Friday, May 2, 2014

Berlin - our first week

Hello folks,

It is a beautiful Saturday morning now, one short but action filled week ago, we were getting on the train in Amsterdam and heading to Berlin.  We have had a great week, with great weather and for the most part very mild temperatures.  We had been waiting for a gray and possibly rainy day for our "Museum Day" and it finally arrived yesterday, but even then the rain was just an occasional light drizzle. The rain came with a marked drop in temperature, so the extra layer of water resistant clothing felt good.  Linda and I haven't had to wait long for "Museum Days" in past visits, and we were wondering if one was going to pop up during this first week of visiting with our friends Vickie and Karin.

Karin - Ready for Rain
We were able get the most out of the week of springtime weather and see a lot of sights with flowers in bloom, and everything green and pretty.  Some of the things we visited were completely new to Linda and I, and some of them were favorites from past visits.

One of our days, we spend visiting the farmer's market in the Turkish neighborhood near Hermannplatz, and then after stocking up on fruit and vegetables, we headed out to the botanical gardens in the area called Steglizt.

Karin, Vickie, and Linda at the Farmer's Market
Vickie, Linda, and Karin at the Botanical Garden
We spent another one of our days by renting "city bikes" and riding around Templehof.  The old airfield at Templehof was made into a historical great park that is both a monument to the Berlin airlift and a fun place for cyclists, Rollerbladers, and even some windsurfers on wheels.  The neighborhood around the airfield is quaint and pre-war with many of the roads done in cobblestones (you notice them when cycling).  We finished off the day with a German style meal at a local restaurant before dropping off the bikes and heading back to the apartment.

Coffeeshop Bike at the Templehof Great Park
 We spent another day touring the Reichstag, and then exploring the French and German Cathedrals in the Gendarmenmarkt.  The Reichstag and the cathedral tours both got us up to great views of the city along with real interesting histories of German political development.  We actually visited the French Cathedral twice that day, the first time to climb the tower and the second time to listen to an organ concert in the evening.

At the Reichstag

The Reichstag

View of the Gendarmenmarkt
For our museum day, we went to the Gemäldegalerie (Picture Gallery) to see the collection of old masters paintings.  It was spectacular.  We finished off the afternoon with a visit to a fascinating technology museum that focused on human body mechanics.  It was a wonderful demonstration of interactive learning.



Here is a link to some additional pictures from the last several days.

We hope you are doing well.

Stephen and Linda

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