I love living in Berlin, but there are certainly some ‘quirky’ aspects of the culture here you have to get used, especially when you have never lived in a big city before, especially a big city in Germany. This week I have seen some things around the city that you would see Only in Berlin that have compelled me to take pictures as I have found them both shocking and amusing so I am sharing them with you.
Only in Berlin would you see…
Sexergy Energy Drink
An energy drink marketed towards giving you and extra boost when taking part in sexual activities!
Only in Berlin would you see…
Negro Chocolate Biscuits
Politically incorrect biscuits, and the man selling these in his shop looked at me like I was the weird one!
Taking these ‘Only in Berlin’ pictures this week has been highly amusing, for myself if no one else, so I will continue to share them with you!
I think this is the longest I have been without posting on my blog, however, I have a good reason, last weekend we had guests come to visit all the way from Hong Kong! So instead of my usually relaxed weekends that are focused around baking and watching sport mostly, we were off out being tourists in Berlin for a few days!
Mainly the weekend consisted of seeing the usual tourist sights here in Berlin, the remains of the wall, the Reichstag, Brandenburger Tor, the Memorial to the Jews of Europe and the list goes on here in Berlin. We also ate out a lot, meals that included a delicious halloumi burger and lunch in a lovely Italian restaurant, as well as the foolish task I set upon myself of cooking for 8 that went surprisingly better than I thought it would. However the stand out visit for me was our visit to the Pergamon Museum on Museum Island in the centre of Berlin.
I had been to the Pergamon Museum before but after a long day attempting to make the most of my ticket and visiting all of the museums on the island – not advisable! So I was really excited to go again and truly remember what I had seen, as you enter this museum you will not be disappointed by what it has to offer, the glorious gates of Babylon stand proudly in the entrance rooms of the museums and the sight is impressive, all I could think was ‘how did they get them here’ but I was in awe all the same.
The Impressive Gates at the Pergamon Museum
The antiquities they have to offer are breath-taking and impressive and unlike some of the museums the size of the Pergamon Museum is great for a 2 hour trip. However the one disappointing aspect of the museum was the logical flow in which you were guided around the museum was not smooth and left me feeling slightly confused and a little lost as to whether there was any chronological to the exhibits or whether it was just a case of ‘look at all this cool history stuff we have’.
I would still recommend the Pergamon Museum to anyone visiting Berlin as a tourist as the site of the gates is very impressive however, if you are a history buff or expert this one might not be for you!
I am also extremely happy to be getting back to my normal weekend routine this week and I am currently in the process of baking my next exciting recipe!
Yesterday was a Bank Holiday here in Berlin, another middle of the week throw you off track Bank Holiday! But as it was the Bank Holiday I decided to make a yummy treat to help enjoy the day. On the menu this week was banoffe pie, I made some delicious little individual cups that tasted amazing and the portion sizes were just the right amount. They looked great too;
My Finished Banoffee Mini Cups
However, although the final product looks great not all went quite to plan in the kitchen that day – these delicious little cups were a rescue attempt of an unfortunate toffee incident! Here was the original recipe that I used;
- 200g of Digestive Biscuits
- 200ml of Condensed Milk
- 200g of Butter
- 4tbsp of Golden Syrup
- 3 Ripe Bananas
- 200ml of Whipping Cream
- 50g of Grated White Chocolate
- Ground all of the biscuits and put into a bowl
- Melt this much butter and add to the biscuits and compact with a wooden spoon
- Pour into a 6 inch cake tin lined with baking paper and push down so that it is compact and forms an even surface
- Put in the fridge to chill for 1 hours
- After 1 hour put the condensed milk, butter and golden syrup into a saucepan
- Heat thoroughly ensuring that it is mixed without boiling
- When this mixture begins to turn a light golden brown pour on top of the biscuit base
- Put into the fridge for a further 1 hour to chill
- When the toffee has set – slice the bananas and place in a layer on the top
- Then whip the cream until it is thick and spread over the top of the banana forming an even layer
- Sprinkle the grated white chocolate on top of the cream
- Finally, put in the fridge to chill for a final 15 minutes and serve
But, The toffee did not set, not after one hour or three, so at this point I had to take decisive action and decided to remove the toffee that had set and pour away the remainder of the mixture that did not even closely resemble toffee! In my attempts I had managed to make some toffee but not enough for a whole pie, so I decided to make up little cups by layering all of the ingredients. I started by crumbling the set biscuit base into the cups, then adding a layer of the toffee, then bananas followed by whipped cream and topped with white chocolate.
The Layers of my Banoffee Pie
Luckily they tasted amazing, and I could have probably passed them off as the first attempt but I am now sending a plee to my readers to send me a recipe to make toffee that actually works!
This week my boyfriend and I had some of his family staying with us. His cousin and his auntie live in Mexico so it was great for them to detour to Berlin whilst visiting family in the UK. They picked a great week to come as the weather has been lovely in Berlin and it was nice to take some days off of work and enjoy the wonders of Berlin.
This week for the first time we went on a walking tour of Berlin, it was a free tour lead by David from NEW Berlin, and it was just great, he was both informative and interesting and taught me some things that I did not know even after living here for over a year. The tour really is free and there is no catch so if you are ever visiting Berlin I highly suggest you go on one of these.
Later that afternoon, after some lunch in one of the many delicious bakeries in the centre of the city we went to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. I am so disappointed to report to you that this museum was awful, I have wanted to go since I first visited Berlin 2 years ago but I certainly will not be going again or recommending it to anyone who visits. It was overpriced in comparison to other museums in Berlin and was far too cluttered and disorganised, the exhibitions had no flow and I felt that many of them were irrelevant to the focus of the museum. I cam away from there very dissapointed!
The Famous Sign at Checkpoint Charlie
After the museum we went for dinner at Casa Italia on Unter den Linden, the weather was lovely so we sat outside with a lovely view of the Brandenberg Gate in the evening sun. The pizza was delicious and reasonably priced and their home-made ice cream for dessert was just to die for!
My Banana and Chocolate Ice Cream from Casa Italia
From here we made the short walk to the Reichstag and went up to the dome to look around and watch the sunset. This was the fourth time that I have made this visit and it still does not bore me, the views from the top are breathtaking and the mini exhibit displaying the history of the building is really interesting and just the right length. Again, if you are ever in Berlin this visit is free and highly recommended.
It was great to have visitors and sometimes it is fun to explore Berlin as a tourist rather than as a resident, now it is our turn to plan our trip to Mexico!
May Day in Berlin is actually celebrated on May Day, not on the first Monday of May as it is in the UK, but if it falls on a weekday we still get a day off work. Although in Berlin May Day is not always the most celebratory of days with violent traditions of mini riots prominent within the city on this day.
However, we were luckily enough to avoid any of the demonstrations in the city and instead chose to spend our day off of work in Treptower Park, a large recreational park located on the bank of the River Spree. This park takes you away from the city and allows you to relax and watch the world go by, we even did a spot of feeding the birds after spotting this nest on the bank of the river.
A Bird’s Nest on the Bank of the River Spree
The rest of the day was spent here and we enjoyed laying in the sun and had a picnic and played card games with our friends. We were lucky that the day was really hot, my favourite denim shorts had their first outing this summer, and there was a wonderful little market open within the park so we could enjoy an ice cream at the end of the day.
David and I on May Day in Treptower Park
I hope that this lovely spring is a reflection of the summer we will have here in Berlin so we can enjoy more of the city and get a tan obviously!