Day Trip to Berlin

Trip Start Mar 01, 2007
Trip End Jul 01, 2009

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

O.k., so I know it has been a while since we have traveled anywhere.  We have enjoyed just "staying put" for a while and relaxing in Prague.  But, we decided it has been long enough and this weekend we decided to go check out Berlin. 

We kind of did this one by the seat of our pants.  We didn't plan this trip, read about  Berlin or anything, we just hopped in the car and went.  We found it to be a fairly easy trip and after about 3 hours of driving we hit the outskirts of Berlin. As we were driving into the city center, we saw the Wall for the first time and decided to stop and take pictures.  I'm not sure how tall it is, but it seemed to be at least ten feet tall, which would be no easy task to climb over.  Back in the communist days there was barbed wire along the top, as well as guard dogs and soldiers preventing people from climbing over.  Even so, it is estimated that thousands of people did manage to escape to "freedom".  I didn't know, which goes to show how much I really know about the history of Berlin, that the wall surrounded the entire city of West Berlin, thus making it kind of an island of freedom in the midst of communist East Germany.    Seeing the wall was cool, but I was surprised to find that it was covered in graffiti, which from the pictures, it looks like it has been for quite some time.

After checking out the Wall we drove to the city center and tried to find a place to park, which took quite a while.  After parking, we found an ATM and got some euros, bought a tour guide book and found a place to eat.  After lunch, we decided to take a bus tour of the city, since we didn't really know where anything was.  The bus tour was informative and I felt like I got to see a lot of Berlin.  I was somewhat surprised to see how modern Berlin was, but then when you think about the fact that 75% of Berlin was destroyed during WWII, it is not surprising to find that most of the old buildings were destroyed.  It was a very beautiful city with varying architecture.  It also had nice parks and walkways along the river for biking and roller-blading. 

After the two hour long bus tour, we were ready to do a little walking.  We walked to the Brandenburger Tor, which is the symbol of the city and for a long time the symbol of the partition of Germany.  Close by was the Jewish monument for the lives lost during the holocaust.  After snapping some photos of these two places, we navigated our way to Checkpoint Charlie.  After hanging out there for a while, we did some more walking, took a metro ride, got lost (it wouldn't be a visit in an European city without getting lost), figured out where we were again and ate dinner.  After dinner, we took a taxi back to the car so we wouldn't get lost again.  Before we left Berlin, we had one more adventure.  We had to find a Shell station to buy gas, but couldn't find one.  So, Joe "googled" Shell stations and we punched in the address into our GPS until we found one close to us.  Yes, we are geeks, but we did find a Shell and didn't have to pay for our gas.  After not paying for gas, it was back to Prague. 

We enjoyed our day in Berlin.  We would like to go back and spend some more time there, maybe in the summer time, when it looks really pretty there. 
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pendor63 on

Karli, I always enjoy your travel blog, thanks for doing this. Penny

mdurbin on

Hello Joe and Karli!!!

Sounds like a blast. Would love to be in your shoes.

Love you both. Michelle

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