Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Food Lover's Paradise

Monday was an exceptional day. My interpreter, the Pope and me were out and about for 9 hours. We walked everywhere. We began at the infamous Kaufhaus des Westens, also known as Ka De We. (Pronounced kah-day-vay). This is a 7 story department store.

The 1st floor is make up and accessories. Since I wear almost none, the most intriguing aspect of this floor was the incredible artificial floral displays perched on top of jewelry cases. It turned out that the whole building is laden with sumptuous, yet simple display art.

The 2nd floor was amazing. The entire space was for men and it was a work of art. The colors were vivid, unexpected and almost edible. The presentation of dress shirts was breathtaking: sherbet colors of every imaginable hue in ultra neat rows of cases. I managed to sneak and illegal photo of the massive display of pink ties. Pink!

But the crowning glory of this establishment is the 6th floor. It is the quintessential food lover's paradise. The chocolate section alone makes death by chocolate sound appealing. We bought some reduced Easter candy on the cheap to gorge on at the hotel, as well as German brands we had yet to try. The meat department is unparalleled. There is 165 feet of curving glass cases filled only with sausages. This country is serious about it's lunch meat!

There is a marble-topped food bar at every department for dining. Wine and beer are served at each one. After much wandering, we settled down at the Gourmet potato Bar for the best fried potatoes on planet earth. Along with the taters came a plate of smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, the freshest salad and sliced pickles, all arranged as if meant for an art gallery display. The Pope had his picture taken with 2 of the potato chefs.

The Pope's favorite moment of the day, however, was meeting Rolf, the egg man. Rolf stands behind a display of eggs in baskets, where customers are invited to buy eggs one at a time. No racks of Styrofoam eggs cartons for the Germans. White and brown eggs are 25 cents each, while goose eggs run 3.50 Euros apiece. Yikes! Ostrich eggs were also available. To prevent fainting, we declined to ask the price of those. I think Rolf and the Pope will have the hands-down winner photo of the whole trip.

There was only one draw-back at Ka De We. Rounding the corner from the Thai bar, we encountered the most unpleasant smell. As we kept walking, the word 'stench' became appropriate. A cross between bad foot odor and a bathroom in need of arifreshener. The mystery was solved as the massive cheese department came into view. Although the wine and cheese bar in the department was theoretically appealing, the stench would have knocked me off the bar stool.

We strolled through the Berlin Zoo in the late afternoon in search of pandas and giraffes. Unfortunately, the zoo was full of contrast. The outdoors was filled with gorgeous trees and flowers, and an intimate heron rookery. The cat house, however, was antiquated, sterile and most unfair to it's occupants. The incessantly pacing black jaguar was too disturbing to watch. The panda did not have the royal accommodations I had envisioned.

Today is museum day. Guten Tag!

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I always appreciate the time you take to comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by. Peace from my heart to yours. xo, Graciel

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