Unfortunately, I didn’t consider the train would be closed that late. This left me with a weird bus diversion that eventually got me home. Fortunately I did not get to know Molly (or Jack that well), so waking up the next morning was a breeze. I thought I’d take the day to sightsee in the most relaxing manner possible. Okay maybe not, I guess a tour bus would take the cake for that. Either way, my on-foot adventure led me to some cool sights I might not take advantage of otherwise. I started off in the same area I was the night before, in search of a tasty looking Polish restaurant. Unfortunately it was closed, but the mishap did allow me to stumble on a butcher that served up classic German comfort food. I’m not a connoisseur of the food by any means, so I thought it best to ask the other guy ordering what he thought I should try. He replied, “I’m not sure it’s all so different”. So I asked “What’s your favorite?”, which he just shrugged and made sounds at. So, back to square one. I ended up going with schnitzel because I could pronounce it, and some wild-card that started with an F. The schnitzel was great, served with potatoes and kraut, but even better was the little nameless sausage fritter. The meal was great, and made even better by a delicious bottled lemonade. I left and headed for the Berlin Wall, which I didn’t even know was there the night before. The Wall was really interesting, and murals and overall preservation of the landmark. The gate full of locks left by couples was really cute, and I hope to someday come back with Emily and leave one. I also found the Best Buddies Friendship Bear across the street that artist Romero Britto dedicated, which is hands down the most inviting fixture of West Berlin. Over the rest of the day I made my way around to some of Berlin’s other famed sights. One personal highlight for me was the Tiergarten, Berlin’s largest green space that was converted from a private hunting ground to public park in the 18th century. Another interesting find was the famed Bauhaus Archive, where my thirst for contemporary architecture led me to buy a (small) water bottle for 4 euro. I assumed this is because it was filled with Walter Gropius’ tears, which made me want to punch the barista a little less. After that, I concluded the day with some Bibimbap at a hip-Korean restaurant, and whatever you consider bar-hopping on a Sunday.
The next day it was time to get my white girl on, and shop till I drop. I shamefully/intelligently did extensive gathering of local stores, and mapped out store-to-store directions for the whole day. They were centrally located in a shopping district for the most part, but a few of them were far separated, forcing me to utilize public transportation. The clothing scene in Berlin is really cool for the most part, so many of the stores had a nice selection. Lots of it wasn’t quite my style but I still loved seeing all the different stores. After about 15 stores, I came out of it with one black t-shirt and some interesting retail insight. Now that shopping was complete, it seemed like the perfect time to make my way back over to the Polish restaurant. It was open this time, so I made my way in. The restaurant had an odd coffee shop feel, and I was surprised to see one guy ran the front and cooked. I ordered the Russian pirogies and the meatballs with potato dumplings. Both turned out awesome, and made the trip back worth it. Afterwards, I made my way back to the hotel to take a break and relax for a few minutes. It was a Monday night, so regardless of the city that’s pretty much a bust. However, I was able to get a few recommendations from one store employee. I visited one of the suggested spots, which was a small wooden bar that focused on speciality cocktails. Like most good cocktail bars at this point, there was the unfortunate 1920’s hipster nostalgia looming, but the drinks were wonderful and the people friendly. This was a nice clam finish to my trip, and shortly after I made my way back to the hotel to get a few hours of sleep before my early flight to Copenhagen.