North America, Europe · 2 Days · 11 Moments · October 2017

Ford's tour through Germany

12 October 2017

11 October 2017

Took off on the restaurant search. Found the Italian. No one was there and it was expensive. Searched for the German restaurant and lucked out. Very neighborhood and good German fare. I had the roast boar ( tasted like a pork flavored lamb) with red cabbage and spatzle. Excellent. A very light vegetable soup. 2 glasses of wine. All for 44 E. Walked back. Showered and got in bed. Played with phone awhile and then slept. All the way to 11 and then KD reacted to her sauerkraut and we were all up. May have been her roast pork which tasted similar to pork shoulder and as fatty. Always good going down.
After the visits I began the trek back. Much cooler due to the wind. Stopped at DD in Potsdamer Platz to get coffee and a bagel. Plaza all new since wall came down. Built on No Man’s Land. Returned to Hotel. Nancy helped me get my key. Returned to room and collapsed. Didn’t sleep though. Found I could play games.
The Brandenburg Gate sat in the middle of the No Man’s Zone while the wall was up. Huge structure built to commemorate 1791 . The view down the promenade toward the winged victory statue is where mass rally’s take place as when Kennedy, Reagan and Obama spoke. The Tiergarten runs along both sides. This was originally one of the Monarch’s hunting grounds. There is also a large concrete box Memorial to the LGBT prisoners who were killed in the Holocaust. There is a film of men kissing playing inside.
This is the memorial garden to the Holocaust called the Field of Stelae. 2700 concrete blocks representing the murdered. The museum is below ground. About a 20 min wait to get in due to Security check. Only 6 people at a time. Once inside I rented the audio tour for the old person rate of 2 E. Excellent exhibit. Very honest and forthright. Focused on the Nazi timeline from forced emigration to pograms to the final solution. Actual final notes, letters and cards written by prisoners sometimes moments before their death were shared in a moving lit floor panel. 15 families were showcased before the war and through their death or survival. Biographies of victims were shared in the Names Room. Last room had actual interviews with survivors. Extremely moving experience I wouldn’t have wanted to miss.
This is where the actual no man’s zone was located between the western and eastern actual walls. Now a park where jazz concerts take place in the summer. Statue of people represent those lost trying to cross.
This is The Reichstag is the German Parliament. Wasn’t able to visit as I needed to get my tickets at least a month in advance. The glass dome is the distinguishing feature which has made the building famous and a major attraction.
Interesting door to an old building. Most everything built after WWII but this building apparently survived. Two sections of the Berlin Wall that stand on where the western side of the no man’s zone was. Had been painted over the years the wall stood. Buildings in area all built since 1989.
I realized after a few minutes I should go back to leave my bag and hat. Caught up to KD just before Hotel. We arrived. I left my stuff and took off again. Really tired but felt if I took it slow I could do it. With only 2 days I wanted to see things.
Arrived right on time. Cloudy and cool. Departed plane and got right in line for immigration. Backed up on gangway. No one in EUR line so we were invited to use that line. Baggage claim directly behind them. Picked up bags and walked into concourse. Viking reps right there. Both extremely friendly. Long line to check in for Aegean Air. All very compact. Very short wait before we boarded the bus. Trip in was about 20 min. Airport right in city limits. Traffic was the issue not distance. Had a rather loud obnoxious guest who had a comment about everything. None of it interesting or necessary. Will need to steer clear of him. He put the U in Ugly American. Arrived at hotel. Rooms not ready. We sat with Donna and Joe. Katy and Donna spoke a blue streak while I studied the map. Decided to walk up to the Jewish Memorial and Brandenburg Gate. Had to bring our bags with us. Heavy. KD made it almost there but decided to return to Hotel to rest.

10 October 2017

Sal picked us up on time. Shared interesting stories on trip over as usual. Checked in with no issues. Flight delayed until 1:10 at this point. EWR window narrowing by the Minute. Ate a fairly good sweet sour shrimp for lunch. Boarding at 1:00 PM. Uneventful flight down although very crammed. Read. Arrived with plenty of time for a cocktail. Lots of bars to choose from. We took Tequila which had a lot of. Expensive but what the hey - We’re on vacation. Boarded pretty much right at the beginning. Could have brought a carry on but traveling light with only one bag was kind of nice. The couple sitting in front of us are also in the cruise. I noticed their bag rag and asked. Appear to be nice. From outside Allentown. He’s an avid gardener with fig trees no less. Flight full. Drank a bit too much wine. KD got a gluten free chicken dish. I had a butternut squash tortellini. Ice cream for dessert. After dinner KD was able to sleep. I dozed for about 90 min. Watched Patterson. Interesting.