28.05.2015 - 30.05.2015
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.