High Sights

Berlin Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 23 › view all entries

Today was our second day in Berlin, and tomorrow we leave for Potsdam and Dresden. We started off the morning heading over to Checkpoint Charlie and the museum where they had some amazing photos and stories of people sneaking from one side of Berlin to the other. They really invented some cool ways of doing it! Hiding in between two suitcases, inside chairs, radios, in the engine compartment…lots of things. We also took a photo with a guard at the checkpoint. Another cool thing, we got our passports stamped with the same stamps they used at the checkpoint! Mom got all of them in her passport, Lori got a few in hers, and since my passport was in the hotel, I got mine on a visa they had, with the key checkpoint stamps (USA, UK, France, USSR, East Berlin, West Berlin and the date the wall went down).

It was pretty cool! Then we went to the open air museum where pieces of the wall are still standing in their original place and there are exhibits in what’s left of the basement of the Gestapo building where they did torture. Then we headed off to see the Jewish memorial and the Brandenburg Gate and took some photos there. We then walked to the TV tower, hoping we could catch a nice lunch in the revolving restaurant on the top, only the line was way out the building, so we decided to skip it and have lunch on the ground. I had potatoes “Potsdam Style” which basically meant in this cheesy creamy sauce with other vegetables. It was good, and I have a photo of it as well, but it wasn’t what I expected! Hehe.

After lunch we took the U-Bahn to Charlottenburg Palace, which was my choice for the day.

We got there in the early afternoon, but since it closed at 5:00, we only got to tour the Old Palace and not the new wings and the gardens, which was a bit of a bummer, but oh well. We saw the Rococo style instead of the Baroque. Most of it was pretty cool, and there were some really fantastic ceilings and wall paintings and the like, but other parts were reconstructed because of all the damage from the war, but they just weren’t the same. My favorite room was the oval room which looked out on the amazing gardens. If I ever come back to Berlin, I’ll make sure to come in the summer and see the new wing and tour the gardens…I suppose it’s alright that we didn’t get a ticket for the second half because as we were leaving it started to snow! It was really cool! I mean, since we don’t get much for snow at all in the UK, I was really excited for it…I mean, it had sort of hailed/snowed for a minute or two in the morning, but this was REAL huge flakes of snow, and it looked like we were in a snow globe! It was amazing! We were going to walk to the U-Bahn to go see the New Synagogue, but instead we stopped in at a little bistro and had some coffee and cake and watched the snow fall outside (and waited for it to let up so we could continue our walk to the stop).

Once we got to the synagogue, dusk was approaching, and we walked along the river for a bit, took some photos of the museum and the Cathedral, then headed toward the TV tower again. We thought we’d go and see if the line was any shorter than it had been earlier in the day, even though we had essentially given up on the whole idea…but since it was there…why not. Turns out the line was a LOT shorter, and the wait for the restaurant was only 20 minutes so we hopped on up, in the elevator and up we went. The view was pretty nice, but nothing spectacular, much like the food…a bit mediocre. I don’t think I’d do it again…and the ticket for the observation deck was significantly overpriced. I mean, Berlin is a nice city, but there’s not much for a panoramic view.

I think the tower is one of the tallest in the world though, or something to that effect, so I guess that’s pretty cool…but I’d much rather go to the Empire State Building and look at New York. Well, that’s all for today. I’m excited, tomorrow we pick up the car and start our German road trip! But before leaving Berlin, we’re going to go by those Embassies again so I can take a few pictures…hopefully the photos will do the buildings justice…and maybe you can guess which belongs to what country!

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photo by: CFD