Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Berlin my love....

We are back! And as always, it's going to be an extra long post! Get comfortable and enjoy 'my' Berlin!

Pariser Platz with Brandenburg Gate and the American Embassy to the left!
How many times have I returned from a journey to Germany? Especially Berlin lately? But this was special: My husband joined me for the first time after 1992!

Under the Brandenburg Gate!

Quarters around the Nikolai Church! The oldest neighborhood in Berlin.

Last night we came back again, it was wonderful to arrive home after an incredible week, filled with many impressions, the biggest left behind by my two older boys and my oldest son's sweet girlfriend! Again they are more mature, so lovely and attentive and we spend the best of times with them all! Thank you for everything! When grown children become friends it is the most rewarding feeling! 
It is simply wonderful!

My "boys" walking ahead!

We shared so many things, talked the nights away and made plans for the future!

As usual, me trailing behind, marveling at them and being in love!

The time flew by way too fast and I had  - like always - too many things planned and scheduled. But in 8 days can only be crammed so much but the things we did were fabulous!
There was a stroll over Kurfuersten Damm, the large grand street in the western part of the city, filled with shops, hotels and great restaurants. 

Ku' damm party!

It was the famous street's 125 anniversary and it was commemorated with a large street party, and famous German cars from 125 years ago until the present were paraded and displayed. It was lovely.

The Kurfürstendamm or simply Ku'damm is Berlin's most popular shopping street. Stretching for 3.5 km (2 miles) westwards from the Memorial Church it is a wide boulevard flanked by shops, hotels and restaurants and despite competition from the East's up-and-coming shopping areas around Friedrichstrasse and Hackescher Markt is has maintained its image as the place to shop and stroll. The liveliest section is between Breitscheidplatz and the fashionable Fasanenstrasse.

(Read more:

We finished that first evening in a pub, where an important soccer game between Spain and England was broadcasted and the food, crowd and atmosphere were fantastic. Nobody wanted to miss it!

The best of Berlin food!
Images and photograph from GDR times!

Famous and infamous characters of world history - painted on the pub ceiling!

Great design on every street corner!

I looked at a few design shops, but truth be told we simply explored the city, my husband had been there the last time 1992, there were so many changes, it was hard to recognize the city for him! We discovered many parts together, toured the river Spree on a boat, walked miles and miles every day 
(I lost 5 pounds, ha!) and had the kids as our insider tour guides!

We saw a show of Broadway proportions, danced Tango with good friends, went to a classical music concert, visited Sanssouci, the grand summer palast of Frederick the Great, spend hours walking over markets and I felt home again in the big city without a moment's hesitation.

The charming Dutch quarters in Potsdam, a small city just outside Berlin, where Sanssouci is located!

We were so happy to be there together!

Brandenburg gate in Potsdam.

Mostly we were accompanied by our grown kids (the younger ones stayed home this time) who live and study in Berlin. There was nothing better then to feel their energy and enthusiasm to enjoy the ever changing metropolis!

An iron forged folly! There are many like that throughout the park!

The views towards Roman ruins....fashionably 18th century!
The first public art gallery in Europe: Frederick the Great began a collection of French, Italian and Dutch masters, hanging them for the first time in history categorized by origin and artists!

Marble details!

The beauty of the Rococo era!

Sanssouci's gardens are absolutely wonderful! A mix between English and French style, it has the best of both! manicured hedges and mazes as well as park like gardens, filled with orchards!

Back in Berlin we walked Unter den Linden, Berlin's foremost boulevard, literally lined with mature Linden trees! There were moments of commemoration under the Brandenburg Gate, were as a child I gazed towards West Berlin, never imagining then that there would be so many groundbreaking changes! My husband, having grown up in Poland at the same time knew as well how it felt being imprisoned under the communist law. We both appreciate the freedom we and our children enjoy today so much!

One of Berlin's most beloved symbols: The TV tower!

This mural commemorates 20 years of German - Polish friendship! Being married to a Pole for almost 20 years, it makes wonderful sense to me!

A glance back at the Reichstag - seat of the Parliament and daily magnet for thousands of visitors to to magnificent cupola!
Berlin is green and young, full of speed and energy, dirty, loud, creative and artistic. There is this unique combination of historic and modern architecture, parks, street cars and subways, buses and thousands of bikers in-between!

Along the Spree river, view towards the Berlin Dom and the Museum Island.

But what I like the most: It's open minded and friendly! Wherever we went, we were welcomed with kindness and open arms!

A typical Berlin street corner, tall apartment buildings from the turn of the last century, lovingly restored and huge trees everywhere!
Flea market on Sunday at Anklamer Platz!

There is nothing you could not find!

There are almost as many dogs as people, tourists from all over the world, a wonderful world of reasonably prized great cuisine from Asia to Europe. We picked different foods every day, great quality and enormous variety! My great love in Berlin is the food from Vietnam (the best I have eaten) and Berlin's own local food! The beer options beat all! In the summer a mix of beer and lemonade called 
Berliner Weisse is the perfect way to quench the thirst!

Some of the great foods we had! Typical Berliner selection!
Kaffee and Kuchen! A must!

Spanish cuisine!

Every morning began at one cafe near our place, were the friendly waitresses chatted with us about God and the world, were the menu of breakfast choices took 10 minutes
to discover and ended usually long after midnight at our friend's apartment, which we were able to use for the week. Perfectly located in Schoeneberg, one of Berlin's most desirable neighborhoods we could walk to Ku'damm and subway stops, and the city was always ready to receive us!

Our mornings at Phoenix Lounge!
Berlin is wild and wonderful! Many say it has the vibes of 1970's New York, I cannot say, I never knew NYC at this time, but what ever it is, I am in love with Berlin and I can only encourage you to go and see for yourselves!
Berlin is so worth a visit!

Upon returning of course we were captured by our family here, telling all the stories and it took me a few days to be back in the rhythm of things! But here I am now, filled with gratitude for all the wonderful moments, the memories and the time with the kids!


All images by V. Zlotkowski


  1. Am in Berlin soon - I plan on visiting my favourite spots and meet up with special friends.
    I adore your images above especially the ones with you and your lovely husband. Welcome back;-)

  2. Hello Victoria:
    We have so enjoyed our Berlin tour with you which is so full of the excitement, sights and sounds of your visit. You obviously crammed an enormous amount into your visit, but having 'insider guides' was a wonderful bonus.

    Daily trains leave for Berlin from Budapest and we fully intend to be on one one day. We have German friends and so could arrange our own savvy locals which would, having read your account, probably be essential with so much to see and do.

    The mention of a Berliner Weisse transported us back to summers enjoyed in Germany many years ago. As you say, the perfect summer drink.

    Thank you so much for this most interesting and informative post.

  3. Welcome back! Your photos certainly show a relaxed, fun time. Love your breakfast photo.

  4. I just knew I should have tucked myself in your valise for a little trip to Berlin. Looks fine and tasty too. So thrilled you had the chance to escape.


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