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Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin October 4th 2019

In order to head to Southern Europe, we need to backtrack, from Stockholm to Malmo to Copenhagen to Hamburg, and finally to Berlin, GERMANY. At Rodby, Denmark, the train is driven on to a ferry for a 45 minute ride to Putt Garden, Germany. Quite an experience. A thirteen hour day of travel. Guten Morgen Berlin. First off is to go and book reservations for our future travels. At the wicket, I ask the fellow assisting us how long he has lived in Berlin and if he likes it here. He responds that he has been here three years and that in Berlin, he feels safe, as he came from Afghanistan. He worked for the military, assisting the U.S. soldiers. The agreement was that in three years time he would receive a green card, and his ... read more
Our train from Denmark drove onto a hybrid ferry!
A Berliners Breakfast!
Old East Berlin

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin August 31st 2019

Today was our last full day with the tour with another long but more comfortable 7 hr train journey to Berlin. After a quick check-in to the Moxy Hotel for a 2 night stay we headed straight out for an orientation walk around the huge city. We covered some of the main attractions included the Brandenburg Gate the Reichstag (parliament), remnants of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, and Berlin Cathedral but to be honest not that exciting compared to some of the smaller cities we have been over the last few weeks. The city has also been under continuous reconstruction for decades. We ha a final group dinner at a Bavarian style brewery pub. Next day was hot again. Not knowing what we wanted to do & having to navigate the S Bahn & U Bahn ... read more
Old & New
Brandenburg Gate
Propaganda mural on SS Headquarters wall

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin August 1st 2019

This holiday was a bit different from my usual travels ....I like big country landscapes but when an offer of a home exchange to Dresden popped up the trip morphed into a "why not visit Berlin and Prague moment , followed by why not take trains and where else can we go , why not Amsterdam " and so it became a cities tour . For the first part my son Chris and his wife Anabel along with 6 year old Maya would travel with me . Half way through they would return to the UK from Prague and Jenny would then join me there for more Dresden and Amsterdam. Maya, for a 6 year old , is a great walker but some of the sites in Berlin are spread out so a Hop on/off bus ... read more
Maya runs by the Berlin Wall
Lamps
Korean Peace Pavilion

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin July 1st 2019

By the time we reached Berlin, my brothers had gone ahead down to Wittenberg - where Curt has been living and teaching for the past two years - and the heat was there to greet us. While we were in Berlin, it reached 102 degrees - not the hottest temp in Europe, but plenty hot for us. The day of our arrival, however, was marginally cooler, so we decided to take a walking tour to familiarize ourselves with a bit of the city and its history. There are many options for walking tours in major European cities, but I usually use Sandmans New Europe tours, and we did this time as well. Our guide Stephen was both knowledgable and funny, a good thing for a 3-hour walking tour. Much of Berlin having been destroyed during World ... read more
Holocaust Memorial
Holocaust Memorial
Holocaust Memorial

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin June 12th 2019

Today is HOT and HUMID and we slept in to avoid the heat. But not for long as we went out so Peggy could have a last look at Nefertiti and the Neue National Gallery Museum’s Egyptian collection. While she was communing with the Egyptians, John rented a bike and went off to find a hat he could wear in the sun that was cool as in breezy. Both accomplished their respective objectives and met up to go to the Reichstag for lunch atop the dome. When we finally got in and up we were amazed at the combination of historic with modern. The dome over the parliamentary chambers is arranged with mirrors looking down so you can see the representatives in action. And there is a fine restaurant, Kafer Berlin, on the roof with views ... read more
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Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin June 11th 2019

It was a rough night: hot, thunder and lightning, NO air conditioning. The room (the same room we had when we were here 10 days ago) has a system on the wall that has all the dials for a heating/air conditioning system … but all you can do is turn the fan on as the temperature dial does not work. This was discovered when John asked the front desk to fix the system. “We don’t have air conditioning; most hotels in Berlin do not have air conditioning.” John told them we would be leaving and went off on a rented bicycle to find another hotel! Turns out most don’t have air conditioning and there is a huge convention coming into town today. Like Oliver hew would get off his little bike and go into the lobby ... read more
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Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin May 31st 2019

John rented a bike from Donkey Republic early in the morning and bicycled to the Reichstag, past the Brandenburg Gate, into the Tiergarten park, around Potsdamer Platz and along the Unter den Linden back to the hotel. Before going the last mile, John bicycled through an area around Nikoaikirche church (with its two spires and clocks) just south of Alexander Platz which is filled with little eateries and fun shops. Perhaps we’ll visit this area when we return to Berlin. Hotels, Restaurants and Services we visited in Berlin: · Hotel Alexander Plaza, Rosenstraße 1, Berlin, Germany Tel: + 49 30 24001 0. Nice location and clean rooms with a good breakfast but hallways are a little shoddy. · Hauptstadrestaurant Gendarmerie, Behrenstrasse 42, 10117 Berlin, Germany Tel: +49 30 76775270. Good prices for a nice lunch and ... read more
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Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin May 30th 2019

John was again up early and decided to take a crack at changing some tickets at the main station, Berlin Hauptbahnhof. He took the local S train two stops and found he was way too early for any service other than a ticket machine. But it was fun to look at all the people up at 6AM going hither and yon on what turns out to be a national holiday, Ascension Day. In Germany it is also “Men’s Day” which was described in the local literature as: “Ascension Day in Germany is also Father’s Day, or Men’s Day as it’s called in some places, and the traditional way that Germans like to honour dear old Dad is with good old beer, and lots of it.” But we did not discover the rationale for celebrating until late ... read more
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Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin May 29th 2019

As per usual, John was up early to catch the light and walk the mostly empty city streets. He covered the walk to the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, the government center, and everything in between. What fun to see these sites without the crowds or traffic. Then breakfast and planning for a day of museums. First it was a visit to the Berlin Dom, which we walked by last evening. What a beautiful dome, and what a spectacular and huge organ! Wish we could hear it being played. John attempted to go up to the catwalk around the dome but quit after many steps and a narrow stairway … and dripping with sweat. Got some good views out of dirty windows but perhaps another day. Walking across the street to the Altes Museum of antiquities we ... read more
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Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin May 28th 2019

We checked into our hotel, a 3-star named Alexander Plaza, centrally located for our current foray. After a shower and a light light lunch near the hotel it was off to the Pergamon Museum, only two blocks away. Museum Island is surrounded by the Spree River and has four museums and the city’s main church, Berlin Dom. Today it was a two hour visit to the Pergamon with its exquisite collection of ancient Persian, Greek and Islamic pieces. The first thing you see is the immense gates of fabled Babylon. They are over 40 plus feet high with beautiful blue bricks and carvings of animals. Then we walked into the three-tiered ancient Greek Market Gate from Miletus near Ephesus in Turkey. We were in awe, especially when we had visited Miletus and it 25,000 person theatre. ... read more
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