The train ride to Berlin was one of our longest rides, about 5 hours, the girls did a great job on the train. Apparently train rides are better than plane rides, they can get up and walk around, they aren’t strapped down, it is so nice!
We arrived in Berlin got situated and Grammy and Gramps arrived as we were checking into our house. The girls were excited! We caught up,. visited and then let them nap while we went grocery shopping. That night we visited our first of many Berlin Christmas Markets. This one was in a courtyard, and supposedly very traditional. It was cute, but SO, SO crowded. the girls got to shoot plastic darts at the castle invaders and won some prizes. i was disappointed that this was the first market we showed Kelly and Gerry, but it was fun, and we knew we had several more to visit throughout the week. Besides, we got our delicious potato pancakes with applesauce… YUM!
The next morning we headed out to Checkpoint Charlie. This was the spot during the Cold War that America controlled and allowed passage through the Berlin Wall. We visited a nearby site where there was a part of the Wall left, and then a couple museums about the Cold War, the most interesting parts for me were the stories about escape attempts- people did some crazy things to get out of East Berlin.
Our next stop was the Berlin Wall Memorial. This is the biggest remaining chunk of the Wall. There also was a statue that has matching statues in Salisbury UK and Japan… I had visited the monument in England and Jeff had visited the one in Japan, kind of cool. It was so interesting to see and learn about all the history in Berlin.
That night we visited a Christmas Market within walking distance of our house. We had our favorite dish of the Christmas Market tour there… pitas with shaved pork and onions, yogurt sauce and cabbage… holy goodness, I wish I could eat it again! The girls got to play a few more games and we ate our hearts out until we rolled ourselves home!
Our next day took us to the Reichstag, which is the Parliament building in Berlin. The views were great from the top! Then we walked over to the Brandenburg Gate. We ate at Jeff’s current travel favorite, Hard Rock Cafe and visited the Lego Store and then we headed to third Berlin Christmas Market… we had goulash, hot dogs in BBQ sauce and Jeff took the girls tubing down a big fake hill (no pictures, it was too dark). The night before during the duck game Hattie won a pirate set and walked around all day with her pirate sword saying “Arrrrg!” It was adorable!