Friday, August 23, 2013

Berlin, Germany

Just about two weeks ago we made a trip to Berlin. It was last minute planning and I sort of just picked Berlin as our destination out of thin air. I am SO GLAD I DID! I seriously LOVE Berlin and I can't wait to (hopefully) go back. There is something so magical about a city so rich with history. The history is hard to take in as some of it is tragic, but still, it was so neat to be there.

Click here to see a slideshow of our favorite photos from the road trip.

Some of our favorite sites were:

Brandenburg Gate- This Gateway was built in 1791 and it is a very popular site. It was a place of major celebration when the wall finally came down in 1990. In 1987, President of the US, Ronald Reagan stood at this gate and said, "General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."

Trip with Brandenburg Gate in the background.

Another interesting place we went was the Memorial to the Murdered Jews. The memorial contains concrete slabs… 2,711 of them in differing heights and at different angles. This was a controversial site, but was put up in 2005.
Can I just say that we didn't actually know what this was before we went to it? We were taking pictures and having fun, when a Polizei asked me to get down. Sam stopped him and asked him what it was. The Polizei told us, "A Memorial for Murdered Jews." I felt so bad I was standing on it.

We learned a lot as we walked around the Soviet War Memorial and Park. All over Berlin there are plaques with things to read and learn. Most of them are in multiple languages, including English so it is easy to learn and soak it all in.

We liked being at checkpoint Charlie and I learned a bit more about it (Sam already knew a lot). After being in Berlin we learned that a friend of ours was born in Berlin because his Dad was stationed there when the wall was still up. Crazy… and what a scary time to be there.

I was actually quite sick when we were in Berlin and so one of the most comforting moments there was sitting down in Meli (a little cafe) and having Tom Ka Gai soup and the very best honey-lemon tea. I have since made the tea 7 or 8 times since I have been home! Meli was FANTASTIC. Everything was fresh and absolutely divine.

Of course another favorite was visiting the largest chocolatier in the world. Fassbender and Rausch was a dream come true… that is IF you love chocolate! We spent almost 60 dollars on chocolate (40-something euro) and it was too much fun. We brought home some drinking chocolate and I am almost half-way through it. Oops.

It was very interesting to see parts of the wall around. As I understand it, the large stretch of wall behind our family photo (below) was restored and is now protected.

One of my favorite places in Berlin is the Tiergarten park right in the center of the city. We were able to get a family photo there which is always a goal of mine!

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