Monday, 25 June 2012

De retour d'Europe (part 1)

I'm finally back from my two weeks in Europe during which I visited Munich, Berlin and Paris. It was my first time in Germany and even though I speak a bit german, all i ended up saying in that language were "Schinken-Käse Baguette", "Marmorkuchen" and "grüne Handtasche", the first two being Starbucks items. Otherwise, most people in Berlin and Munich speak english, which made my dad very happy (his german being non-existant). The weather in Germany was gray and quite rainy in Munich. In Berlin, the weather was also cloudy, except on the last day. I visited the Brandenburg Tor, the Museum Island and the Reichstag in Berlin, while in  Munich, I visited the Residenz and walked around the old town.

I didn't eat any Wurst or Sauerkraut as I have to admit that I'm not a fan of german food. In Munich we depended a lot on Starbucks and the restaurant at the hotel (which was good), but the choice in Berlin was much better. Our hotel (the Marriott) had a nice steakhouse and at the end of the meal, they would bring us, along with the bill, a tiny fire pit with marshmallow that we could grill. It was quite fun and original.

Shopping wise, I can't say much about Munich as we didn't spend a whole lot of time there and didn't really shop. But if your dream is to own traditional bavarian clothes, you are sure to find what you want in Munich. I was indeed quite surprised to see many stores selling dirndls and lederhosen. I even saw a man on the street wearing a lederhosen. In Berlin, there are two department stores you have to visit. The first (and my favorite) is the Galerie Lafayette, which is a branch of the parisian department store. This branch is not as big as the one in Paris, but if you are craving for some french clothes and food, you'll be in heaven. The  macarons they sell in the food departments are excellent. The second department store you have to visit is the biggest in Europe (at least according to my travel guide) and it's KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens). The most interesting part of this store is the food hall, which has quite a variety of food and you can also eat there. If you are looking for original napkins, you'll also love the selection they have. Be aware though that if it is hot and humid outside, it will be worse in the store as there is no air conditioning (most public places don't have A/C in Europe) and avoid going there on a Saturday like I did. The crowd is unbearable. 

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