Wednesday, September 21, 2011

9/20 Berlin!

Our trip from Florence to Berlin went very well, everything happened pretty much on schedule.The bus from the center of Florence to the airport ran a little slow, but we had plenty of time. Our flights on Brussels Airlines took off right on time, and everything about the flight was very professional. The Brussels airport was beautiful, it was like a mall inside with all sorts of shops. The airport was oddly kind of empty.

When we landed in Berlin, everything just started to click. In less than 5 minutes from walking in the terminal, we were walking out with our luggage. We walked to the 109 express bus that was just outside the terminal, had we missed this one there was another in 10 minutes. We took a 25 minute bus ride (it was 25 minutes right on the dot) to within a 1/2 block from our hotel on Kurfurstendamm (Ku-damm). In less than an hour from when our wheels touched the ground, we were going out the front door of the hotel to look around.

Directly across the street from us is a Starbucks, and down two doors from that is a Department stor called Karstads. It is something that would be easy to miss, but on the basement level of the department store there is a grocery store. We bought some yogurt and fruit for supper.

Sadly there is one thing missing from our hotel – the internet. Many of the things that we are used to doing like checking the weather forcast, or directions to a destination will just have to be done the old fashioned way for about a week. There is a hotel that is in the same chain as ours just a block down, and we can use the internet there. We will carry the laptop down every couple of days, check our email and publish the blog.

It is time to head for bed. Looking forward to a big day tomorrow in our favortite travel destination.

Looking out of our Hotel Window

9/21 – Walking through Berlin

We had planned to hop on a bus or a U-Bahn to go down to Dalem to look around an take in a couple of museums. But when we got up in the morning, it was just too nice of a day! We started the day with nothing blue blue sky.

We walked most of the day, we walked up and down Kurfurstendamm (Ku-damm) enjoying the upscale stores, the treelined street, the street corners that were like miniature parks.

Kurfurstendamm (Ku-damm)

Coffee Break Kurfurstendamm (Ku-damm)

Bears - Kurfurstendamm (Ku-damm)
Schnauzer near Tiergarten

Next we headed up to the Tiergarten which is kind of like Central Park in New York, only more spectacular and wonderfully maintained. In the middle of the Tiergarten we found the Victory Tower, and since it was a climbing opportunity, up we went. Since the park has a lot of benches and we were packing some sandwhiches, it was a wonderful chance for lunch.

We then traveled to the far end of the park and walked through the Brandenburg Tor (Gate). The Brandenburg Tor is not only a huge monument, but it aslo used to be part of the wall between East and West Berlin.

Brandenburg Tor
We walked into old East Berlin down the Unter den Linden street made famous by being lined with Linden Trees. At the end of Unter den Linden, we came to the Berliner Dom. Another climbing opportunity! We explored the church and then climed the Dome for another view of the city.

We continued walking to the heart of old East Berlin, Alexanderplatz. We caught a tram to an agacent Platz and then caught the S-Bahn train back to within a couple of blocks of our neighborhood. We decided to grab supper at a small restaraunts that was advertizing Omelets and Salads. It was good to graba bite to eat and catch our breath.

View from Berliner Dom
We made our way back to the Hotel, and decided to take an internet break, so here we are! We might decide to go back out and look at the lights of the city, but if we do, I am pretty sure we will be riding rather than walking.

Here is a Link to more pictures.

We hope you are all doing well!

Stephen & Linda