On to the weekend

Berlin Travel Blog

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The Memorial Church
We finished up early with work yesterday (Thursday) and I must say the first work portion of this trip went better than I expected. We accomplished everything we had wanted to and made some good contacts along the way.

Last night Amit looked up a restaurant he wanted to go to and asked me to write down the directions as he read them to me off Google maps.  A few miles of walking later, and obviously lost, he informs me that he didn't read me the exact directions as it seemed too far out of the way, so he picked more direct streets off the map.

Streets change names a lot over here, so we missed one of the main turns, and once we finally got back on track, the last part of the directions from Google were wrong, so we ended up walking a few miles the wrong way.
Fall colors in the Tiergarten
This is the point where I got my payback for his earlier goof and directed us the wrong way after looking at a map. We ended up at a train station about 7 miles from our hotel in a pouring rain. That seemed like a great time to get to know the train/subway system, and we managed to get back to the hotel fairly painlessly. All in all it was pretty funny, and a nice way to see some of the city.

Once back on familiar ground, we went to a little Italian place we had been to for drinks the other night, and proceeded to order way too much food.  After dinner we decided to go back to the Kings Pub and see what was going on, it was crazy as usual and we ended back at the hotel around 3 AM.

I was woken up this morning rather reluctantly by a call from Amit after only 3 hours of sleep; it seems I stupidly said last night for him to call me at 8 AM if was awake so we could go sightseeing.
Fall colors in the Tiergarten
  :-)   The weather was supposed to be horrible today, but the morning although quite cold was sunny without much wind at all.

We walked down to the bus station and got an all day ticket for the A and B bus lines, which go pretty much all over the city.  We took the 100 bus around and made our first stop at Tiergarten. This is an amazing park in the middle of the city, and is huge. From there we walked over to the Reichstag, and contemplated waiting in line to go up into the glass dome. We both decided that it wasn't worth the wait, and the sky was starting to look slightly ominous.

There was some sort of international event going on down there today as many of the roads around the embassies were blocked off, and the security presence was very high.
Victory column in the Tiergarten
After navigating through that mess we walked up the bank of the Spree River towards the former East German side of the city.  There isn't a huge amount of difference between the two sides in this area, although I hear it is still quite a bit different further in.

My main sightseeing goal of the day was to go up to the top of the Fernsehturm (television tower) [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernsehturm]  in east Berlin because the view was supposed to be great. When we got there we learned that there was also a revolving restaurant at the top, and decided to have lunch there. It was a lot of fun, but I did get a little dizzy at times when I was taking pictures while the floor was spinning around.

After lunch we headed back down and realized the weather had taken a turn for the worse.
Schloss Bellevue, where the German federal president lives.
The wind gusts were incredibly strong, and it was hard to walk at times. We decided that it would be a good time to head on back, and by the time we made it to the hotel it was pouring rain.
 
So, the day turned out better than I had expected weather wise, and I'm glad we were able to get out and finally see some sights.  I'd love to come back here and spend a week in the summer now that I know my way around a bit.

I am catching a plane to London and then Paris in the morning, the weather looks to be a bit better there, but I'm sure the planned transit strike will make up for it.  :-)  

I'll write more once I'm settled in Paris. I have some errands to get done tomorrow, and with a 45 min connection time in London I'm guessing I'll be without luggage for a day or two as well.

Auf Wiedersehen
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The Memorial Church
The Memorial Church
Fall colors in the Tiergarten
Fall colors in the Tiergarten
Fall colors in the Tiergarten
Fall colors in the Tiergarten
Victory column in the Tiergarten
Victory column in the Tiergarten
Schloss Bellevue, where the German…
Schloss Bellevue, where the Germa…
The Reichstag (parliament building)
The Reichstag (parliament building)
Looking back down the Spree toward…
Looking back down the Spree towar…
Me with a bear on the way to East …
Me with a bear on the way to East…
On the way to the Fernsehturm
On the way to the Fernsehturm
The Fernsehturm as seen from a bri…
The Fernsehturm as seen from a br…
View from base of the Fernsehturm
View from base of the Fernsehturm
View from the top of the Fernsehtu…
View from the top of the Fernseht…
View from the top of the Fernsehtu…
View from the top of the Fernseht…
Deciding what to eat at the top of…
Deciding what to eat at the top o…
Berlin
photo by: CFD