Traveling the world, learning languages, and immersing myself in new cultures.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Berlin, Germany: Freundschaftsbezeigungen

Synopsis: Stephanie and I decide to road trip it to Berlin, Germany on die Autobahn. Only a 7 hour drive to Checkpoint Charlie and the history-laden city. (Author's note that transcends time and space: This was our epic first trip, that spawned several other amazing adventures!).

Trip Overview:
Day 1: Drive into the heart of Berlin and drop off stuff at the hotel. Immediately head out into the city to check out the Topography of Terror and a preserved section of the Berlin Wall. Head down to Postdamer Platz and there are exhibits and markets set up all around. Continue down the road and see the Holocaust Memorial and then on to Brandenburg Gate. After working up an appetite from all that tourism, we grab some dinner. On the way back to the hotel, stop by Checkpoint Charlie and take some photos.

Thoughts: The nice thing about where we are staying, is you can walk in any direction, and you are going to see something historic, interesting, or worth stopping to take a peek at. Brandenburg Gate is definitely the main hub for Berlin tourism. Nighttime is the best time to go to Checkpoint Charlie, because the crowds are gone and you can get a good photo without being rushed and having 20 strangers in your picture.

Two of us in two places at once, so like, we are in four places at once

Hoppin' around the Holocaust Memorial with an imaginary kettlebell on my back

Entering (or exiting, I can't remember) the Brandenburg Gate

Checkpoint Timmy

Day 2: Plan to catch hop on/off bus, so we head in the direction of the first stop. Take the bus tour in its entirety, and then use it as public transport to go back to what we want to see. Stop back by Brandenburg Gate to get stamps in our passports. Take the bus around some more and then stop for dinner. On the way to the hotel, stop at a panorama exhibit of what Berlin looked like when the wall was still up.

Thoughts: It is so much different when you see the sights in the daytime, where you can distinguish what they are (good), but there are hundreds of other people trying to see the same thing as you (bad).

Pieces of the wall... my favorite unitary executive is on the lady on the far right

Hop on hop off selfie

Kids just made that monument a playground

Passport control
Part of the panorama of Berlin in the communist era

Admitting to vandalism

Day 3: Use hop on/off again as public transport to check out the rest of the city. Head over to the shopping district and buy some goodies/souvenirs from KaDeWe. Walk down the shopping strip a bit and then head back over to the bus to take it back. Still fairly early, so we go see Star Trek 2.

Thoughts: Ok, so we had Thai for lunch the first day, then Indian for dinner last night, and tonight we had sushi. Came all the way to Berlin to eat asian food!

Berlin Haupbahnhof

Lady in the back should have smiled

I got souvenirs

Day 4: Just a driving day, as we head back to Brussels. It's raining. A lot. Still raining. A lot. Finally slows down to just raining quite a lot.

Final Thoughts: History books and classrooms have nothing on actually going to, and seeing and experiencing history in person. I lived in Germany for almost two years and had never been to the capital. So unlike me! Well, after a fun time in Berlin, I can say I like traveling with Stephanie, and who knows, maybe we will travel somewhere else in the future?

Location: Berlin, Germany


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