The Berliner Dom is a magnificent cathedral as well as the largest and most lavish church in Berlin. Built during the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm (1888-1918), this Protestant church was designed by Julius Raschdorf and built between 1894 and 1905, shortly after Germany had been united (1871). The emperor’s intention was to give his capital stature and legitimacy, and the Berliner Dom’s architecture reflects the empire’s aspirations to power combining Neoclassical, Neo-Baroque, and Neo-Renaissance elements with stucco and gold-tiled mosaics.
Back across the Spree and Bebelplatz, I am the last to arrive at the boutique. So many beautiful pieces of clothing in her fall collections. Unfortunately, it is impossible to look at — let alone think of trying on — wool and equally beautiful and heavy materials made into sweaters, coats and jackets. Instead, Tejomaya, Zelda and I try several things on from her Spring/Summer line — tops, light jackets, pants. After making a few purchases between us, we are off to Zara (Friedrichstraße 88) and Massimo Ditto (Friedrichstraße 83) shops for a “younger clientele — about two-blocks away.
With a couple of hours before our train back to Dresden, we grab lunch at a small café, pick-up our luggage, and wait for our taxi in the Regent Hotel lobby.
As the “crow flies”, the Hauptbahnhof is relatively close to our hotel. The drive is short — especially since we’ve become familiar with these streets over the past few days. Upon arrival, we take the escalator down to the designated platform, purchase bottles of water and snacks, and wait for our train to arrive . . . on time — another outstanding aspect of Germany is that it runs efficiently (and logically for linear-minded people)!
Thinking quickly, Juli calls Konstantin, who is meeting us at the station, to tell him what has happened and look for her mom as she is the only one who made it off the train. As others queue up behind us at the train door, it is apparent we are not the only one’s who didn’t make it off the amazingly quick stop. Forty-minutes or more later, we disembark at the “next” stop at Bad Schandau.
Bad Schandau is a spa town and only about 6 kilometers (less than 4 miles) from the Czech Republic border. In fact, this is exactly where we would be getting off had we time to do some hiking in the Saxon Switzerland National Park in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. I had so looked forward to hiking around Bastei, the most famous rock formation in this area, and the Bastei Bridge, a 250-foot man-made bridge that connects the rock formations and offers 360-degree views, and remnants of old medieval castles. Another time!
Recipe for Baumstriezel — Chimney Cake
Makes 3 pieces
- Place the flour in a large bowl, add yeast, sugar and salt.
- Mix in oat milk and melted butter.
- Knead into a smooth dough and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rest for 2 hours.
- Preheat the broiler of your oven to 250°C.
- Grease a rolling pin with butter and wrap the handles in aluminum foil.
- Divide the dough into three pieces. Roll one piece into a disc, 0.5 cm thick. Cover the remaining two pieces with a damp kitchen towel.
- Cut the dough into a spiral, so that you get a long string that is about 1 cm thick.
- Tightly wrap the string around the rolling pin.
- Brush with melted butter and generously sprinkle with sugar.
- Place the rolling pin over a baking dish so that the handles will rest on the edges of the dish but the centre of the pin with the dough wrapped around it won't touch the dish.
- Place under the broiler and bake for about one minute or until the sugar starts to caramelise and changes its colour to brown.
- Rotate the pin a bit and repeat.
- Bake and rotate until the cake is evenly browned.
- Carefully remove from oven. Cover with a kitchen towel and push the cake off the pin.
- Serve and eat immediately. Sometimes these are served with custard or soft ice-cream inside the chimney
- Bake the remaining two chimney cakes.
Back at Zelda’s apartment, we made train reservations for Prague before saying good-night. While unpacking my suitcase, the music outside in the Neumarkt turns to danceable rock music. Texting the Nuest’as, only Zelda was interested in joining me on the square for some fun! And, fun we had . . . dancing and singing to American songs we know and just dancing to one’s in German that we didn’t know. With drinks in hand, we had a grand time . . . staying past the main entertainment and until the clouds released more than a sprinkling of raindrops.