Our first trip of the day was back to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. We’d seen the memorial on our walking tour but had been recommended the information centre and exhibition, we queued briefly to get in, interestingly the first time we’ve queued for anything. The exhibition was as sad as you can imagine from listing the numbers of people killed at the hands of the nazis to some boards following individual families and what happened to them. A very sobering experience for our first visit of the day.
After that we decided it was time to do something a bit more fun to lighten the mood, a brewery tour. On the way it was brought to our attention a strange phenomenon over here. We’ve begun to notice when you cross roads over here, cars seem to deliberately speed up and even swerve towards you. I’m not truly sure why but our guide on the walking tour said jaywalking isn’t encouraged in Berlin and you can be fined 10 euros so maybe it’s that.
The afternoon’s plan was a brewery crawl around Berlin. I have to admit of what I’ve seen so far, most German beers taste pretty similar. And there isn’t much experimentation at all. I think the explanation behind this is the German Purity laws but it can be a pretty bland beer scene. I did find one place that was a little different though, Brauhaus Lemke. Had an IPA, Imperial IPA and an Imperial Stout. It was one of three breweries we tried today, the others were percuilar for a couple of reasons. At our first one Brauhaus Georgbraeu we saw someone vomit after finishing their dinner, and then impressively finish their beer (I haven’t done that since my uni days). At our second, Brauhaus Marcus Brau they had some fake beers in the window that were some sort of yellow liquid with cotton wool on top. A bit strange and I didn’t really see the point when they had a brewery in the window too. The tour finished after three breweries, unfortunately we had planned four but one was closed. Nine new beers tried.
A nice way to see the city though and a few beers in between is always a treat.
We discovered a real diamond in the rough tonight. A couple of days ago we noticed a concert hall just in the area we’re staying, Gendarmenmarkt. We thought it might be nice to see something while we’re here so popped into the box office to see what was on. The lady behind the counter ran through a series of performances but then mentioned the orchestra were performing with a rapper. We instantly said ‘that one please’. It’s been very much a feature of our time together that we’ve managed to discover some weird and wonderful stuff and we both enjoying seeing or trying something different.
The rapper was MoTrip and the orchestra was conducted by Jimek who seemed to be a star in his own right, he was dressed in a very casual outfit, no socks, longish hair and looking pretty unshaven (for weeks). The orchestra played all the rapper’s songs whilst he sang with a couple of guest stars. It was all in German but in a way that makes you appreciate the music even more and especially the interaction between the orchestra and the singer. The performance was enthralling and the different range of instruments used from the xylophone to the organ, strings to wind and the drummer at one point using an empty drink bottle with ice in it was pretty amazing to watch.
The singer went off for a while and the orchestra recreated excepts from a variety of hip hop songs which was a joy to watch. Only after returning home and looking up Jimek did we learn he is a famous composer from Poland who won the Beyoncé remix challenge in 2012 and went on to become a star in his own right, adapting different types of music to a classical orchestra. A real rare find and an amazing night.