The LF survived his big night out on the town however he did come a little unstuck at Park am Gielsdreieck where it all ended with one badly sprained ankle after falling off a balancing beam. Ouch! The brave lad hobbled home and up the 5 flights of stairs in absolute agony. Needless to say things are going somewhat slower around here as a result. Here's to a speedy recovery LF.... and lots of Arnica cream (this cream is the American Express of creams to me.... 'Luckily I never leave home without it!').
Back to the park though. It is huge with 2 great playgrounds, one with a very civilised cafe for the grown ups. You can hop off the train at Mockernbrucke and walk all the way through to Yorkstrasse. On the edge of the park there is the German Technik Museum, which is meant to be awesome but unfortunately we didn't make it there. Next time.
Z woke on Friday morning adamant he wanted to go swimming so we headed off to Bad am Spreewald in Kreuzberg on the train only to find it was closed for repair. After a coffee and croissant at the gorgeous Morena Cafe. We toiled over 'Where to from here?' and found the bomb of all pools, Stadtbad Schoneberg. This place is my idea of European swimming heaven. With huge glass windows on 3 sides it looks out onto a park on one side and the courtyard of a big old apartment block on the other. The upstair lap-come-diving-pool is incredible. From the entrance you watch peoples legs kicking through a small window which shows the pool above. If you find yourself in Berlin, with or without kids, a visit here is such a tonic. After the graffiti laden streets and at times in-your-face-vibe, it was a welcomed reprieve.
Other places we lapped up:
The most incredible Vegetarian Vietnamese Restaurant, Chay Village, in Schoneberg (right near the pool). If I could cook like this I would gladly become a vegetarian.....again. Amazing.
The beer garden located very conveniently around the corner, Kurhaus Ponte Rosa, something Z and I found on one of our walks.
Brio Cafe Bistro & Kaffee Bar, both in Graefestr. Kreuzberg were on our favourite list. Z loved the park at Honenstaufen Platz around the corner. On Saturday morning they have a great little organic community market where you can get your organic booty and a great coffee while the kids play.
Ankerklaus is another fun place to go for a drink especially if you can find a seat out on the balcony in the sun. We took Z's newly purchased 'Rush Hour' (3Euro from the flea market) and sadly one of the pieces skipped off the table and landed in the Urbanhafen.
I made my way out solo on Sunday to the Boxhagnener Platz Flea Market, while the boys stayed home to rest. I must say I prefer these smaller flea markets to the bustling and very popular Mauer Park flea market (another great smaller market is situated at Arkona Platz within skipping distance from Mauer). It was a beautiful day and there is a great water park....well, water park is probably too grandiose a term for it....in the centre on Boxhagener Platz. Perfect for summer sun shenanigans. There were no shortage of vegetarian eateries around this part of town and I did get my smoothie fix (which I am really missing!) at Funk You. A raw, vegan, juice bar which was doing a roaring trade. For the crafty's Wollen looked like a friendly place for picking up wool and purchasing handmade knits, unfortunately it was closed on Sunday, as most things in Berlin seem to be.
The sun was shining and it was so liberating to be wandering the streets alone so I headed for Treptower Park with every other sun loving Berliner out for a stroll.
My friend BM, who lived in Berlin, made us a list of things to do and see. High up on the list was a beer garden situated on the edge of a playground on Landwehr Kanal in Kreuzberg, 'genius' as she put it! We spent an hour or so in the beer garden while Z man played and we read copies of ExBerliner which we had picked up for free at the Toast & Jam vintage market earlier that morning. The 1.5km walk along the canal either side is beautiful with another great park on the east at Schlesischer Busch.
We continued up the canal all the way to Badeschiff hoping to check out the swimming pool. Due to the Fashion Festival they were hosting a rave so we thought better of entering. Not really our thing.
On our last day we discovered Marheineke markethalle a fabulous indoor market place for every foodie fancy. If only we had found it earlier! Across the road is a slice of traditional Austrain heaven Felix Austria for hearty goulash and traditional stodge. We enjoyed our last lunch there sitting out on the street in the sunshine, sad to be leaving.....and yet rather pleased to be seeing the clean streets of Denmark.
There was so much more to do...... 10 days was wonderful but a month is definitely needed in this town to 'almost' scratch the surface. All in all we have loved our time in Berlin. It get's the vote as Z's favourite city so far, with Paris coming a close second.
Next Copenhagen. x