Old and new Berlin

Trip Start Mar 26, 2010
Trip End Jun 15, 2010

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Flag of Germany  ,
Thursday, June 10, 2010

We rode the campsite shuttle (minivan which held the 6 of us and one other passenger...) We actually had to wait for the second shuttle (even though we were the first people there) because the driver wanted to separate us in two groups... He did not speak very much English or any English at all?? and the whole situation became very frustrating!! So, we climbed out, let some other people ride and we took the next shuttle which was only a 5 minute difference...
We rode the train, swithed to another train at the Potsdam station, and arrived at the Berlin Station on a very HOT day!! We got a quick snack, found the bathroom, and went out and got tickets for the tour bus so we could get the grand tour of Berlin. The man that sold us the tickets was really nice and he let Xavier and Sophia each take a turn at "driving" his bus, while it was parked of course.

The tour guide lady was good and told us a lot about old Berlin. She said that she remembers riding the train as a little girl when East and West Berlin were separated - the train passed through East (but nobody was allowed to get off). She said that you would pass the stations and there were a lot of men with guns and it was scary. We didn't realize it but apparantly there was one stop where families from the East and West would say there goodbyes. She remembers as a girl seeing people hugging and crying... This stop is nicknamed (translation)the station of tears.
It was really cool seeing the remnants of the Berlin wall. We took lots of pictures and bought some actual pieces of the wall. We learned that Berlin is famous for the (cross/no-cross) little green and red men that you see when you cross at a stoplight. They have the fancy, stylish guy instead of the stick figure boring one - and they have a whole store dedicated to the little dude with everything you can imagine...

Our favorite sight was the Church that was destroyed in the WW2 bombings. They decided to leave it as it was, rather than repair it and it was the coolest memorial! We took lots of pictures - there are two new buildings (one on either side of the original church), the top was badly damaged and missing part of the cone, and it is blackened by the bombing and fire. Left as it was to show the world and remind us...

Berlin was worth the trip!
-The Berryessa's
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