May 18, 2000
We began our walking tour of Berlin at 9:00am after saying
goodbye to one of our guides, Eric. He was going home so the girls
surrounded him for pictures, we’ll make sure his wife gets a copy of who
he has spent the last ten days with!
We met our excellent guide, Greg, next to the zoo at a U Bahn
stop. We got on the train and went across the city into the former East
Berlin. We saw the Brandenburg Gate which was originally constructed in
1789 and used on maps dividing gates between East and West Berlin. Other
sites we saw during the four hour walking tour were: the Reichstag
(German Parliament Building), Unter den Linden (a broad avenue that
originally had famous palaces and cafes) and Humbolt University (famous
names associated with this school were Karl Marx, Albert Einstein and
many others). Located nearby was a memorial for the day the Nazi’s held
the infamous book burning. We saw the Merliner Dom (the largest
Protestant Cathedral in Germany), the remnants of the Berlin Wall, the
site of the Palace of the Kaiser, Checkpoint Charlie, as well as the
site for a future memorial being built to commemorate victims of the
Holocaust. It is intentionally located near Hitler’s Bunker. The people
chose to recognize the people lost and there is no marking for where
Hitler ended his life.
We then went back to the shopping area near the hotel and split
up for lunch and an afternoon of shopping, laundry and sleeping. We met
for dinner at 7:30pm and reviewed the schedule for the next day. We had
our final German dinner…pork snitzel, potatoes, white asparagus with
cream sauce, split pea soup, and bread. We’re ready to move on to a
lighter type of eating, some of the players went to another restaurant
and chose to order chicken breasts, baked potatoes and fajitas.
The other major site near the hotel, the famous Ka De We
department store, has a food emporium with a fish market, coffee,
chocolate, wine, pastries, beef, pork poultry, seafood, vegetable and
teas specialized areas all on the six floor. It was really impressive!
We are off to our third and final country tomorrow!