Monday, October 19, 2009

Berlin Day 2

I almost thought about moving on with life, and not posting about the portion of our trip to Berlin...but that wouldn't be right, as it meant so much to me. So to continue our saga...

When I left off, we had arrived in Berlin. Day Two in Berlin had us starting off with a visit a most interesting interactive museum, "The Story of Berlin".

On our stroll over to the "Ku'damm", we saw some very "Berlin" sights..

Berlin autos

a cool staircase

A stop in front of the Zoo

and who could ever pass up a green cow?

It amazes me to think that my children have no memories of a "Cold War", a divided Berlin, a divided Germany or a Soviet Union. This museum really helped them understand the role that Berlin has played in our recent history..and did it in a very clever and modern way.

First stop was a guided tour of one of the nuclear bunkers that were built to house a portion of West Berlin's citizens in case of attack.

What's pretty cool is that with a few days' notice, it can be completely restored to its designated purpose.

The air filtration system

The power plant for the bunker. It's completely self-contained, enabling 3600 people to live for two weeks.

Then we went on to see displays of life in Berlin throughout the centuries. It was incredibly well done and I HIGHLY recommend a visit to give a great overview of this singular city.

After a quick lunch,and a stop here for Austin to add to his collection of white HR t-shirts (for which he is well-known)

we boarded the on-off tour bus. It was perfect for giving a feel for the "new" Berlin--which held the interests of the kids, and had the adults means so much more to us, after all.

As you can see, it was a perfect day!

There is still an amazing amount of construction going on all around Berlin.

Things began to get very emotional for me...especially looking past Checkpoint Charlie, where so many times we were stopped, scrutinized, allowed to pass, stopped again, scrutinized again, and allowed to pass.Now open, free, clear, and DEFINITELY not grey concrete.

Where might I be right now??

25 years ago, in my wildest dreams I never thought I would EVER be driving down a FREE Unter den Linden.

Or driving past an unblocked Brandenburg Gate

This is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe- a site we would explore later.

There's some AWESOME architecture in Berlin..

and some absolutely horrific reminders of history.

We liked the fact that, after a sunny ride aboard the top of the double decker bus, we could be dropped off practically at the hotel.

Another dinner at Sorriso,

and we were ready to face tomorrow's day of walking!

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