Train ride to Berlin Rise and shine, 530am, in the morning was the way the day started, however, this is a good. My daughter was celebrating her 20th birthday on the cruise. What an awesome way to spend your birthday. Great memory maker. The weather in the morning was foggy, drizzle, and very cool, jacket weather. Our port was Warnemunde, Germany.
Just an interesting point, about 90% of Berlin was total destroyed during WWII bombing. It is amazing how they have rebuilt after so much destruction.
Today was to be a long day, leaving at 645am and arriving back at the ship at 8:00pm. After eating breakfast at 6:15am, we met for our tour at 645am and then proceeded to the port area. From there we walked about a ½ mile to board a charter train. The train was scheduled take 3 hours. Thank goodness the temperature was cool because the train was not air conditioned. The four of us boarded the train (regional train DB in German) and were very fortunate to find our own compartment to sit in where we could close off our door. The compartment was a 5 seater, however only the four of us sat there. We had hot
Berlin Wallwater for coffee and tea waiting for us. Later during the train ride our host provided muffins and additional drinks. We also we received a map and guide for Berlin. This gentleman was very accommodating and friendly. We really enjoyed looking at the countryside from the port to Berlin, however we also noticed there were several building empty and not taken care of. Very run down. During our tour, we were scheduled to see the following areas; Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, photo stop of the Charlottenburg Palace, eating lunch at Opernpalais Opera House for lunch, a Pipe Organ Recital, and Pergamon Museum.
Visiting part of the one mile length of the Berlin Wall left is incredible and hear about its history is mind boggling. At one point, before the dismantling of the wall in 1989, the wall was over 800 miles long. The wall separated east and west Berlin and on either side they knocked down. Much of the remaining wall has been decorated with paintings. Where the wall used to be is marked on the ground surface with two bricks side by side. Some of the areas where the wall used to be now have either
Check Point Charlieroads or buildings in those areas.
This is one of three checkpoints used during WWII. It was manned by US Forces. According to our tour guide, there were actually three checkpoints and they were associated by A, B, and C. Checkpoint Charlie was C. Allied forces were the only ones allowed through there. Although the site still remains, the checkpoint is not controlled by anyone, rather there are two people dressed in military gear posing for pictures and charging 2 Euro’s.
Opernpalais Opera House
For lunch today we visited an old opera house, Opernpalais. We entered the building and went to the second floor which looks a small concert hall; similar to an actual concert hall we saw a concert in back in March while in Vienna. Our menu included a soup, Poulard Breast filled chicken with young spinach, vegetable variations with fresh herbs and rosemary potatoes, and a vanilla ice cream tarlet with homemade red fruit jelly dessert. Since my daughter was celebrating her birthday, I said something to the tour guide. Before dessert was served the waiter staff brought out the dessert with a sparkler (representing a candle) as her birthday cake. We spent
Former location of the Berlin Wall a little less than an hour here.
Pipe Organ Recital
When I heard we were going to visit a cathedral, which is actually a Lutheran church, they were going to hear a pipe organ recital I knew I would be in heaven. This is one my favorite things to do when in Europe is visit churches with pipe organs. It is very rare I ever get to hear the organ play. They played 4 numbers which included, Toccata d-Moll (Bach), Prince of Denmark’s March (Jeremiah Clarke), Suite goithique op. 25 >>Priere a Notre Dame>Toccata<< (Leon Boellmann) . I was lucky that I brought along my iTouch. My son showed me how to record sounds. I ended up putting the iTouch on the balcony ledge and recorded the 13-minute recital. This was totally awesome.
I had no expectation of this island museum. I know my father-in-law heard it was a great museum, however I had no idea. We had one hour to explore this museum of antiquities. It is probably the best museum I have ever seen which displays and demonstrates ruins from Greece, Turkey, and now Iraq. Although
Berlin Wall not all the stones were original, many of them were. They represented Pergamon Altar Hall, Hellenistic architecture, Roman architecture, Babylon, and archaeological finds from Assur. Since we only had one hour at the museum, we were able to take the highlights tour with our audio player.
At about 5:15pm in the afternoon we heading back to our train for the 3 hour journey back to our ship. We were able to sit in the same compartment. During our trip back to the ship, we received a tray of food which was pretty interesting. It included a pimento/relish/cheese sandwich (yuck), some type of beef jerky, peanuts (something finally good), tic tacs, yogurt, pudding, and some mystery bar with cream. What a combination of stuff…
We did not arrive back to the ship until 8:15pm. After cleaning up we ate a late dinner in the dining room at 9:00pm. This is a very dinner, but worth the wait. After dinner my wife and I went to one of the lounges and danced for a bit and then off to sleep.
Our next day is a sea day, so there will not be a travel blog for this day. It is