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The Year Trip We are on another grand family adventure. This time we are taking 10 months to circumnavigate the globe!

Berlin, Germany

USA | Saturday, 16 December 2017 | Views [509]

I have always wanted to visit Germany, especially Munich and Berlin. Berlin was everything I expected and I would love to go back again. I have always remembered watching the TV coverages of the Berlin Wall coming down. There is so much history in the city that we were not able to see as much as I would have liked. The cool thing is we happened to visit during Festival of Lights the happens once each year. In October for 10 days the city illuminates many buildings throughout the city with different themes with giant projectors.  The building are spectacular displays of art at night. It was pretty neat and we discovered it our first night as we were walking around looking for a restaurant for dinner. 

Then next day we purchased a 3-day Hop-on Hop-off Bus tour, which we have become fond of, to get a good overview tour of the city, us for transportation to locations, and so girls don’t complain we walk everywhere!  We started the day just riding the bus.  We usually made one loop and marked locations where to get off on the second loop.  The problem, we bought three loops and there was not enough time to do everything we planned, so when we hit a location we liked we jumped off the bus.  The first place we got off was Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which is a church that was bombed during WWII.

The stop provided a perspective to what the ally forces bombing had done to Berlin.  The church was supposed to torn down, but instead they decided to stabilize it and leave it as it as a reminder to the destruction of war.  The area also had plenty of places to eat so we grabbed lunch.  After lunch, it was a short walk to Check Point Charlie and the Berlin Wall monument.

The Wall monument was the one thing in Berlin I really wanted to see.  I remember watching the news coverage.  I remember people even purchasing small pieces of the wall to keep as keepsakes.  It is the history of Germany in my time, I remember.  Now it was in front of me.  As I stare at it I do not see the separation, I see the people standing on it with sledgehammers to bring it down. All the people yell and celebrating, I could see the news reports as I stared at the wall. There was the celebration of the wall coming down, but you have to remember, the wall separate people and families (who would want a wall to separate people J). The Wall was surrounded by a death zone if you entered you would be shot. It is sad, but I smile because the Wall came down and that is what I see and remember when I stare at the wall. 

After finishing up with the Wall and Check Point Charlie, we had to head back to our hotel to get ready for our elven tour.  We happened to purchase tickets for a night boat tour of the Festival of Lights. The boat tour was nice, but probably not worth the cost.  We saw more buildings illuminated and enjoyed it more just walking around the city.  I am glad we did the boat to experience it, but I probably would not recommend it or ever go again.  There is more buildings illuminated and you can stop and look as long as you want just walking around the city. 

Then next day, we started early on the bus to get tickets to visit the dome on the Parliament building. The tickets are first come first server, but we needed our passports to get the tickets.  The passports were back in the room.  So, Chris headed back to the hotel to get our passports while I took the girls to a park to play that we had seen on the Hop-on Hop-off Bus.  He took the bus to the hotel, but walked all the way back. It gave the girls a good 2-3 hours of play time! Once we received our tickets we had a long day ahead of us because our entrance time was at 10:00 PM. 

Since we had plenty of time we decided to walk to a couple of places.  We walked through the Pariser Platz and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.  Then we slowly wondered up the main towards Bebelplatz visiting the Book burning memorial, where Nazis burned many books.  We slowly walked until we made it back to hotel for bit for dinner and break before heading to the Parliament or Reichstag Building dome.

Before we left we were a bit worried walking nearly kilometer to the Reichstag Building at before 10 PM and close to 11 PM on the way back. We decided we would start and if we did not feel comfortable we would get a taxi.  However, the walk was really neat.  There was people everywhere, it was the last night Festival of Lights and our walk was up the main strip of illuminated buildings.  It was an entertaining walk both ways!

At the Reichstag, we got to walk up to the dome and oversee the city at night.  It is an awesome view, especially at night.  If you are going to Berlin, I would highly recommend getting tickets.  If you do it online you need several weeks of lead time.  There are almost always left-over tickets on first come first service bases outside the building.  Remember you need your passport!  

The next day we took a train to Magdeburg. It is on old town about an hour train ride outside of Berlin. It was not on our schedule, but in Prague we met a wonderful family who lived there. We decided we would go spend the day to see their town and have dinner with them for our last night in Berlin.  We met the family at the train station and received a small tour of the town before their son got out of school.  We finally got to go into a school!  As we picked up their son and we received a tour of their school.  His classroom was amazing clean. 

We spent the rest of the day chatting at their house with a couple of drinks.   It was a wonderful visit and we always enjoy making new friends.  It seemed to come quick, but it was time to head back to the train to catch our ride back to Berlin.  We had an early train the next morning to Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Tags: berlin, germany, magdeburg, world nomads

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