A Travellerspoint blog

Day 5: Berlin

Best of Germany

View European Surprise 2015 on Kris and Kayla's travel map.

Today was our first whole day in a place. We stayed in Berlin for 2 nights and it was amazing not having to get our cases ready this morning. We had another busy day - the rate we're going we will need a holiday to recover from this one!!

This morning we went up the TV Tower in Berlin - wow! The views were amazing and Kris actually enjoyed himself high above the rooftops. Amazing!! The views were great and you could read about each part of Berlin as they had information boards under each view point. That is such a German thing to do - everything is so organised!!

After the TV Tower we went on our optional extra for the day - Berlin Secret Past. We went to the Holocaust Memorial site, East Side Gallery, Check-Point Charlie and The Topography of Terror (Open-Air Museum). The places we visited were very eye-opening and needless to say we didn't say much while at each place. It was hard to believe that we were actually there.

We had some free time after this tour, so we decided to go back to the Open Air museum and Holocaust Memorial to spend some more time to explore the exhibits. We still didn't have enough time in the Holocaust Memorial museum, so it's on our list for next time.

We returned to our hotel exhausted after a long day exploring Berlin. We were headed out to Potsdam in the afternoon to see the Palace and have a traditional Bevarian dinner.

Potsdam was beautiful. It is a typical lake side town which has endless villas surrounding the town. These villas are actually quite cheap - so if you're in the market!! The palace was extravagant just like all the other ones we have seen so far. They sure knew how to build them back then, now ours fall down!! What's happened?! The views were great and very picturesque. Fun fact: The king was actually buried on site next to his dogs, because he liked them better than his wife! After exploring the palace grounds, we headed to our dinner.

The restaurant we ate at was straight out of a movie. By the lake, sun-setting and boats sailing past - wow!! We loved it. We decided to sit outside and enjoy some peace and quiet away from the rest of our group - it was bliss!

When we got back to our hotel we decided that it wasn't bed time yet so we headed to the bar to enjoy the live music and a few drinks. It was a great way to finish the day!

Next up: Dresden

Posted by Kris and Kayla 04:57 Archived in Germany Tagged europe Comments (0)

Day 7: Dresden - Modlareuth - Bayreuth - Nuremberg

Best of Germany


So clearly it is after the tour and we are trying to catch up on our blog entries. Keeping a blog is like a full-time job. The last thing you want to do each night is write a blog when all you want to do is sleep!

Nethertheless we are soldiering on and determined to finish our tour by the time we leave Austria.

Kayla: This was your idea Kris!
Kris: I've been too busy seeing cool stuff to write a blog!
Kayla: Lol
Typical Kris - so honest but so right!! The bar or exploring the city at night is way more exciting than being stuck in the hotel writing a stupid blog!!

But Day 7 ... This day was a fun day!! We saw sites that we would never have seen or known about if we didn't do this tour. That I guess makes touring worth the tiredness and go go goness.

Let's start with Modlareuth - wow! This place is amazing!!

Posted by Kris and Kayla 04:57 Archived in Germany Tagged europe Comments (0)

Day 4: Hamburg - Berlin

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We arrived in Berlin excited to be there and wanting to explore as soon as we got off our coach.

We went to the famous chocolate shop where Brangelina often shop at on their trips to Europe - Fun fact. The chocolate shop was amazing!!! It was definitely the biggest chocolate shop we've ever been in. As we walked around our eyes were transfixed on all the sculptures that were made out of chocolate there was a statue of the Brandenburg gate and a piece of the Berlin wall which you were able to stick your head through and get a photo as the piece of the wall was almost full size.
After making a few purchases we needed to be back in front of our hotel ready for our orientation tour of Berlin. This was just a introductory tour to show us the main sights like the Brandenburg gate, The Reichstag and Victory Column. Most of these we viewed from the bus and the only one we stopped at and got to have a closer look at and take better photos off was the Brandenburg gate. We had to park a little way away as the area around the gate was getting ready for the Champions League final and they were putting up grandstands so people could watch the game in the square on giant screens. So as we walked from the bus to the gate we walked past the hotel where Michael Jackson dangled his baby out the window. Then we were in the sqaure standing before the gate which was pretty cool.

After we had spent some time taking photos we had to return to the bus and continue the tour. We passed the Reichstag which is the German parliament building its a pretty impressive structure and we were informed you can walk inside and head up the dome but you have to book quite awhile in advance. On our way back to the hotel we were also allowed to stop at a relatively new memorial which runs along the Bernauer straße which is where those famous images of apartments which were built in to as part of the wall. Here is a link to the memorial site where you can read a pdf about the memorial. www.berliner-mauer-gedenkstaette.de
This was the first time Kayla and I had seen the wall and it kind of sucked the air out of you and was quite a wierd feeling, here we were walking backwards and forwards between east to west and back again with ease and people had died trying to do the exact same thing. I am sorry and i dont think my words do it justice but we both recommend that you see it for yourself.

After finishing up at the memorial we returned to our hotel to have some free time and get ready for our Berlin by night tour and dinner.
Also on our orientation tour we were told about Ampelman, We hear you say what the ef is Ampelman? And we were the same.
Ampelman was the east German crossing man who helped you cross the street he is slightly different to the normal crossing man as he wears a nice hat and when the wall fell and the crossing lights in east germany would start to need replacing, they would replce Ampelman with the generic crossing man then there started to be some backlash from this because everyone like the different crossing sign. So Ampelman stayed and I (Kris) think it was a great decision to keep him because he now has his own shop where you can buy anything Ampelman so cool!!

We spent some time in the shop and made some purchases and then got ready for the Berlin by night tour and dinner.

Before the by night tour we went to dinner at a local restaurant which looked interesting from the outside when we arrived we were greeted by muscians playing as we walked in. Inside we were served a lovely German 3 course meal and were treated to music and then a magician who in his hayday had worked with Cirque du soleil - amazing.

This Berlin by night tour was pretty much the same as the orientation tour except at night so we just got to see all the cool buildings lit up which was very pretty to see.

Posted by Kris and Kayla 04:57 Archived in Germany Tagged europe Comments (0)

Day 6: Berlin - Moritzburg - Dresden

Best of Germany


This was one of our shortest travelling days which we were excited about! We started the day with a trip to Moritzburg. Moritzburg castle is a hunting palace - yes, a hunting palace! There were stuffed deer heads everywhere! The king at the time was so proud of his deer collection that he wanted it to be the biggest. All the antlers were different and the grand ballroom had the deers and antlers that were misshapen or locked together. Kayla was not much of a fan of this palace, but she did like the ballroom! We couldn't take photos inside but the photos from the outside made up for this - he view was gorgeous! In actual fact - the whole of Germany is gorgeous!!

After exploring the castle and buying some delicious gingerbread we headed to Dresden for our orientation tour before checkin into our hotel - wait until we tell you about that!!

We headed to Dresden for our orientation tour. It was beautiful - old and quaint and just nice to look at. We went in the cathedral- of course - and admired the architecture of that period. We didn't have much time in the city centre. But we still saw a lot. We wandered the streets, admired the scenery and all th scaffolding up around Dresden. The only good thing about that was that in Germany, when they use scaffolding they cover it with what the building, or fountain will look like at the end. I like this idea - it's way more interesting to look at.

After our orientation tour it was on to our hotel ...
Our hotel was great but interesting, the shower and bathroom was literally in the middle of the room. Like for cereal you had the door - bam shower and bam bed! You could see the other person showering or going to the toilet haha Our tour director warned us, but I didn't believe her! Haha How wrong I was!! The hotel is designed like that because it is an old communist building from the war - pretty cool to stay at a place with such history!!

After we laughed about the shower and discovered the curtain that separated the area - lucky right?! We headed out. Kris was starting to get sick - so our first stop was a chemist! There was a shopping centre close to the hotel so we decided to go shopping, have dinner and find a chemist - tick, tick, tick!! We were successful and also discovered how cheap memory cards are in Germany - we bought 2 ... And 1 for Kris' phone!!

Dresden is on our 'come back' list. There is so much history and such a gorgeous little city. Next up: Nuremberg!

Posted by Kris and Kayla 04:57 Archived in Germany Tagged europe Comments (0)

Day 3 - Cologne - Hamlin - Hamburg

Best of Germany

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On the bus again was the theme of today! We were on the bus for a very long time as we had quite the drive ahead of us. We both enjoyed our time in Cologne, but it was very crowded and different to what we both thought.

Our first stop was Hamlin, a small town known for the story of the Pied Piper. The town is a small, old town with most of their buildings dating back to the 1500s. They were gorgeous, hand carved buildings that were in pristine condition. It made us wonder how on earth they did it on such a grand scale - they were perfect!


We explored the streets of Hamlin and admired the architecture and churches. There are Pied Piper memorials and souvenir shops everywhere in Hamlin. There are also rat tiles in between the cobblestones through the main walking ways which were interesting to see, between the old buildings and sculptures of children, which are there to show the story to people.


We went into the main church, which was pretty but small compared to the huge cathedral we saw in Cologne. We quickly grabbed a bite to eat on the go from the bakery, it was delicious, and headed back to the coach to continue our journey to Hamburg.

Kayla slept a lot of the way, but the scenery was similar to that we see on Australia on the way to anywhere. We soon arrived in Hamburg and were marvelled by the HUGE town hall that sits pretty in the centre of town. We both knew that this busy city was one we would both love.

We were right - as we arrived in Hamburg and got off the coach, we both fell in love with this gorgeous city. The buildings, the scenery and all the canals are amazing. We wandered through the streets admiring the expensive shops that we couldn't afford, but enjoyed looking at all the same. We visited the River Alster in the centre of town and took some amazing photos.


So we weren't joking when we said we couldn't afford anything on a particular street ...


After a couple of hours of free time we hopped back on the coach and headed to the port of Hamburg - the 2nd largest in Europe! Wow!! They weren't joking - it is huge!! We cruised along the river with an informative guide to the city, enjoying the sites and remembering the sheer size of the ships that were in front of us.


We both loved the city and it is definitely on the 'come back' list!!

Posted by Kris and Kayla 00:17 Archived in Germany Tagged europe Comments (0)

Day 2 - Rhine Valley, St Goar, Boppard and Cologne

Best of Germany

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Day 2 of our tour was very busy. We were changing states again in Germany and had an early start. Bags were packed and stomachs full from a delicious breakfast and we were ready for what day 2 had in store. We decided to sit at the back of the coach, because we have a 'seat rotation' system, so the only way for us is forward.

We headed to Cologne via St Goar for our cruise down the Rhine. St Goar was beautiful and had traditional German buildings, that are postcard worthy. We explored the town before our cruise and then headed to the lake. The cruise was the best one we have done yet. The scenery is a see it to believe it type thing. It was gorgeous! We braved the wind and stayed on the top deck, taking photos and enjoying the picturesque towns and buildings along the way.


We arrived from our cruise in Boppard, a slightly larger town than St Goar, but in the heart of the Rhine Valley. We had a bit of time to explore, take photos and grab something small to eat. We didn't want to waste too much time at a restaurant, so I had the cheapest ice-cream ever and we kept going! When in ... Germany right?! We explored the church (of course!) and navigated our way through the cobblestone streets. Before heading back to the coach, we grabbed some delicious pastries from the bakery to eat on our way to Cologne.


After arriving in Cologne, we went on an orientation tour of the city and were dropped near The Dome (cathedral) and had a couple hours to ourself. We went into the Dome and were mesmerised by the sheer size of the church. Neither of us had any idea that this was the trackless building in the world before the Eiffel Tower was built, it is huge!!! We toured the inside, following a map that we purchased, on a trust system type sceme, and took it all in. They certainly know how to build churches! This particular church wasn't fully destroyed during the war, despite the city around it being destroyed, and was given considered protected during this time.


At the end of the day we explored the streets and just took in the bustling atmosphere - it was so busy compared to the places we have experienced so far.

Posted by Kris and Kayla 23:37 Archived in Germany Tagged europe Comments (0)

Day 1: Frankfurt, Germany

Best of Germany

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This was the first day of our tour. We flew into Frankfurt from Copenhagen, after our lengthy goodbyes to Kris' family. We missed our transfers, so we thought, and decided to taxi into our hotel in Offenbach. We arrived safely, checked in and napped before our tour officially started at 4pm.

We were very excited for the beginning of our tour, but were starving, so grabbed a small something and a drink before it began.


We met everyone in the foyer and we see that we are the youngest by far - the oldies didn't seem to like us much to begin with.

We explored Frankfurt that afternoon and had some free time to explore it by ourselves. Frankfurt is really pretty and much different to what we thought. We saw the famous buildings, churches and memorial sites.


In the main city area is a huge Catholic Church with a tower that you can go up. Being the crazy people that we are, we decided to walk up the 320 steps to get to the top. Walking up the steps almost killed us, but was worth it with the views, they were amazing! I was impressed with Kris' efforts up there, because we were VERY high!!


After returning to the bus, we went back to the hotel for a welcome dinner. We met some nice people on our tour, and the 'oldies' seemed to warm to us. After dinner, Kris and I decided to go to the bar for a drink to end our fun-filled day.

Next up, Cologne.

Posted by Kris and Kayla 13:15 Archived in Germany Tagged europe Comments (0)

Our last day in Denmark

Day 16

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Our final day in Sakskøbing was on Sunday 24th May. The day went very quickly but it was a nice end to our experience in Denmark.

We spent the day relaxing at Maj's house and spending the last hours (for awhile) with the kids. Kris played soccer with his nephews, Kayla jumped on the trampoline with Kris' niece, and we were even able to go and get a last Danish hot dog and ice-cream.

We ended the day with a huge family BBQ and were up very late, despite our early departure, trying to prolong our Danish experience. There were also long lines for the shower as someone ... Kimberly!! Decided to throw cream at Kris, and yes it did end with cream all over people's faces, in their hair and all over the yard. It was hilarious and all captured on film!!!

We loved Denmark and are very sad to say goodbye, but are very excited for our European adventure to continue.


Posted by Kris and Kayla 22:03 Archived in Denmark Tagged europe Comments (0)

København take 2

Day 15

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We spent our last Saturday in Copenhagen with Maj and Allan. It was a delightful day and full of food, entertainment and new memories.

We drove in and parked in an all day area which was quite convenient. The drive is about 1.5-2hrs from Sakskøbing, but with the gorgeous scenery it was no bother at all. Maj had a place in mind for brunch and we are both very happy that she took us there. We went to a busy cafe right in the heart of Copenhagen and ordered an amazing meal that we all loved. We were able to people watch, enjoy the atmosphere and will the sun to shine on us, as it was a tad cold earlier that morning.


After brunch we continued exploring the streets, walking through the busiest tourist area of Copenhagen. Kris and I had not been down the street despite our earlier visit. It was interesting to see the people frantically shopping and children screaming because they weren't getting what they wanted. As the day went on, the people increased and the space for walking decreased.

We did stumble across the Lego shop and went back to it later in the day. It was incredible ... and boiling hot!! Lego literally from floor to ceiling. Alas, we did not buy anything because Kris could not decide what he wanted. Probably a good thing, because he would have picked the largest item - that would have been fun lugging it around Europe.


We went back to Nyhavn again and did the 'typical' tourist thing of taking photos here, there and everywhere. The sun was shining, which made for gorgeous photos. We walked down the street where all the cafes were and just enjoyed the sites. Walking back up the other side was very interesting, on the opposite side to where we were, we spotted 4 drunk people who decided to go skinny dipping in the river ( I certainly wouldn't do that in a hurry - it's dirty). It was hilarious to watch, as the jumped in, struggled climbing out and then pushed each other in once again. For us, it was funnier to see that no police stopped them. No one seemed bothered by them doing it for that matter, and the tourists loved it!!


After our experience at Nyhavn we decided to head to Christiania. Christiania is a small 'suburb' in the centre of Copenhagen that is very hippy and alternative. They have their own laws and live within the boundaries. In certain parts of this area photos are not allowed. The lifestyle is laid back, but very interesting to see.

The day flew by and it was already evening. We walked back into Copenhagen, had cake and bought our last minute souvenirs. We went back to the 'weird' dinner place where we had dinner on our first night, for a delicious steak dinner.


After dinner we headed back to Sakskøbing with lots of photos taken and new memories stored. Thanks Maj and Allan, we had a great day!!

Posted by Kris and Kayla 14:15 Archived in Denmark Tagged europe Comments (0)

Life in Sakskøbing

Days 12-14

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During our last week in Sakskøbing we were lucky enough to be able to go and see Kris' niece Sarah's Acro training.

It was amazing! The strength and lack of fear that those kids had was outstanding. It was one of their last training sessions before their championship on Saturday. We know they will do great.


We have a video of her routine on our Facebook page, so head over there to see Sarah in action!!

Posted by Kris and Kayla 14:14 Archived in Denmark Tagged europe Comments (0)

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