Last night we ate dinner in what seemed to be a new district, with an Imax theatre right in the middle. Nearby was an icecream shop with a queue out the door. I wandered over to look at the menu. On one page were a series of icecreams shaped to look like savoury dishes - lasagne, spaghetti bolognaise and, worst of all, a hamburger pattie with chips. It reminded me of a conversation that Petite and I had about how wrong it is to have one food shaped to look like another ( although I must say I do quite like lolly bananas.) This cafe seemed to take this to new heights. The bolognaise sauce was particularly repugnant - it seemed to be some kind of raspberry sauce with chocolate pieces in it. Not surprisingly, no one seemed to be eating these deserts, opting for the much more conventional, but still quite lavish, sundaes and cones.
On Saturday we headed to Berlin on the autobahn. It is a somewhat terrifying experience to be overtaken by cars travelling at seemingly double your own speed when your own speedometer says 130 kms. We stayed in the lane with the caravans.
At about 7 we realised we probably wouldn´t make it to Berlin that night and decided to stay in Leipzeg - one of the main towns in the former East Germany. It was what I imagine it would be like to enter a city after a disaster has struck - the buildings were all deserted, windows bordered up, shops empty and neglected. In the first street we saw a couple of young Goths heading out for the night. We turned the corner and saw two more Goths. At the bus station a group of five Goths were waiting; boys with white faces and top hats and girls in vinyl bustiers and purple satin skirts. In the city centre there were hundreds of them- it seemed as if the whole of Leipzeg was entirely inhabited by Goths and everyone else had left.
We stopped at a hotel to see if any rooms were available. The woman shook her head. "You won´t find any rooms free in the whole town." she said. "Tonight is Ravengoth." Ah, Ravengoth. That made sense. We wondered if the camping site would be full too - it´s hard to imagine Goths in tents - perhaps they just roost in the trees, capes over their heads until it´s dark enough to emerge for the evening. We decided not to bother with Leipzeg, and headed off again instead.
We arrived in Berlin very early on Sunday morning and the streets were deserted, which was much better than arriving in Paris at peak hour as we did last week. A friend who now lives in Australia had said we could stay in the flat he still has in Berlin; all we needed to do was contact his friend who had the spare keys. The only problem with this, we discovered, was that the friend had lost the keys. We booked into the most expensive youth hostel I´ve ever stayed in - $110 Australian dollars for two bunk beds and a sink. Still, they did supply a fabulous breakfast.
Yesterday was a public holiday so we wandered around the city and stumbled across the Berlin History Museum. We saw an exhibition on the history of German advertising and another on World War One. I was vaguelz aware of two middle-aged women wandering around, keeping pace with Thieu and me, dressed in bright floral dresses, sunhats and high heels. We stopped for a break at one stage and when they walked passed I realised that one was actually a man with a blonde wig. They walked by, deep in conversation about the exhibition, paying no attention to the sideways glances they were receiving.
This morning, the key to the flat has been discovered and we have moved in. It´s very nice to be able to stay in the one place for a couple of days.