SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN BERLIN, ICE CREAM TO ARCHITECTURE
Stroll down any Berlin street and the architecture will fascinate. Mix that with a sunny day and top it off with ice cream. What more is there to life? The sky was unmarred by white, and the ice cream dripped steadily in the warmth of the Berlin sun. Believe it or not, but the entire country shuts down on Sundays. It is a throwback in time. Sunday is a day of friends, family and feeding. Eating is what there is to do, and people flock to the sidewalk tables outside of restaurants, picnic in the many parks, and form 30 minute, snaked lines out of ice cream parlor doorways. Ironically it is hotter in the ice cream parlor than out.
Ice Cream You Scream
Could not resist. And we have found a few ice cream parlors that cannot be resisted. It is not the heat, it is the sun and being outside without layers of wool, Thinsulate and down. Spring still has a chill to the air, but the draw to ice cream is a magnetic force. If ice cream can be a meal replacement, then yesterday’s excursion fit that description.
Stop One for Ice Cream
We have visited Jone’s Ice Cream a few times now. It is well-worth the wait. There is rarely a time that the line is not out the door and slightly curved onto the sidewalk. As served customers exit the shop with their dripping cones being lapped, there is a wave of jealousy that is emoted at the passing. The flavor chart outside is checked, rechecked and checked again. Decisions are discussed, second guessed and changed. Even once inside, the ice cream now in full view, there are those who fear a wrong decision and stand back for a moment to two. On the off chance that the sign outside might have been wrong, the tags at the front of each ice cream bin are read in hushed voices. Others who are satisfied with what they will order exude self-confidence, thus are urged to go ahead.
Handmade waffle cones are gently topped with abundant heaps of scooped ice cream. In fact, the whole store is scented from the freshly made cones, making the craving ever stronger and uncontrollable. With only two tasters for the first round, the more conservative of the two, chose a single scoop of Salted Butter Caramel. Taster number two went whimsy and opted for Banana Choco Marshmallow with sprinkles. Her eyes nearly popped watching them roll the ice cream in not one, but two dips of sprinkles-a dip for each scoop. Wow, she remarked, as now the cone had sprinkles wedged in between the scoops. (A moment of motherly bliss in seeing the delight in a child’s eyes, albeit a child out of her teens.)
Stop Two for More Ice Cream
When testing ice cream shops, why do it on separate days when the marketing research can be bundled into one? The best part about city life is all the walking that one does. As a result of all the walking, calories and pounds are shed, thus eliminating the guilt of gluttony. Vanille & Marille, was stop number two.
Again the line snaked out the door, and had a bend as the sidewalk narrowed. Benches outside the store, lined with lickers, wiped drips from chins, shirts and entire children. A long flavor list made it hard to choose. Wavering between Blueberry Cheesecake and Venezuelan Chocolate, the chocolate won. And to top it off, or bottom it out, the cone was chocolate flavored as well. The cone was so dark that it bordered on black and made for a very dramatic effect. Plus it tasted really good. If blacking out from chocolate is the desire, then chocolate on chocolate is the way to go.
English, The Adopted Language of Berlin
German is the official language of Germany. Period. But you would not know that on any given day in Berlin. It is has become the international hub and one of the most sought places to be in Europe. It is harder to have a conversation in German than in English. But at Jones, where the scooper knows we are English speakers, because we have now frequented the joint, he speaks to us in German, even when we switch to our American accents on “Salted Butter Caramel.” Try as we may to get a German accent going, the American one comes through. English is spoken throughout Europe now as the international language, but nowhere to the extent that it is in Berlin.
Berlin is a most amazing city. Walk down any street and new buildings abut old, many of the new replacing holes where bombs destroyed much of the city. Façades, saved when possible, hide glass and steel interiors, and drab, undecorated cement buildings stand side-by-side. Storefronts dot the ground floors of buildings along busy streets, and little neighborhoods are tucked inside of the grid of boulevards. Walking a city is the best way to find things. Use a guidebook to find the places you want to end up, but stay above ground and explore the city streets in a meandering fashion. And this is how the tiny ice cream shops are come upon. Oh, and the buildings, as well, of course.
Jones Ice Cream
Goltzstrasse 3 , 10781 Berlin
Vanille & Marille
Belziger Straße 24, 10823 Berlin
(This is the one we went to, but they have 6 locations in Berlin and 1 in Potsdam (another place to visit on a trip to Berlin).)Berlin by foot is the best way to see the city.Wear walking shoes and go from ice cream store to architecture.Bliss. Click To Tweet