Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Berlin was amazing. What a beautiful city with oh-so-much history! We arrived there Friday night after driving for 6 hours. After drinking tea and having a little cake, we set up our beds and slept. The next day we got up a bit earlier than my liking for a vacation, but we had things to do, places to see, and may pictures to take! We started our day by waiting about an hour in line to get into the Pergamon Museum. This museum is actually a combination of three separate museums: the Collection of Classical Antiquities, the Museum of the Ancient Near East and the Museum of Islamic Art. This is the most visited museum in all of Germany and it also has some of the oldest reconstructed monumental buildings in the world! We spent a good bit of time here, then walked through some small shops on the street, and just took in the aroma of gorgeous Berlin. On Sunday, we went to the Berlin Cathedral. Like most of the churches we went to, this one was bombed in WWII and severely damaged, but rebuilt.
I had taken about 50 pictures of the cathedral from the outside the day before, so it was really neat to actually go in and get the full tour. We were joined by Anette’s brother, Carsten, and his 8 year old daughter Beatriz. We walked all the way to the top of the dome and then we were able to walk around the outside of it where we could see out over all of Berlin. It was gorgeous! From here, we took the metro and met up with Carsten’s 15 year old daughter Anne, and then we all made our way to the Berlin Wall! Basically just a cement wall with inspirational paintings, but it was one my favorite places we went. It’s weird to be walking along the wall where so much history took place.
The next day we went to Checkpoint Charlie, the most-known crossing point from East to West Berlin. In the museum we read stories about all of the creative and crazy ways people used to cross over the wall. Everything from underground tunnels, to hot air balloons were used. Then we went to Alexanderplatz, which is basically like a big town square, and we shopped around in the big mall there (still nothing compared to Mall of America).
Our last full day in Germany, we went to the West side of Berlin, which was much more modernized. We went to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which was partially destroyed in WWII,and the newer additions of it which are nicknamed the “lipstick and powder box” because of their shapes. The “powder” building was my favorite. Both of the newer additions were made of concrete with 21,292 stained glass windows covering the entire outsides. It was so pretty inside! Then we walked to the Nike outlet store, and then over to the Ka De We (Kaufhaus des Westens) mall. They had an entire floor level with just edible goods; a chocolate section, a cheese sections, a pasta section, and even a small American food section :) If the Jif peanut butter there didn’t cost 14 Euros, I would have bought it all. We didn’t spend too much time here, though, because it was all department stores and things were very expensive..
That night we went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner (delicious) and the next day we packed up and drove home.
We weren’t home long, though, before we took the train over to København for the rest of winter break! There we celebrated Anette’s birthday, went to a parliament meeting at the Christiansborg Palace, and I FINALLY got to see the Little Mermaid! (She was on a vacation in China..)
So there ya go! That was wonderful winter break with the family!
I’ll try to get a few more updates in here soon!
Posted by Heidi Strike