On our second day in Berlin, we actually woke up at a reasonable time. The jet lag from all of our travels was beginning to pass and it was getting to be easier and easier to sleep in the morning. We had a small breakfast/snack of croissants and coffee while we got ready and then headed out to Prenzlauer Berg. Prenzlauer Berg is a hub of bohemian culture in Berlin although it had recently become more gentrified. It’s home to some amazing brunch places, markets, cafes, parks, and beer gardens. Nicole and I went for Brunch.
Brunch in Prenzlauer Berg
A few short tram stops away we arrived in scenic Prenzlauer Berg and walked to a brunch place I’d found online. It was situated right beside a park in a quiet plaza away from traffic and the main roads. We enjoyed a leisurely meal and listened to this kid play saxophone. He looked like he was in middle school or early high school, but he was a very impressive musician. At the end of his set, he walked around and collected some money before heading to another venue.
After breakfast we walked to Mauerpark, a park not too far away. The park holds a Sunday flea market that had a lot of really cool antiques, clothes, crafts, and live music. I bought some soap for our new apartment this coming year. I wanted to buy more things, but we had limited space and a trip to Iceland ahead of us so I refrained. We saw a band performing at the entrance to the park as well as several other performers, including a man wearing a horse mask playing guitar in his underwear. It was bizarre.
From the flea market we walked over to the Prater Biergarten, a local biergarten in a courtyard. The garden holds several hundred people and they were expecting at least that many for the world cup game against Argentina that night. We saw them setting up more benches and chairs. While we were there, the place was almost entirely empty. There were a handful of Germans and tourists sitting at various tables enjoying the afternoon. It was nice to visit and get a feel for the place before it became so packed that no one could sit down.
The Calm During the Storm
Dark clouds started to roll in while we were at the beer garden so we packed up our things and headed back for the afternoon. That night we went to a brewery turned nightclub and watched the final world cup game: Argentina vs. Germany.
The dance floor was lined with row after row of benches and packed with people. In the courtyard outside there were dozens of people shoulder to shoulder watching the game as well. All along the street, everyone was tuned in to the game. Streetside cafes set up TVs on spare tables and everyone was watching intently. After the game, fireworks were going off everywhere. The LCD screens at every bus stop were broadcasting the news and the score. Germany won the world cup.