Germany Day 11 – Sightseeing Around Berlin

Despite the noise outside I had a pretty good nights sleep, but Kevin’s was just okay. Sounds like lots of people did not sleep well (depending on where their room was located). Breakfast was the same standard fare we’ve come to expect. Still not sick of bread and cheese yet … luckily. I’m craving a nice a nice veggie omelette or a green smoothie though :-).
At 9am we boarded a bus for a guided sightseeing tour around Berlin. Our first stop was Checkpoint Charlie. I think Amy must have missed us this last week because she (and her friends) actually hung around us most of the day.

Kevin bought himself a (heavy) piece of the wall and I bought a scarf :-).

Then it was on to the Holocost Memorial. We were seeing it on a nice sunny day but our guide said it’s a pretty eerie place on a grey foggy day, which you can well imagine.

From here we walked across to the Brandenburg Gate.

Here we were warned about the local gypsies who pretend not to be able hear and get you sign a petition and pay them some money. As soon as we got there we saw them, and were even approached later on. But you just shake your head and they move on. Definitely not threatening at all, just trying to take advantage.
After getting some photos we headed over to Starbucks (as you do). I got a chai tea latte and while I was looking for something to eat I did spot this lemon muffin that looked too good to leave in the shop. Oops, I broke it apart before remembering to take a photo. It was REALLY good too!

The bus then dropped us back the historical district where the teachers had a bit of trouble deciding what we should do. It seemed this afternoon was not the best organised but you just have to go with the flow when you’re in a group (and not in control).

We walked up to see where the Nazi’s had burned the books. There is a sculpture of an empty book case but it’s underground below glass and the glass was filthy so you couldn’t see it.

We then walked back to visit the German History Museum. We were all excited to visit here and Kevin got us all an audio guide but we were dissapointed with this museum too. Luckily Kevin knows so much and was able to impart LOTS of information on the girls.

We started with WWII, then had a break for some food. The cafe was really overpriced and a bit gourmet so most of us had a pretzel – which was really yummy as you expect.

After our break the girls and Kevin did some more of the museum, while I rested my feet. They said I didn’t miss much. Not sure if we’ve just been spoilt by other museums or if it’s because of the language or the way they set things up, but we usually love all museums (even the cheaper ones you don’t expect much of).
We then went to see about going into the church. It used to be free for students but is now 7 euro so we didn’t go in. While we were waiting here we saw these two dogs race for and jump into the fountain. Too cute. Not goldens but the next best thing today.

We then walked across the river to a shop just two doors up from our (first) hotel.

These are the walking signs from East Berlin, and are still used today (and have obviously become a beloved tourist attraction).

Do you want to see what our daughter bought herself? Only because of the Doctor Who reference, of course.

We then had a half hour break and one of the girls wanted McDonalds so that’s what we had. I haven’t had McDonald’s in years but Amy said they had really good Veggie Burgers and she was right. It was great.

Blurry photo as it was eaten on the way back to our meeting point.

We then caught the train back to our hotel and had a few hours free time before dinner. Kevin & I went to the teachers lounge so we could sit in comfort. Then it was time for dinner. Pasta with a tomato sauce tonight, alongside a salad and some fruit salad.

Back to our room for some TV and a good nights sleep (for me anyway, not for Kevin). Still battling sinus issues and hoping it clears up soon.

Tomorrow : A palace and some shopping

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