Hack and Heck - Consumer Courtyards
Other delights in the Oranienburger Strasse area are the groups of courtyards developed for shopping and generally indulging oneself. The biggest of these, at the corner of Rosenthaler Strasse, is the Hackesche Hofe, conveniently located almost directly opposite Hackescher Markt Bahnhof. This is described as a 'series of nine interlinking Jugendstil courtyards' and I must say that I have a small problem with that description. The first courtyard definitely has Jugendstil facades but lots of the others come no where near meriting this description. However, they are all delightful places to browse and wander in and it was great to see some original and exciting merchandise. Obviously there are plenty of places to eat and drink here as well and there are also, galleries and a theatre. The galleries made for wonderful window shopping and if I were rich I think I could have quite easily been parted from some of my money here.
Further up Oranienburger Strasse is the entrance to the smaller but equally enjoyable Heckmann Hofe. Both these complexes are undoubtedly a bit touristy but especially off-season it would be difficult not to enjoy what they have to offer.
They drive lovely half-a-car :-)
I could see quite a lot such short cars as on my picture on streets of Berlin. Sign of shortage of parking places? Maybe.
Never mind, I liked them as much as I liked PT-cruisers in the USA. The car is called Smart and is produced by Swatch (yes, the Swiss company known as watch producer) but sold (and serviced) in Mercedes-Benz net. I think they are the world's shortest cars (only 2.5 m = 8 ft + almost 2 inches :-) - designated for 2 passangers only, no rear seats inside.
It's a pity they are as expensive as "normal", compact or even midsize cars for 4-5, at least in my country. I can see them in my hometown from time to time including new Smart roadster (amazing!) and Smart for four (add 1 PT Cruiser of my friend :-). They are going to sell these cars in the USA since 2006 :-).
(1) - Introduction
We went to Treptower Park because I wanted to see the kitschy-bombastic monument of the Soviet soldier with the child, the symbol of the liberation from fascism and the Nazis by the Soviet army, and the glorious start of the not so glorious GDR state.
This Soviet Memorial is the centre-piece of the huge 10 hectare park which is bordered by the river Spree. But the park is really much more. It is a great place of relaxation, has a lot of space for lying down in the grass, have a picnic, and for ball games. You can walk for several kilometres on the promenade along the river, hire a rowing or pedal boat. There are also kiosks along the river where you get a Berliner Weiße mit Schuss.
Be prepared to walk quite a bit from the S-Bahn station Treptower Park. BTW Next to the S-Bahn station you find boats for tours, and the kiosks. If you turn to the left you get to the Molecule Man and the Treptowers, a big swimming pool on the river, and a real bit further down – we took the bus LOL – you reach Oberbaumbrücke and Eastside Gallery.
If you do not walk along the river but cross busy Alt-Treptow street you cross a huge lawn, used for suntanning and playing, and to a big lake which the Berliners call “Karpfenteich” (Carp Pond). From there it is not far to the Soviet Memorial (Sowjetisches Ehrenmal).
Another attraction of the park is Archenhold-Sternwarte (Observatory). They have the world’s longest lens telescope.
Between the streets Puschkinallee und Am Treptower Park, 12435 Berlin-Treptow
S-Bahn S41, S42, S8, S85, S9, station Treptower Park
Buses 166, 265, 365, stations Sowjetisches Ehrenmal and Herkomer Straße
Sweet gifts from Berlin
I came inside this luxury German cake shop and cafe (on 1st floor) when Urszula was doing shopping (or rather window shopping) in nearby Gino Rossi shop (btw there were great shoes there).
They sold pralines, cakes and sweets (chocolades, marzipan, truffles, various fruit jams) and champagne inside the impressive disigned interior of the cake shop on the ground floor. On request everything was put inside lovely, colorful boxes (red hearts) and/or wrapped with colorful paper with a gift/greeting card added.
I didn't know that name "Leysieffer" when I came there. Now, I know that it's the German chocolate manufacturer who offered sweet specialties since 1909. I saw some of them in KaDeWe supermarket later. As I have a little experimental soul when I travel I bought: white chocolade with... chili :-). I never ate it before. Interesting taste but not worth almost 4.00 ? as I remember.
Next time I will buy something else there: maybe some cakes from my picture and something as gifts from Berlin to my family/friends :-) Expensive stuff! Approx. 3.00 - 4.00 € for 100g chocolade.
From Schoenefeld towards the city
From Schoenefeld airport, you can easily find a taxi. Expect to pay about 25-40E to go to the city. Soenefeld is on the east side, so the more in the west your final destination is, the more expensive the tariff.
Alternatively you can use the S-bahn line 9 towards city center/Spandau from the train station next to the airport. Although the information and client services at the station are inadequate, when you finally understand which is the most appropriate line for you and to which platform you are going to catch it, you can go to your final destination without further inconvinience.