Saturday, October 18, 2008

Day 10 - Fun Day in Berlin

Time has been flying on this vacation. I have done many things, seen many sites and had restful and peaceful walks. Today would be a combination day of visiting, talking and touring.

The day started off with breakfast at Uschi & Harald's apartment and then Uschi, Gerhard, Jürgen, Christa and I were off in the car to the main area of Berlin. First we stopped at Alexander Platz and visited the Alexis Mall. Gerhard and I had been here before and it is a magnificent mall with many stores to visit. In the mall was an ice cream parlor where we stopped for ice cream cones. I was entranced with the way the ice cream was mounded in the show case.

After this walk around the Alexis Mall we got back in the car and headed for downtown Berlin. I had wanted to visit the large department store in Berlin "KaDeWe" and had mentioned that to Gerhard before I came to Berlin. Today would be the day. I had been to KaDeWe in 1993 when I visited my brother and his family. At that time we only cruised through the store, went to the top level and had some lunch at the multitudes of concession areas available. Today, though, us 3 women would do a women's visit of the store!

Outside of KaDeWe was a Curry Wurst concession stand. Now I admit, I had not heard of curry wurst but evidently it is a delicacy in Germany. Gerhard even told me that my nephew, Jay, when visiting Gerhard last year, had requested a visit to a curry wurst stand. It was told to me that this particular curry wurst stand was a particularly good one.

It was very cold and windy out but we did partake in the foods offered and had a few moments of rest.

Following our lunch, off to KaDeWe we went. The two men, went their own way, to visit the computer area of the store and they returned home to Marzahn by bus. They certainly didn't want to tag along with 3 women in a major department store! In the US, we have many large department stores. I grew up in the Detroit area with the JL Hudson company and my mother worked there for 25 years. A nice department store with quality labels. Over the years, Hudson's was sold to Marshall Fields and now has become part of the Macy's family and in St. Joe there are no Macy's stores available. The closest store is the large Macy's on State Street in Chicago and I have taken the Amtrak there on occasion to spend a day shopping.

There is NO comparison between KaDeWe and Macy's. KaDeWe is 1,000 times larger and much more exclusive than any store I have visited in the US. Christa, Uschi and I spent most of the day walking through all the floors and departments in this store, buying nothing!! Unusual for women, huh?

We did visit the cosmetics counters and there, front and center, was the Estee Lauder counter.

I am a faithful user of Estee Lauder cosmetics in the ReNutriv line and they are very difficult to find in St. Joseph. I have to send to Chicago to Macy's whenever I need to replenish my supply. The costs of ReNutriv have risen over the years and I was curious to see if KaDeWe carried the same lines. Sure enough, they did, and I posed for a picture holding my particular jar of ReNutriv cream. A sales associate approached me and I told her that I would like to know the price of this jar of cream. I nearly choked when I heard that the price was almost 2/3 MORE at KaDeWe. Needless to say, I did not buy it but was amused by the display of Estee Lauder. Felt like home!

Finally when we reached the home furnishings floor, we did buy a few items - some specialty dessert forks for me that I had admired in Uschi's home and a wonderful cake server utensil that I had also seen Uschi using. Being a tea lover and lover of all things "tea" related, I looked and looked at tea pots and tea sets. It had been my desire to purchase a really nice German tea set with teapot, sugar, creamer, tea cups and saucers, etc. There were so many to study in the store and it was a hard decision to decide just which set I liked the best. When all was said and done, though, the prices determined that I would have to forego this dream. It would have been too big of a bite in exchange rates and then the added costs of having the items shipped home. I was disappointed but sure did enjoy looking at all the sets.

At the end of our afternoon, we did visit the top floor where the view over Berlin was breathtaking. There we sat and had some drinks before heading back to Uschi's car and back to Marzahn with very sore feet - my feet - not Uschi's or Christa's. They are very used to all the walking.

After returning home to the apartments, we again spent time viewing family video tapes and had dinner of rouladen, potatoes and red cabbage.

It had been a long day but a very enjoyable one. I was ready for bed, though, earlier than usual due to all the walking I think.

Above photos - Copyright © 2008 by Cheryl Schulte

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