We landed in Berlin mid morning after a train ride through Northern Czech Republic/Southern Germany where the mountains were snowcapped!
Upon arriving we found Anna’s friend Emma from camp who has been a nanny in Germany for 4 months. She was able to get time off from her family to visit Berlin for her first time with us! We decided to find lunch then set off for the Brandenburg Gate!
It was cool to stand in front of something that has witnessed so much history!
After the gate we made our way to Checkpoint Charlie.
It was very cold in Berlin and after standing outside looking at Checkpoint Charlie and its museum, we were ready for dinner. Our new group of 6 made our way to the main area of Berlin to find it beautifully decorated with lights along the streets.
It turns out that we had, unwittingly, landed smack dab in the middle of the Berlin Film Festival called Berlinale! Eventually we realized we had missed George Clooney by 2 days. Regrets.
We stood looking at the red carpet and the glamour, but no one was arriving at 6:30pm so we found a dinner place near a big screen to watch more of the action. Dinner for me was a German style pizza called a flammkuchen. It was very good! We went back to the Brandenburg Gate after dinner to see it at night. It did not disappoint.
The next morning we woke up for our last day in the city. Naturally we went to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast because it was raining and we needed a break indoors. Just look at these beautiful donuts~
The strawberry one was so much better than any custard filled donut at home.
From Dunkin we made our way to the DDR Museum. (still in the rain)
The DDR Museum was a hands-on museum of German culture. This included having an actual car from Germany in the 60s when people could wait up to 16 years for a car. And even then the car was horrible. The museum was packed because of the rain, but we were still able to look around the replicas of houses from Communism and read the plaques.
After the DDR Museum we went to the German Historical Museum, which is easily one of the best museums I have been to. This place was MASSIVE (if I say a museum is massive, trust me, it’s massive). I walked slowly through the beginning rooms and didn’t see any of the others for a solid 45 minutes. Then I found Taylor who said, “This place has to hold a record for the most artifacts on display!!” I would have to agree.
You enter into the museum starting in the 1300’s and it works all the way through present day. After reading about the 1300’s I found myself face to face with the real portraits of Martin Luther and his wife Katharina. As a good Lutheran I enjoyed seeing the real pictures I’ve seen photocopies of my entire life. After the Reformation I found the Habsburgs once again and rows and rows of portraits and silverware. At this point I was still in rooms where America hadn’t been founded yet and I’d already been in the museum for an hour and a half. MASSIVE.
Taylor and I just stopped reading plaque cards at this point and just looked at artifacts. I loved it, but it was totally overwhelming. We stopped at 1919 because the museum was close to closing and we were mentally exhausted.
I didn’t take a lot of pictures in the museum because I just wanted to enjoy it, but I did snap some random exhibits~
The next morning we said goodbye to Emma and loaded our bus for the 9 hour drive back to Aarhus, Denmark. Once we got to Aarhus we had 19 minutes to make our connecting train that got us back to Silkeborg. From the train station we walked back home, stopping at the grocery to buy bread and lunch meat for our school lunches.
*Important note-5 girls with 5 sandwiches per day + toast in the mornings=Buying bread every 2 days.
I weighed my backpack when we got home. It weighed 12 pounds. We also calculated that we walked 75 miles total on foot in all the different cities. It was a whirlwind and something we’ll never forget!