LOTTERLEBEN IS NOW CLOSED
I'd heard that Berlin had recently had a big snowfall so I wasn't altogether surprised to see the entire city blanketed in white as my plane came in to land at Tegel Airport last week. But what did come as something of a shock was the eight inches of thick ice - still containing the residue of New Year's Eve fireworks - covering every pavement. Winters are always hard in Berlin but this was something else. Ice upon grit upon snow upon ice - well you get the picture. Undeterred Coffee Boy and I headed to the Mauerpark Flohmarkt the morning after we arrived. It's an enormous flea market held in a park where part of the wall used to run and sells everything from handcrafted baby clothes to bits of old electrical cable. In truth we were more interested in browsing than actually buying anything (sorry freezing stall holders) but did purchase some delicious caramel & mint licorice. After we'd had our fill of shuffling past the eclectic offerings we stopped to watch the intrepid sledgers on the steep hill in the park alongside - some of whom were reaching speeds that wouldn't look out of place in the Winter Olympics. By this stage we were thoroughly cold and decided that the best thing to warm us up would be a hot drink and perhaps a slice of cake.