We love it here and feel very much at home in familiar surroundings. We'd actually booked to have dinner at the Dachgarten at the Bundestag on Wednesday, but my hero had had a phone call asking if we could change our reservation - it seems someone more important required our table. So, there we were on our first evening, sitting high above the city, enjoying the view. A grand start to our holiday.
I'm reviewing the engineering again before too long and wondering just how many of those small eyelets are holding things together in that glass dome high above the Bundestag? Did Norman Foster calculate the tensions and work it all out on paper?
This morning, we were striding out along Leipzigerstrasse, noting the evidence of the upcoming election.
Other candidates are available, of course, but sadly, no other shoes, because already mine were starting to rub. It wasn't a wise decision to choose a new pair of shoes to wear today, after a summer of wearing mostly Birkenstocks, was it? Never mind, a DM store just along the way supplied plasters and a pair of popsox and suitably equipped, I was able to continue.
We decided against the German Curry Wurst Museum and explored Friedrichstrasse, the main shopping street of the old city. A fun morning, then, dropping in and out of shops, including the amazing Dussmann bookstore and a lengthy chat with Angellika in the Miele showroom about our steam oven at home.
Unter den Linden looked pretty in the sunshine, though the ongoing building works for the new U Bahn line are still creating a bit of a blot on the landscape.
The boards surrounding the workplace provide an interesting diversion, though.
We never struggle to find somewhere good to eat though, and the Augustiner in Gendarmenmarkt provided us with a little Bavarian sustenance to get us through till dinner time.
There's always something grand to see as well, and an afternoon spend mooching around was fun, if a little hard on the feet.
The word "Erzgebirge" on a sign outside a shop could mean only one thing, and we needed no further temptation to step inside and take a look. Only after I'd taken the photograph did I spot the "no photography" sign, so having apologised profusely, we behaved ourselves for the rest of the time in there!
Meanwhile, my hero had been sitting outside the shop, planning our next move, which was to the Berliner Dom, the cathedral, a little further along Unter Den Linden, almost to Alexanderplatz. We'd have dropped into the Pergamon museum to see the amazing Babylonian gateway if we could, but sadly it's being renovated (the museum, not the Babylonian Gateway!) Having had a good look at the interior of the cathedral and the crypt, where the tomb of Frederick the Great of Prussia was to be found in a rather larger than expected collection of sarcophagi.
By now though, my feet were really reminding me that they'd already received some attention earlier and that perhaps I was pushing it a bit to expect them to keep going any longer. The plasters I'd applied this morning were not much use and I was too preoccupied with all of that to be able to focus on any more sightseeing. Alexanderplatz wasn't so far ahead - the TV tower was a good marker - and we'd already identified a direct U-bahn journay back to Potsdamerplatz and our hotel.
After a little work in the footcare department, things were rather more comfortable. Hopefully, it'll stay dry tomorrow, because come rain or shine, it's going to be a Birkenstock day, for sure!