Friday, September 17, 2010

Hamburger Kunsthalle!

Today we went Hamburger Kunsthalle... to see pretty paintings and the odd sculpture... this is Ashley loving the S-Baun in her
fancy new sweater...

Here we are with the camera on a timer... like a real tourist...

Christian Schad... a dude with sailor tattoos...
or The Reporter Egon Erwin Kisch...

The man... the myth... the legend... OTTO DIX!!!!
I've been running around screaming "Otto Dix!" for days...
this will continue when I return.

There's this great record called Return to the Sea by the band Islands... and this is on the cover... a painting by Caspar David Friedrich called The Sea of Ice...


Still in Hamburg.

Hi Friends!!!!

We are in starbucks stealing internet because we figured out this morning that we've spent nearly 50 Euro on internet the last two weeks. eek! Brock keeps yelling 'Blood bean.' He would be irritating the customers but they don't speak English so he's just irritating me. 

Hamburg is spectacular. That is all. Mum and Dad - you should come for the sailing. Dru - you should come for the straight razoring. Bobo - you should come for the babes. Heather - you should come and smoke inside in the winter! And shop. The shopping is really good.

Here are some pictures:

Here we are at China Time Hamburg.

That's what it's called.

The weather was crazy schizophrenic. 
It was dark and gloomy on one side.
Sunny time on the other.

So we had lunch.

Fill your plate for 7.50 Euro.

This is the police station. 
I think.
Brock says City Hall.

Which makes more sense. 

Boat cruise!!!
It was so informative.
By which I mean, entirely in German.
I took a nap.

Here is sketch town.
Someone tried to sell us weed.
He was walking around with a bamboo stick.
Possibly for beating.

Yada yada...
Then we got drunk.

Here is the down side of Hamburg, they make their drinks sooooo strong I have to carry Coke with me to water them down. And the tinier the place, the more smoke. Everything I have to keep me warm reeks of cigarette's.

Also, I would like to briefly clear up a mistake one of our dear readers made the other day. I, Ashley, am not the stinky one. Just for the record. I'm not saying I smell like daisy's at this present moment, but Brock is still known to Germans as 'the stinky one.' Brock however, would like me to add that he smells nowhere near as bad as Tonka. Which is true.

Bye friends!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Yesterday we arrived in Hamburg to a scary central station and a lady bathroom attendant that watched me pee... then I got us lost on the way to the hotel which turned out to be in the middle of nowhere... after checking in on the way to our room we realized it was in the basement... needless to say my first impression of Hamburg wasn't great... but that all changed when we discovered the St. Pauli district... I've always heard about the amazing graffiti in Berlin... and it is... but I soon realized that Hamburg would compete for that title... check out this fire station we saw on the way to dinner...

We went for dinner and effectively left reeking of garlic goodness...

Being the music geek that I am... I always have a show planned when I travel... Damien Jurado was playing at this cafe/bar called Haus 73... half coffee house and half Sneaky Dee's... they have this strange rule in Germany about smoking inside... the room has to be small... maybe it should be the other way around? Anyway... Damien played a really small room in the basement where everyone smoked like little chimneys... which reminded me of the days in Lee's Palace where coming home with a cigarette burn in your shirt was par for the course... enough of the flash backs... Damien was amazing and played a really long set... definitely one of my favourite shows of the year so far... which was helped by the fact I had a beautiful lady to slow dance with... here are some pictures...

After the show I decided I needed another entire pizza to myself... so we stopped on the way home... they even let me finish my beer inside... which makes me sad to return to Canada in a few days to once again face our idiotic liquor laws... here's me drunk as a skunk waiting for what I was told... the best pizza in Germany... and they could be right... that was some tasty pizza...

Every city you enter in Germany they have a different local beer... and so far they've all been amazing... but the Hamburg local is the odds on favourite for in my opinion... the best German hops... not only am I a sucker for the brew... being a graphic designer I appreciate a good logo when I see one... and Astra... Hamburgs local has both of those things...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Berlin part two!!!

I am writing this on the train to Hamburg. There is no internet, obviously, so it will be posted... at some point.
Berlin was beautiful but I left, and I think Brock would agree, feeling like I need more time there. It is so much like home but still so different. Our time was outstanding. Despite the mass amounts of rain.

Here are some balconies that are no more. 
The city redid the building to accommodate artists' studios. 

Look! We still like each other!!!

We cooked most of our meals but still enjoyed some more exceptional veggie food. A restaurant called Yellow Sunshine in the sketchy Parkdale-esque part of Berlin served amazing veggie curry-wurst and a veggie bacon cheese burger like I had never had before. Yummo.

We also did the required viewing of the Berlin wall during a soaking wet trip to the East Side Gallery. It had all been redone in 2009 so everything was different from when I was there last. Some of it had been moved around to accommodate new buildings like the O2 arena. It will be interesting to see how they continue to develop the land around the wall or whether Berlin will slowly begin to tear down what remains. 

On a voyage to one veggie restaurant, we passed a really cool shopping district that reminded me of a more developed Ossington Ave. in Toronto. There was an amazing hat store and I could’ve easily maxed out my credit card purchasing anything that would fit my head but I remained sensible and tried to leave with just what I could carry. When the shop keeper saw me trying to decided between two hats he offered me a deal to take both. I was basically forced to. You would’ve done the same.

I am now the proud new owner of a classic Stetson in green (I know, I know - a little silly buying an American hat all the way in Berlin but sssshhh) and a velour... chapeau. hahha. I have no idea what the shape is called but it is certainly a lady hat. Very versatile too. I could wear it to a funeral or a fall wedding!

On Brock’s command we also visited several record stores which weren’t the death of me. I will leave it to him to discuss in further detail. Sad to say I am not coming home with any Patsy Cline or Loretta Lynn LP’s. 

Now I’m going to nap.

Oh yeah, we also both fell in love with Otto Dix. You weren't allowed to take pictures but I sneaked this one and I strongly recommend you also become big fans.

pps. Dru, this one is for you. 
It was just as good as you always said it would be.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Sorry about the delay... the apartment which was supposed to have internet access doesn’t... but more importantly the washing machine is missing... so all the Germans call me “old stinky”... because my clothes are on round two... and trying to wash your pants in the bathtub makes for sore hands from ringing... the muggy weather isn’t helping to dry anything either... I asked about a laundromat and got laughed out of the grocery store by four fat ladies... they said something about needing my mummy. Besides that... Berlin has been wonderful... we passed the Rotten Tooth... which serves as a reminder of the war...

The highlight so far was the zoo and aquarium which is nothing like I have ever seen...

if I come back as a captive giraffe... I want to be in Berlin...

We also saw a giant panda... he was sleeping...

So many babies and roaring lions... but the best thing about this German style zoo...

for me anyway... was the beer!

And what is Berlin without Häagen-Dazs?!?!?

The ice cream was so good... I needed another beer...

And when we saw a VW dealership... it was time for another...

And when we passed the window where MJ hung Blanket out the window...

well you get the idea...

We passed through the Bradenburg Gate...

and walked through the Jewish Memorial... a shocking reminder of what everyone endured during the war... Canadian, Soviet, Jewish, American and German alike... and made me thankful of what my Grandpa along with millions of others helped accomplish.

Today it is pouring... maybe I’ll wear my wet clothes while we go shopping for dry ones... I feel like I’m giving Canadians everywhere a bad name.

Love, Old Stinky.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Czech Food Baby

Hi friends!

Brockster and I are leaving for Berlin tomorrow and good thing. If I stayed in this city another day, they would have to roll me down the hill and right out of the city... In the shock of all shocks, the food in Prague has been phenomenal. Brock did some mega research before leaving and found some really spectacular places to eat. I am currently sitting on our 3in thick imposter mattress looking somewhere between 8 and 9 months pregnant. 

The first place we hit up was following the 'hotel's' free 'breakfast.' Did you notice how I used quotes? That's because this is barely a hotel and whatever they tried to serve me this morning was hardly breakfast. Maybe I'll sneak down tomorrow on my way out for pictures. It was like the lunch scene on the egg farm in Napolean Dynamite. Eggy orange juice. Needless to say, I left this morning hung over, grumpy and hungry. aka charming. 

Country Life was recommended in our guide book so we headed down there and landed in a shitty health food store with some sad looking organic produce and crappy bread. I was inbetween tears and throwing a full out tantrum when Brock ushered me out the back door so I could stomp on the street when we stumbled upon the actual restaurant/ cafeteria. I have no words.... it was good. Great. One of the best meals I've ever eaten. 


Following breakfast/lunch we wandered the city until our shins started bleeding. Every muscle in my legs feels like it's on fire.
Pictures of the day below.

We stumbled across some traditional Czech dancing. 
They were rehearsing for a ceremony in the gardens behind the senate house. It was charming. 

Her sleeves were the puffiest sleeves of all the sleeves.

After 10 hours of walking we tried this gorgeous veggie restaurant Lehka Hlava in the evening. It was also... delicious. And thus came the food baby. More pictures of food below.

The brown glob is some sort of amazing eggplant masterpiece. 
With hummus, lentil salad, young olives and delicious feta.

Brock got a polenta gnocchi with smoked tofu 
and a goat cheese sauce. I got potato au gratin with roasted 
veggies and a salad with salsa and lemon dressing. 
Brock said he had never knew potatoes could taste so wonderful.


ps. George - we found another Avril on Charles Bridge.