On Thursday, my third day of the language course, a few people decided to go to Prague for the weekend and asked if I’d like to tag along. After looking into bus tickets and a hostel, we realized that the whole weekend would cost us under 100 euros each, so why not? I booked it with them in the computer lab at the language school, before heading off again to explore Berlin for the day.
For a change of pace from the touristy things, we headed off after a quick lunch to a new ‘concept mall’ called Bikini Berlin – it’s not really what it sounds like, though! We went for a display of paper cranes, but sadly missed it by a week. It was still a very neat place to window shop! There were lots of cool stores and little booths that featured products from local artists and designers.
We got a little lost on the way there – we took the right bus, but in the wrong direction, and only noticed after about 10 minutes. We ended up back near the Bradenburg gate and then turned around and took the bus back in the other direction. It was our first time on a double-decker city bus so of course we had to take some selfies, right??
Once we finally got the mall, I realized that it was definitely the place to go for vegan food in Berlin. I had already had lunch so I didn’t end up getting anything, and everything was pretty pricey anyways. It’s not cheap to eat vegan when you’re eating out!
We found a neat little art gallery with free admission and spent some time wandering around and looking at art by local artists. I didn’t take many pictures except for this one of a table a chairs made of books, without glue! You could sit in the chairs and they kind of moved but stayed intact.
We did lots of window shopping and I became slightly obsessed with a certain orange dress that I definitely couldn’t afford. I tried on some European jeans with high hopes, but sadly they fit exactly like American jeans. I don’t understand why they can’t make jeans to fit real people?!?
Right across the street, there was the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church that was mostly destroyed in the war, but rebuilt in the 50’s. In the old part, there are some really beautiful mosaics and sculptures, as well as a small exhibit showing the history of the church. The new part had been rebuilt in a ‘modern’ (i.e. 1950’s) style – it doesn’t look like much from the outside (you can just see the edge of it in the top left corner below), but it’s actually a very neat building on the inside, with walls of stained glass and the original organ reconstructed. We went inside but weren’t allowed to take pictures so you’ll have to take my word for it!
When we got hungry, we started looking around and decided we couldn’t really afford any of the food at Bikini Berlin and went for nearby currywurst instead! This stand was the classic fast-food kind with curry sauce that’s pretty much just ketchup, but they had a vegan option too so I’m glad I tried it. Maybe not the most nutritious meal, but I had lettuce in my sandwich at lunch and carrots as a snack so that counts for something right??
After dinner and stopping by a grocery store to stock up on snacks for the bus ride to Prague, we checked out a nearby bar but it was completely deserted at 8:30. Everyone in Berlin goes out so late! The nice bars don’t get busy until around midnight at least, and the clubs don’t get busy until 3 or 4 in the morning (how I know this is a story for another time…)