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Published: July 17th 2018
I woke up and ate breakfast. Don had gone to the store and gotten some croissants and I used Dennis’s honey butter. That stuff was really good. Susan walked to the store to get her and I a coke light. Ahhh some caffeine. We packed and headed to the airport in two rounds. Dennis drove half of us over and then went back and got the rest of the gang. Dennis and ViNi joined us for the Berlin portion of the trip. This was our gift to them. We took the local train from Dorfmart and then the ICE train from Hanover to Berlin. Oh my – I’m so glad Susan bought these tickets beforehand as we had assigned seats. Several of us got to our seats and people were sitting in them. They got up when we showed them it was our seat. Well, you can buy a ticket without an assigned seat. It is cheaper but you aren’t guaranteed of a seat. I guess this was a popular train as there were tons of people that didn’t have seats. They sat in the aisle, stood in the halls, luggage everywhere. I decided to go to the café car. It
Susan and I at the Brandenburg Gate
was an obstacle course. I was stepping over folks, holding the wall to get around folks it was crazy. I got an ice cream and made my way back.
The trip to Berlin was about 1.5 hours and Don did research on how to get to the hotel. It seems our best option was to buy a group pass (up to 5 people) – we bought 2 for the 10 of us. This allowed us to use the subway, busses, and other transportation all day long. We took 2 subways and got off at a stop near the hotel which was about 3 blocks away. I snagged this hotel back in the states because Stephanie and Don needed a room that could sleep 4. Well the best location and best price was the Holiday Inn Express (In know an American brand – but it worked). We checked in and went to our rooms and agreed to meet in Susan and my room. Patrick came in a bit later and said his door won’t lock. I went down and finally got it to lock but once he opened it again, it didn’t lock again. I tried the phone,
dead. I went to the phone in my room, dead.. So, Patrick and I grabbed Dennis and we headed to the front desk. They said they would get a maintenance guy up there in just a few minutes. I understand that when he arrived, he told Patrick he just had to push here and it would lock. Patrick said but how do we do that from the inside they said oh, just push this and it will lock---- no, it won’t and the guy stared at it and then said they would replace the lock. Patrick and Kim moved their stuff to our room and we went out on the town while they worked on the lock.
We took the subway and got close to the Holocaust Memorial and walked thru it. Alex had a million questions and afterwards said it just made him shake. Stephanie and Don, didn’t get into the worse details but enough that Alex knows lots of people died. We then walked to the Brandenburg Gate. It was being renovated so we couldn’t walk thru it. The tourist center was next to it and we went in for a bit. That’s where we
Denise and ViNi
learned the “walk” traffic signals in Berlin have a little man on them. If you are in the east, the man has a hat on his head, in the west, there is no hat. We then walked over to the Reichstag and saw the Chancellor’s building. We tried to take the underground there but, like in DC, many subway stops around the political area are now closed. We then tried to catch the bus that was supposed to come every few minutes but after 15 minutes and 4 busses that should have passed and none did, we decided to walk to the next Underground station. We walked back by the Brandenburg Gate to catch the subway, there was a guy out there with this looped chain. He would dip it in the bubble mixture and then wave it. It made bubbles and the boys were fascinated. Actually Dennis really liked it too. We stayed there for a bit ad the boys chased the bubbles.
We caught the subway to the TV tower. As we were walking to the tower (in Alexander Platz) Kim and Stephanie saw a TK Maxx, yep TJ Maxx and they wanted to go
Don got a great picture of the bubble with the chariot in the bubble
in. We said later. At the tower we learned that it would be a least an hour before we could go up or we could get a fast pass ticket and get an assigned time. We choose that option – 7:45 and hoped that would give us enough time for dinner.
There was a pizza and pasta place nearby and the boys wanted that so we headed there. Once you walked in and they gave you a credit card like thing. Ok?? we headed upstairs and saw all these different lines. Susan and I got in the shortest line for Risotto and Pasta. Shortest doesn’t mean the fastest. Our dude was slow. Each person would order and he would cook the order for them, then the next person would order. As we watched him do this, we saw that the meals were huge so Susan and I decided to just share an order of risotto. We got to the table and several of the gang were already there – their lines much longer but faster. Oh, what you do with the card is you place it on the glass where they are making the food and it
They are cooking our meal
puts what you got on the card. As you leave the restaurant, you hand the cards to the cashier and they tell you what you owe. Susan and I also got a desert to share. We all paid and then headed to the tower. We got in line for the elevator but they wouldn’t let all of us on at the same time. Up we went about 210 meters. There was a great view of the city and Dennis and ViNi really enjoyed this. We all came down together and headed to the gift shop. I went outside and sat on a wall and gave my leg a break. They all came out and joined me. Kim and Patrick and Stephanie headed to TK Maxx, the rest of the gang (except Susan and I) headed for ice crème. After everyone returned we took the subway back to the hotel and met in our room. We talked for just a bit and then said our good-byes as Susan and I take an early train to Bratislava.
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