Thursday, 29 October 2009

Berlin Part 2: Exploring Brandenburg

When I finally arrived in Berlin, my friend C met me at the station and we went back to her flat in the Prenzlauer Berg district, which is in what used to be the East German part of Berlin. I met her boyfriend for the first time and we had pizza before heading out to the pub around the corner. The walls were covered with DDR memorabilia, like maps of East Berlin where the western side appeared as nothing but a desolate wasteland, and, after Milan and Paris, the drinks were refreshingly cheap.

On Sunday morning, boyfriend (who is English) and I ganged up on C in the breakfast Marmite vs Mustard debate. Mmm, marmite... I think I have some in my cupboard. After that, we headed out in the car to Kremmen, a town not far from Berlin where the most exciting sight is a very old church which, as its citizens proudly remind all tourists, won “monument of the month” in November 1995.

In the olden days, the town was repeatedly burned down as fires swept through barns and grain lofts within the walls, so eventually the people hit on the bright idea of moving the grain to barns outside the walls. Lots of these have now been turned into cafes, art galleries and kitschy souvenir shops, and we stopped off at one for Kaffee and enormous slices of Kuchen. After that, we had a walk around the lake at nearby Beetz, another tiny, sleepy town before braving the speedlimitless Autobahn back to Berlin.

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