First Day in Berlin

Trip Start Jul 16, 2013
Trip End Oct 07, 2013

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Flag of Germany  ,
Saturday, July 27, 2013

My first task was to scout the surrounding side streets for pubs and German food. There are restaurants absolutely everywhere but mostly Italian. Not that that's necessarily bad but this is Germany. Not that I'm sure there are enough different German dishes that would keep me going more than a few days.

This is what a really ordinary street looks like. Though it's a bit more usual to have a few tables and chairs on the street - either a restaurant or even just a corner shop where people will just sit outside drinking.

My front door. Behind the door is an entrance hall and behind that a courtyard. I'm up some stairs behind a door in the courtyard.

As usual you're never far from water in Berlin. There were a few restaurants set up by the water here but I'm always a bit wary of places like this. Perhaps incorrectly so. This isn't Rome and the base prices really are very reasonable.

Another statue for my collection. No idea who this bloke is.

This is where I had my first beer yesterday. They mentioned breakfast on the window but I'd already determined that that was a thing of the past. But I did have a beer and get a pic of their rather fancy beer tap.

A cozy corner for a chat... Or a game of cards as I saw yesterday.

Some outside seating as well.

One thing to be prepared for - you don't pay for drinks in pubs as you go, they always run a tab and you pay at the end. I think you're expected to tip even in a pub. But at least this way you're not awkwardly tipping with each beer. And bear in mind that they no doubt earn as much as us but beers in pubs are much cheaper than in Australia.

I'm somewhat surprised that they can keep up their tradition of paying at the end with so many tourists around. You'd think some of them would make a dash for it though the prices are so low that there's hardly any point.

Something I came across while looking for tea. Ancient Greek and Latin lessons and practice with a view to being conversationally proficient.

It may look like I didn't do much today but I did end up walking a long way and it's really hot here at that moment.

Tea time... the one really promising place with German cuisine is closed for holidays until Tuesday.

In the meantime I came across this place which had Königsberger Klopsen on the menu and I can't imagine anything sounding more German than that. Meatballs in a white sauce with capers - usually served with potatoes. Pretty good.

The church opposite. We're so used to them being free-standing buildings so it's strange to see them as just another building in the street.

And in the other direction. Nothing too fancy, just pleasant.

And next to my table something left over from another era...

As for tipping they've so far been content with 10%25 which is ok seeing the food and beer are on the whole pretty cheap. And it's probably less than I'd often leave anyway considering what 10%25 of such a small amount comes to. The waitrons carry a wallet around with them so when it comes time to pay they can immediately make change which is a pretty good system when you think about it.

I think I read somewhere that it's considered not the thing to do to leave the tip on the table. When you pay you add it on and tell them to make it up to xx. Anyway that's what I've been doing and it doesn't seem to have caused any confusion - perhaps I've got it right.

I think I've solved the problem of Russian lessons. Originally I'd planned on flying to Latvia to a Russian speaking city, then I decided that with the money I saved on airfare I could get lessons here - and the lessons in Latvia weren't that cheap anyway. And I was rather put off by having to fly then catch a train then fly back again... Anyway, I've now found someone here. First lesson tomorrow.
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Axeman on

" Meatballs in a white sauce with capers - usually served with potatoes. "
... All I can say is YUM YUM YUM !!!

David on


Anthony Havens on

"Beer is cheaper than in Australia". No surprises there given the exchange rate but what is the price in Euro more or less? The Brits who commented on that TV programme I mentioned (on your next blog entry) also say its cheaper than in the UK but maybe they're talking London prices. My "local" here in Brighton Marina its from 2 to 2.50 quid a pint for "real ale" and you can get 500ml bottle Warsteiner Weissbeir for just 3 quid. Mind you it is a Weatherspoons pub if you know what that is. Often grotty but not this one.

Anthony Havens on

Watch out Rob, Dave from the ATO is on your case. Or is he one of your mates winding you up? Or just an envious bastard?.

budz888 on

Probably someone having a laugh.

budz888 on

I bought a Leipzig beer the other day, 500 ml for €0.90. In a shop. Some pubs, for .4 litre, €1.9 up to €2.3. Every restaurant has beer on tap. Never more than €3.20 for .4 litre. Could be €2.50.

Anthony Havens on

Was in LIDL yesterday (just outside Brighton Marina) they have many beers (500ml) for 0.99p (E1.15). 0.4 litre is a strange-sized measure, is that standard size over there?

budz888 on

It's a very commonly sided glass in pubs over here.

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