Greetings and welcome back dear friends!
Our time in Berlin was short but action packed! We arrived to the Berlin Zoo train station after a 5.5 hour (but direct!) train ride. Luckily the hotel was close to the station so it was a (should have been short, but we got super lost!) short walk. The hotel was one of the nicest of the trip, so we we’re happy to be staying for 3 nights. Later we were happy to find a great Indian restaurant in the neighborhood. Delicious Indian food followed by comfortable bed equals happy Braams. Good times were obviously to come.
We decided based on the weather that the next day would be our day to get after it. The highlights included the Reichtag, the Holocaust Memorial, Potsdamerplatz, multiple Berlin Wall locales, a Salvador Dali exhibit, Checkpoint Charlie, a random tech/vehicle exhibit and the food trucks in the plaza at the train station. All stops of the day were amazing and moving. Words cannot describe being in such a historic place. So much emotion filled the air at all the different places. The Dali exhibit was something unexpected we encountered along the way and was a wonderful injection of art and creativity into a day of such historic monument. We’ve never really been to a place that holds such significant and recent world history. It was pretty surreal to stand there and take it in. It was also quite amazing to be in Germany and enjoy delicious authentic Cuban cuisine from a food truck. After we downed the Cuban Bowls and so called “sexy fries”, we made our way back to the hotel and called it a day.
The next day was a little bit more laid back. We went to the Mauer Park, which has the largest amount of intact wall, and then scampered off to LEGO land. Mauer Park was, again, a pretty solemn place. Large lengths of Berlin wall and a multitude of kiosks telling about how it all came to be, and how it tore the city in half. They told of how desperate citizens that were suddenly severed from their friends and families jumped from buildings, crawled through sewers, or just dashed through the “death strip” to make it to West Berlin. It really put some of our trivial modern problems in perspective. We were then redeemed in LEGO land, probably about 100 meters from where the wall once stood . That was, of course, a pretty joyous place where there were rides, different types of LEGO playstations, and a moving replica of Berlin, all made from LEGOS. Talk about polar opposite experiences. We found the whole experience to be exhausting, and bee lined for the train station once again. We made a quick stop at Brandenburger Tor, a great symbol of the German reunification, before heading back to the hotel.
It was a whirlwind trip to Berlin, filled with history and great times, but we were again excited to be moving on. Next stop Prague!