We left Tbilisi around 3am, and didn’t manage to sleep a wink beforehand. I get nervous before flying, more so because of the fear of a culture shock than actually being in the air.
I’m not sure if it was really bad or actually really good timing, but we left on the same night as a big football match between Seville and Barcelona that took place in Tbilisi. Seville lost and left Tbilisi as soon as possible, so were our company at the airport.
We ordered some awful food while we waited for boarding, only to be put behind the entire football club as they desperately needed shauwma before boarding their private jet. It was amusing, especially when they openly scratched their balls and yelled in Spanish, which only enamoured onlookers more.
We connected at Istanbul, with just enough time to have a coffee (I don’t drink coffee so you can tell how exhausted I was) and some Turkish Delight samples for breakfast.
We arrived in Berlin around midday, greeted by Shota’s childhood friend Alex, then drove through Berlin to pick up his beautiful Polish wife, Ewa. There’s always something to look at in Berlin, the streets don’t get boring. I also noticed for the first time that the areas generally look the same, there isn’t such an extreme difference between rich and poor like you’d notice in London or Paris.
Ewa and Alex are great, they’ve lived in Berlin for several years so know all the best places. I noticed during this trip that Berlinians love to eat out, much more than the stereotype suggests. Especially when compared to London, the food is pretty cheap and there’s loads to choose from. First up was a place called Momos, an Asian fusion Vegan/Vegetarian restaurant which specialised in steamed and fried dumplings. We shared a platter of six different types with various fillings, although I’d say the pumpkin one was my favourite. Washed down with a Green Tea from ChariTea.
Forgive my lack of photos, my camera was in the luggage and I’m pretty sure my phone battery had ran out too!
We walked to a cafe which I can’t remember the name of and had some Italian cheesecake (it was more nutty and dense than normal) with some more tea while catching up and admiring the scenery. Even though there were plenty of cafes and restaurants in the area, I don’t ever remember finding it loud or overwhelming, despite being so close to the city center.
Before heading home we popped into the supermarket to grab a few things. I love food shopping, even more so in foreign countries. There’s always something different, or you can tell just how much that country prefers nutty chocolate bars to caramel ones. In Berlin I’m impressed by the amount of healthy snack options. For example, you can buy quinoa salad pots to-go, which have finally made their way to some upper-class British supermarkets too, but in the UK we always favour the classics like cheese & pickle or club sandwiches over the new and healthy.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing and chatting, and Ewa made an incredible dinner for us. Salmon, potato and pumpkin:
The photo doesn’t do it justice. We washed it down with Prosecco and some wine from New Zealand (that I can’t remember the name of!) so rest assured I slept like a log soon after.
Stay tuned for day two!