Unter den Linden

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27 travelers at this place

  • Day8

    Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

    September 22, 2017 in Germany ⋅ 🌙 9 °C

    We woke up in Rothenburg to a relatively clear morning. After a quicker hotel breakfast we power walked back over to the popular photo spot that we didn't get a good shot of yesterday. It was perfect timing... very few tourists around and the sun was in a good spot not to interfere with photos. After that, we purchased a box of Schneeballen to take as a treat for Tyler's family. We pulled away from Rothenburg reluctantly, but having enjoyed our time there immensely.

    Today was our main long driving day, which again meant lots of focus and energy from Tyler. I wasn't much of a help as I kept dozing off regularly during the drive. I think I'm coming down with a bit of a cold (I'm willing it not to get any worse).

    Our first stop was in Bamberg. We wandered around a couple of the main sights and stopped for lunch at a small cafe where we both had Turkish bread sandwiches and tea. I bought a lovely cashmere scarf as a memento (and extra warm article of clothing).

    We carried on with the long drive and got onto some serious Autobahn driving. Some comments from Tyler:
    -we drove the A70 between Bamberg and the A9. This was very curvy and twisty. It was quite challenging to keep up with the rest of the drivers. Kept around 130 and in the right lane.
    -when we got on the A9 that became a true super highway. 3 lanes of high speed traffic. The semi trailers stay mostly in the right lane. The middle lane goes around 140 to 150. And the left lane is cruising along 160+ (most of the time, unless someone is screwing up and slowing down traffic).
    -the A9 highway had a couple of portions of straight aways where it was actually clear and open. Along with everyone else I sped up to really give 'er. Going about 165 in the far right lane I was still getting passed by people zipping by
    -I topped out the day at 180 on a straight away

    As we approached the main highway turn off to Berlin (A9), all the signs for the Berlin exit were marked closed! Given our non-existent German language skills, we were worried we would be confused by the detour. Luckily, we could take the next exit to turn around which is what everyone seemed to be doing.

    We intended to take another break in Worlitzer park (at the suggestion of Rothenburg hotel staff). When we got there though, we couldn't find any parking that didn't require payment in coins and there wasn't anywhere to make change. We settled for just seeing the front of the park / stretching our legs before starting the last leg of our route to Berlin.

    The last 1.5 hrs was chalk full of construction much to our chagrin. We went back and forth on whether to drop our bags off at the hotel before or after returning the rental car. The decision was made for us when we ran into some road closures around the marathon route where we intended to drive (they're setting up early!)

    The hardest part of driving in Germany (and the driver agrees) was finding a gas station in the vicinity of the car rental drop off point. We felt a bit hopeless at times but eventually got on to the correct road. Tired and hungry and mixed up. We dropped off the car and caught a taxi to the hotel. Saw the holocaust memorial during the drive and we hope to go back there to see it again while we are here.

    We arrived at the hotel and checked in. We met up with Brett, Celeste and Kelly in the lobby and headed to a nearby Italian restaurant. Tyler had bolognese and I had tagliatelle with chanterelle and bacon sauce. We haven't yet seen Rae due to some travel hiccups that resulted from cancelled flights, lost luggage and long train rides.

    Tyler and I finished off the evening at the hotel pool (a pretty short visit to the pool once we realized the water was cold). Now it's earlyish to bed so that we can make use of our main sightseeing day in Berlin tomorrow!

    Brooke & Tyler

    The day included planes, trains, and automobiles for our group... Kelly, Celeste, and Brett arrived by plane as scheduled, Rae ended up grabbing a train from Düsseldorf due to some travel hiccups, and Tyler and I drove into Berlin in our fancy automobile.
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  • Day9

    Berlin Birthday

    September 23, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    We woke up this morning in Berlin on my birthday! Brooke had a card already ready for me that she brought all the way from Calgary, so thoughtful. We headed downstairs to have breakfast with the whole family, what a treat. I was also really happy to see that Rae had finally made it in safe to Berlin last night. Breakfast was a wide selection hotel buffet with plenty of options. I even quickly noticed that they had prosecco available, so why not have a mimosa with breakfast? It's my birthday after all!

    After breakfast, Brett headed out to do his final training run, just a short 3km jog (sounds like plenty to me). The rest of us geared up for the day and headed out to go on a city bus tour (hop on/hop off type with audio descriptions). I likely am starting to catch a bit of the cold that Brooke has and was also feeling run down at the start of today. At any rate, I wasn't quite in the mood yet for selfies when Brooke suggested it (since it was the first time wearing our new Blue Jays hats), but I slowly warmed up to it since we "have" to take selfies.....I'm getting off tour! The tour was overall really good, we got to see a widespread look at Berlin with all the major sites, but obviously nothing detailed and up close. The route was slightly adjusted because of the marathon route and finish line being set up, but we saw nearly everything. At times it was hard to pay attention to the audio descriptions, but it was still good to get a sense of the overall city.

    Once we completed the circuit, we got off the bus and the girls went immediately to shop at the flagship Nivea store. They seem to sell some products that you rub on your face and make you smell weird, I don't really understand it. Mostly stood outside with Dad as we waited for them to finish. Brooke bought some hand lotion and lip stuff for her staff members (she also thinks the store clerk didn't charge her for 2 out of 3 of the lip things, good work Brooke!). We then zipped over to the hotel to drop off the purchases and a quick free bathroom break.

    Next up we walked over to the Brandenburg Gate to take in the sight and grab some pictures. This monument will be right near the end of the marathon tomorrow and we won't have a chance of getting a good look at it. So it was a good thing we did it today. Grabbed a quick lunch of bratwurst by the gate and then walked over to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

    The holocaust memorial (Proper name: Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe) consists of 2711 cement blocks/columns that are all of different heights. The ground is also not level. The effect of all of this is that in the center (where the ground is lower and the blocks are taller), you feel trapped. In the middle of the memorial, it would be easy enough to lose the person you're travelling with (and of course I was weaving in and out, trying to sneak behind people). The girls then entered the information center which lies below the memorial to what is a small but very powerful holocaust museum. There is a timeline of events leading from initial persecution of the Jewish people to full extermination. Another room consisted of notes from holocaust victims that were later found and translated. Where possible, the note would include a caption about who wrote the note and what is known to have happened to them thereafter. Of course, to think that these are the brief stories of just a few of the 5.5-6 million people murdered is almost unbelievable. I probably could have spent even more time there, although it is really quite overwhelming. There is also a room where they read the names and brief bios of people that were killed.

    Once the girls finished off at the Memorial, I suggested that we should head over to Legoland! I had noticed this on the tour bus and thought why not check it out since it was my birthday. The whole family was on board and we headed out towards the area of Potsdam Platz. When we got to the entrance I found out that you had to have a child with you to go in (didn't even count that it was my birthday or that I was acting like a child earlier). This is entirely because it is a "Discovery Center" that is geared 100% towards children. Darn.

    In the area we were able to catch a bit of racing happening on the main road. The marathon route is already set up and they have a couple of events happening today with the mini-marathon (~4km and it looked like only youth were running) and the roller blading marathon (literally a bunch of people racing the route on roller blades).

    Once we finished watching some racing and practicing some cheering for tomorrow, we walked over to Checkpoint Charlie where one of the crossings between West and East Berlin during the Cold War was located. Along the street they have a series of panels to read about the entire Cold War events, the Berlin Wall, and the escape attempts into West Berlin throughout the years. There was a lot of history to recall and I definitely learnt some new facts about the Cold War. I found it very fascinating to read it all and the fact that we were standing right there where it all occurred. And to think that this all happened not so long ago in the grand scheme of things. I also confirmed that I am a very slow reader as everyone else got way ahead of me, so much that Mom and Rae headed back to do some shopping while I was only halfway through. That's all right, I think I just take it in more thoroughly (so Brooke tells me 😉). There was also a cool map that showed the entire perimeter that the Berlin Wall took up. And they had the original patrol gate of Checkpoint Charlie, but it felt a little hokey being right outside a McDonald's.

    It was getting a little chilly out so Dad, Brooke, and I walked back to the hotel. Had a quick stop in a bakery because Brooke wanted to buy me a birthday treat, which ended up being a donut and a hot coffee. At the hotel we warmed up, had a short rest, and changed for dinner. By the time we left, it was fully raining out and we all walked over to the restaurant each under an umbrella.

    The restaurant was German cuisine with more beer to try, all right! Seems like we didn't grab the name of the restaurant since Brett picked this one out and we just went with the flow. Regardless it was great as a birthday dinner! I enjoyed the pork knuckle again (couldn't finish it), Mom had a deer goulash, and everyone else had schnitzel. We shared more of our stories from our previous week and heard about Rae's experiences of dining over in France and Spain. Our waiter had the funniest way of saying yes of course to all of our requests. Every time we ordered something his response was "ok fine" as if he was saying "if you must, I guess......😔." I'm sure we'll be making fun of it throughout the trip.

    Walking back to the hotel, it was raining hard and we had to avoid lots of puddles in the street. Time for a good sleep since tomorrow morning will be very busy. (Hopefully Brett is already asleep as I type this. Good luck Brett!!!)

    Tyler & Brooke
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  • Day10

    Berlin Marathon

    September 24, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Today was marathon day!! Brett was off to the race early this morning and we didn't see him at breakfast... I'm going to ask him to recount his experience of the race later but this post will be our perspective on it.

    The rest of our group had breakfast at 7:30, finalizing the details of our spectator tour for the day. Kelly and Tyler had two options for the route but they chose the one that spread out the viewings the most.

    We walked north from our hotel to the 8km marker. We got there a bit early and got to see the wheelchair and recumbent bike athletes go by first (really amazing to use arm strength alone for the marathon). Next were the olympians followed pretty closely by Brett! It was lots of fun to cheer him on all morning and I think we all got a bit emotional. As soon as he passed by, we were starting a race of our own to make sure we got to the next stop in enough time.

    Did I mention that it was raining? If not, it's safe to say that if I don't mention the weather, then default is rain. We rushed down into the train station because Tyler spotted the correct train was already there. I was running after him and completely fell right before the door to the train. It was like sliding into a base (which for the record I've probably never done before). Mostly impacted my derrière and my left elbow. Very quickly assessed that nothing was broken (would have definitely hurt more if I had).

    We took the U bahn south to next view him at km 19. More cheering in our Canadian gear ensued. After that, we headed back to the subway (albeit a bit more cautiously). We took the U Bahn further west and exited at km 32. We were a bit concerned that time was tight and we didn't want to miss him so we ran close to one km opposite of the race path. We passed the Olympians as they went by before settling on a spot to stop and watch for Brett. We hadn't fully informed him of our location plans and I'm not sure if he expected us at that area. After he passed, it was back to the train.

    Next we had to take the S bahn east with a connection to our intended last viewing point. The first train came quickly in 2 minutes. We were disappointed to see the next train for our connection would be in 15 minutes. Calculating from where Brett was on the track and how long our commute would take, we knew it would be tight.

    The train took us to the Brandenburg station where we ran to catch Brett one more time before the end of the race. We were ready about 3 minutes before he passed by... phew!

    Following that we headed at a leisurely pace to the "family reunion area." After a few minutes, Brett joined us in his silver Berlin marathon poncho. A personal best time of 2:36:35. Incredible!

    We walked to Berliner Republik for the customary post-race beer with Brett. A much deserved liter of Paulaner! I tried a Zwick'l at the suggestion of Brett's friend Stephan who now lives in Berlin. It was yummy! We had lunch there (Tyler's turn to have roulade and I had soup and sausages).

    We headed back to the hotel for a brief rest so Brett could shower. I made the mistake of actually having a nap and really struggled to get up and go. The rest of the afternoon was spent seeing bits of the Berlin Wall. We took the subway to the East Side Gallery, a long stretch of murals representing the wall. There were some very interesting sections. We then decided to head to the north segment of wall. They also have a memorial to the victims of the wall there and we spent some time reading the posted information. By this point, all of us were pretty tired and so we went back to the hotel for another brief rest before dinner. We had our last German meal at the Augustiner beer hall. I ended up having salad but Tyler is still going strong on the German food (Goulash and spaetzle). When we finished dinner it was already quite late and so we headed to bed. A busy last day in Berlin before our journey to Prague tomorrow!!!
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  • Day39

    Humbolt University

    September 8, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    A seat of higher learning.
    And at the time more importantly a toilet seat.

    There was also a “Creative Bureaucracy Festival” on that day so how could you not go in?
    Merchandising for this was a bit thin but we looked. Not much creativity on that side at all.Read more

  • Day1

    Restaurant Cracker

    June 21, 2019 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Geheimtipp! Nur wer es weiß oder bereits kennt, findet das versteckte Restaurant. Zuerst geht man durch das schwere Eisentor durch einen langen, dunklen Gang. Öffnet man dann die nächste Türe, steht man mitten in der Küche 😂
    Cooles Restaurant! Reservierung empfehlenswert. ,
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  • Day5

    transition : Hambirg-Berlun

    August 25, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Evidemment, on devait se prendre une mine avant de quitter Hamburg... maintenant... Berlin

    Patrick Howald

    Quel artiste 👍🏼 !!

    Gerard Seydoux

    C est le Samsung qui est bon...

    Patrick Howald

    Peut être......Mais le coup d'œil lui est humain 😉

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  • Day34

    Museum Island

    October 9, 2015 in Germany ⋅ 🌙 9 °C

    After a rainy travel day and a rather wet arrival in Berlin we were a bit worried about the weather for our first full day in the capital of Germany. Being determined spirits we packed our umbrellas and set forth to join a 4 hour walking tour. The tour was in the afternoon and we paid a quick visit to a museum dedicated to the history of Berlin along the way. The visit wasn't a complete success, we didn't really have enough time to get very far with it, but the bit that we did pick up actually came in quite handy on our walking tour as we had some background for the information we were getting during the tour.
    The tour was really good - even if the guide and half the group were Australians! We picked up a lot of historical background which we kind of knew about, but not really, as well as getting a feel for the city and what sites and attractions we might like to visit on our own. Berlin is a huge city, but the area in which so much history in terms of the 20th century and most of our lives took place can be wandered around in a couple of hours. We had a chat with one of the fellows that rents out the apartments - one of which we are in - and he was saying it is a big year for him, he has lived now for 25 years with the wall and 25 years without it. When he goes to see the bit of the wall still standing it just looks so small compared with how he remembers it from childhood. At least he missed the war.
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    Phil Douglas

    After a rainy travel day and a rather wet arrival in Berlin we were a bit worried about the weather for our first full day in the capital of Germany. Being determined spirits we packed our umbrellas and set forth to join a 4 hour walking tour. The tour was in the afternoon and we paid a quick visit to a museum dedicated to the history of Berlin along the way. The visit wasn't a complete success, we didn't really have enough time to get very far with it, but the bit that we did pick up actually came in quite handy on our walking tour as we had some background for the information we were getting during the tour.


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