Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tiergarten

Day 4

On this beautiful Tuesday we decided we have to go check out some green space in Berlin.  We chose Tiergarten to do just that.

Tiergarten is Berlin's version of New York's Central Park and San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.  This park is incredibly beautiful and very large, with so much life going on within and around it - much like it's counterparts in the US.

We started off the day with a visit to another coffee shop slash deli that had wonderful fresh sandwiches and of course fresh coffee.  The coffee bean bags were in plain view of the patrons of this little shop, along with the tea boxes tucked under a high top table.  We all had sandwiches and A & J had coffee (are you surprised?).  Ashley said she was starting to get the hang of the foam on top of coffee thing, understanding maybe why it's there.  I find it fascinating to watch them make the coffee, from grinding the beans, packing it, putting it in the machine, the levers, the process.

We took the train in to a place near the park, and then a bus into the park so we could be more inside before wandering around.  One thing we learned in NYC is big huge parks like these you have to walk quite a ways to get to the center part of them.  The bus landed us not far from the Victory Tower, which we didn't really know was there until we exited the bus and looked around. The tower was in the middle of a large roundabout that had no crosswalks to get to the middle.   It took us a few minutes to figure out how to get to the tower (we had to go underground), but we made it.  The tunnel underground to get to the middle has a great feature inside, a screen with white dots that fill up when a person walks by;.  You can move your arms and watch on the screen the white dots show up.  I took a video here.

This tower is 60 meters high, and one can walk up to the top of it and check out the 360 degree view.  The stairs in the middle are spiral, so one gets duped into not really knowing how many stairs or flights there are, because they are in an seemingly endless loop of spirals until all of the sudden they end.  It was a tough walk up the steep spiral staircase, I stopped at every little open area I could to catch my breath.  But we all ended up going to the top and enjoyed the magnificent views from the top before whizzing down the stairs we labored to climb.  Ashley said her glasses skewed her depth perception going down the stairs and had to employ alternative measures to ensure she wouldn't fall down the stairs. 

When we all got to the bottom, we hung out on the steps for a bit and then Ashley decided to do cartwheels on the lawn nearby.  We took some more photos, then headed back outside of the circle under the road again to walk in the park and enjoy the beauty from within.  We headed down a trail and walked amongst the trees, grass and saw some apartment homes as we popped out one side of the park back to a road. 

We followed the road until we found the bus stop, and hopped on it in search for food.  Along the bus route we went by the Spandauer Vorstadt dome building that was gorgeous.  We hopped off the bus right around the water, and went in search for a waterfront place to eat.  Unfortunately, we didn't see anything there that looked good so we went in a street and found a restaurant that had excellent food and easy ordering.  They had ipads essentially that you ordered from, and the waitress would bring the food and drink to you.  Easy to get around the language barrier that way.  Our food was delicious and of course I found some more rhubarb spritzer to drink while the other two loaded up on more coffee.

As we headed back to Alexanderplatz to catch a train back to the apartment, Ashley's keen ear heard some music.  We followed the sound and found a bagpiper playing in the square.  We listened to him for a bit and then went to the train.  The night was capped off by visiting the wonderful dessert place (Sowohl Alsauch) we enjoyed a couple of days before.  This time I tried a decadent raspberry cake with more of that amazing apple juice (apfel saft), and the other two had peach cheesecake and coffee.  It was delicious, a beautiful evening in the neighborhood.

We sauntered back to the apartment and all stayed up until 3am or later hanging out there.

Today's observations:
  • 60 meters is a long ways to go up stairs!  But interestingly enough for me it was going down the stairs that was more wobbly.  My legs were so shaky!
  • Tiergarten is beautiful and the trails inside are a wonderful way to get lost and feel like you are not in the city
  • I think we found the 'lovers lane' in the Tiergarten... I'll have to remember that area next time so that I don't stumble on a couple :)
  • The view from the Victory Tower is astonishing.  Almost unreal clouds that day.
  • Efficiency is important to the Germans.  They put a lot of thought into planning places to make sure they are efficient and they feel safe too.
  • I love finding random musicians in different places.  Today was no exception!
  • This Rhubarb soda/Spitzer is amazing... better than coke or rootbeer soda!



What?  You want photos??  Here you go:

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