Berin: The day everything went right

Day 2 of our time in Berlin was one of those days.  Everything we needed or wanted just fell right into our laps.

We bagan our day by taking the tram from our apartment to Alexanderplatz, one of the main central areas of Berlin.  We had a walking tour in a book we planned to follow – and we did – loosely.

Now, generally, when one says “we followed a walking plan loosely – it would imply that they walked *less* than the plan had in store for them.  I don’t think we did that.

When we arrived at Alexanderplatz we found in ground trampolines.

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These are the best, but can you imagine the litigation that would occur if these were in the US?

We walked through the giant square (much of it is blocked off as they are digging a new subway tunnel.  We came across statues of Marx and Engels, and this is the photo that 6 YO A took.  She wasn’t so interested in the “big guys.”

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Rght across the river Spree from the statues is the Berlin Cathedral.  it was a perfect day fro photos, and I have so many that just “popped”

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We were spending a lot of time taking about East and West Berlin, and the Wall. Admittedly it is a weird topic. East Germany walled in the people who were “Free” in West Berlin, so that the oppressed people in East Germany and East Berlin could not escape to the island of freedom. Lots of talking about the history.  The older two ate it up, but it was a pretty intense conversation for a 6 year old.

Near the Catherdral is the DDR Museum – where you can learn about what life was like in East Germany.  It is an interesting museum.  They hit on some pretty hard stuff, but also had some light hearted exhibits.

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Yes, this lawn mower is powered by a power drill mounted on the blades.

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The Trabant was the East German car.  After waiting for 16 years on the list – you “got” to buy one.  2 stroke engine, and extremely unreliable.

After we left the museum, we walked past an artist market.  We had been talking taht morning that teh cutting boards in our apartments might have traces of gluten, and we should get a cutting board.  As we walked through the art market, we found BEAUTIFUL olive wood cutting boards, so we added a small cutting board to our travel stuff.

At this point, we were halfway through the walking tour (adding a museum along the way) and were starting to get hungry. We decided to walk a bit further, where we discovered the memorial to all who have died under tyranny

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It is a very sobering place.  There is an unknown soldier, and concentration camp victim buried under the statue.

We continued on the tour and saw some neat churches, and we found the Ampelmanchen store.  This is the store dedicated to the pedestrian light signal of East Germany.  He’s pretty cute.

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But, we have kids, and the starving was taking over.  The walking tour ended at Potsdamer Platz – a huge shopping area.  We decided to hop on the subway to the shopping area to find sustenance,and then walk backwards to finish the tour.

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We rode the escalator into Potsdamer Platz to discover:

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The Brandenburg BioFest!  Now, You are thinking – whats the big deal?  Bio == Organic in German.  We found Gluten free Frenchfries and bratwurst for the family from a cart right outside the subway!!  Everything was just clicking this way for us.

After we filled our bellies, we walked towards the Brandenburg Gate. On the way we passed the memorial for the Jews who died in teh Holocaust.  As 8 year old R pointed out: “each slab of concrete looks like a grave, and if there are 900 slabs, each one stands for 10,000 people.”  Homeschooling moment – yes!, but also a VERY sobering one indeed.

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The sun was hitting Brandenburg gate just perfectly when we arrived.

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We walked through, had a double rainbow appear!

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Our half day ramble had become a 9 hour walk through Berlin, but everything just clicked perfectly.  We had a GREAT day, and got home very late.  We took a rest day on day 3 in Berlin.

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