ask, makes this cheesecake different? Well, I’m certainly no authority on the matter, but I’ve heard that the base is often more biscuity and shortbread-like…


Looks a little in need of a good moisturiser, no?

… while the filling, albeit still baked, is made with quark rather than all cream cheese. As a result, it is supposed to be quite light in texture and flavour.

Both of these particularities, for want of a better word, appeared in my slice of käsekuchen. I found myself loving the sweet, crumbly, and cookie-esque base, which was suprising as I normally don’t like cheesecake bases and am often tempted to leave their soggy blandness behind.

Looking a little like the Titanic, and similarly doomed for destruction.

The actual cheesecake component was definitely lighter in texture than a New York-style baked cheesecake, and while at first I missed the latter’s density and stronger tang, by the end I quite liked the luxuriously silky texture and subtlety of the käsekuchen’s filling. At the very least, one could never call it sickeningly sweet, and it didn’t leave that heavy “oompf” feeling in the tummy that large slices of other baked cheesecakes can.


Last shot. I just can't help myself.

The people near me in my Berlin hostel lobby probably thought I was a crazy person, what with my taking multiple photos of a slice of cake in a cardboard box, but ah well. Sometimes food just tastes better when you document it.

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One of the sights I most enjoyed in Berlin, and which I cannot recommend highly enough, is the East Side Gallery. It’s a 1.3km long section of the Berlin Wall which, on its east side (makes sense, no?), is covered in paintings by around 100 artists from all over the world. It is described as a “memorial for freedom”, and here are just a few of the paintings that I found striking.

And now, to more general glimpses…

It appears the Germans like their handy meal helpers too. Shh... don't tell the Omas!

Let's Go Fly A Kite, and Send It Soaring! (With the Fernsehturm at Alexanderplatz in the background.)

Jüdisches Museum

Pomegranate Wish Tree at the Jüdisches Museum.

When you enter the permanent exhibition area at the Jüdisches Museum, you’re offered a pomegranate-shaped card upon which you can write a wish and then hang it on the above-pictured tree. I loved the myriad different languages present all over the tree, but of course only understood the English ones.

The card that stood out to me the most was “I wish to love her forever”. As such romance-charged wishes tend to face the other way around (“I wish s/he’d love me”), this seemed, to me, strangely heartbreaking and poignant. At the same time, though, I found it a little frustrating. You want to love her? Then love her! Cripes!

The Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate

And a CHOCOLATE BRANDENBURG GATE. Oh yes. You are awesome, Fassbender & Rausch at the Gendarmenmarkt.

Also, I just ate half a jar of peanut butter with a spoon, and now feel both strangely lethargic and energised. ‘Tis an odd sensation…

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I feel the need to not only knock but drum on wood as I write the following, but I’m hopefully over the worst of this smack-me-down-and-around cold. I have decided that cigarette smoke is my favourite smell in the world, but I have also learnt that healing is apparently a lot of work for the body and that, when such healing is taking place, one tends to become exhausted after a mere 4-5 hours of sightseeing.

Still, I’m feeling happier, and have managed to visit some wonderful places here in Berlin, so all is on the up and up (knock-drum-drummy-knock-knock).

To celebrate the fact that I can actually taste my peanut butter again, I finally bought myself a slice of kuchen, though sadly I passed on the “und kaffee” part. (Sleep is hard enough to come by as it is.)

And now I can't find the little slip of paper on which I wrote the German name for this.

I actually asked the lovely German fellow at the train information desk what his favourite kind of cake was*, and while he said he didn’t like sweet things, he said I had to have cheesecake. This put me in a quandary, as cheesecake is a weak spot of mine and yet I did not feel it constituted quite the quintessential German cake experience I was after.

Therefore I went against my heart and the heart of the travel agent, and opted for a Strawberry Cake with Buttermilk Cream:

Doesn't a cream-filled cake just scream "good choice" for a lactose-intolerant girl barely out of the ill-woods?

I had to have a bit of a giggle upon taking my first nibble of this. See, as soon as I tasted it I remembered that I actually don’t like cake very much, that strawberries are one of my least favourite fruits (particularly when in squidgy gelatinous form), and that something that’s just generically sweet with no counterpoint flavour is never going to win my heart.

But you know what? None of that mattered. It was light, it was fluffy, there was a faintly perceptible tang in the cream when I ate it on its own, it didn’t hurt my throat and, even though I was (and am) exhausted, I was finally eating cake in Germany.

Are you critiquing the classiness of this being eaten out of its take-away box? You haven't even seen the plastic fork I ate it with. I'm in a hostel, people. Let it go.

Still, tomorrow I’m getting the cheesecake.

*I  hope he didn’t think I was trying some sort of crazy Australian pick-up line on him… You know, such as “You like sachertorte? I’ll be the apricot jam between your sponge” or “I’ll whip your cream” or something. What, you’re telling me normal tourists don’t ask about sugary delights on a regular basis? Lies! Filth and lies!

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