Berlin wanderings

One of my favourite things to do in Berlin is find quirky little coffee spots and find a perch outside to drink (generally) excellent coffee and watch the world go by. On our first morning we visited one of our favourite haunts, Impala, on a corner in Prenzlaur Berg, pulled up a mismatched seat and ordered bagels and coffees to enjoy while we indulged in some people watching.

The coffees come first - all frothy milk, and good robust coffee flavours. We sipped them while waiting for our bagels to be ready.

If they have any, go for the tomato bagel which is particularly good - we got ours with prosciutto and cheese.

Gorgeously chewy tomato flavoured bagel with plenty of cream cheese, tasty prosciutto, extra cheese for good measure and a good amount of rocket.

And on our second bagel a slightly stranger combo of chicken with herby mayo, fresh salad and clementine slices on a poppy seed bagel. Sounds strange but completely delicious.

They now have a juice bar next door as well if you feel you need the added vitamin fix!

Well fed and full of coffee we headed off for our first day of sightseeing. Our first day had been a blur of gorgeously sunny weather, German lagers and an Italian feast for lunch (followed swiftly by naps after an early flight), so we wanted to make the most of the day. It was lovely and warm but pretty cloudy, which actually, I think, makes perfect sightseeing weather.

We like to walk pretty much everywhere so we headed off on foot to explore a bit more of Prenzlaur Berg, spotting so many bars and restaurants we hadn't on our previous visit. Then up past the Zionist Church.

We'd bought an alternative guidebook this year and wanted to tick some places off our list that we may not have found by ourselves. We stumbled across the former Jewish Girl's School on Auguststrasse after sitting on the steps to review where we were. It feels as though every building has history built in to every brick, and this place is no different.

Now housing 2 restaurants including Mogg and Meltzer which is supposed to do one of the best pastrami sandwiches around, and a couple of exhibition spaces, we popped in to check out the beautifully tiled entrance and read some of the stories of its rather sad history.

We carried on around the Jewish sector taking in some of the beautiful architecture including one of the synagogues which has a beautiful domed roof.

Afterwards we headed to the Brandenburg Gate, and had a pit stop in the park with a Starbucks.


We also ticked another place off our list with a stop at the Topography of Terror. If you have an interest in modern history it's worth a visit, but not for the feint hearted - it is built on the site of the Secret State Police and the Reich Security Main Office from during the second world war and it makes use of this with a museum which looks at some of the awful crimes that were committed at the time. Very interesting, but some hard viewing/reading in there.

One very full day of history and sightseeing, which we ended with a meal at Aposto  near Hakescher Market in Mitte.

We decided not to take a seat at one of the many restaurants set out in the square of the market, but walked a little further and were drawn in by the twinkly fairy lights outside. The food was good and the service was fab. And such good value! Try the caprese salad, and the olives which were really tasty, perfect with the fresh bread and chilli oil - and the Panna Cotta - oh my!

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