My old friend Jon sent me an e-mail in early December, suggesting a day trip to London the first Saturday in January. We could do some shopping, then a long lunch before returning home in the evening.
I replied with an alternative plan, pointing out that tickets to Berlin were dirt cheap – we could easily fit in plane tickets, hotel and transfer for the same amount as the tickets to London alone.
We agreed on this, and we also invited our old mate Frode as well as Erlend, who had studied with the other two, and they both agreed to join in. Frode recommended a hotel near Checkpoint Charlie. Frode flew in from Moscow, Erlend from Zurich, while Jon and I took the 06:10 flight from Oslo, so we all met up for breakfast.
We started with a visit to Checkpoint Charlie, including the rather dated museum next door. The mild weather was perfect for walking, and our next goal was Potzdamer Platz. We were close to the remaining part of the wall in Wilhelmstrasse when a sign caught our eye, promising Zunft Kölsch. It was past midday, so we agreed it was time for a refreshment.
The Kneipe was pretty basic, they did not seem to care much about smoking restrictions, and the New Year’s decorations were a bit on the rustic side.
We were pleased to find that the beer was served in glasses twice the size of the Kölsch glasses in their home town – 0,4 liters is more proper for adults. Still, most of us needed two. Frode, being the photographer, needed a steady hand, so he stopped at one. The beer? Smooth, fruity, refreshing. Just what we needed. Not that there was a long trek to the next stop…