We arrived late afternoon and so once checked in we headed out to explore. Being a Brit I found it a little confusing at first to have the cars driving on the wrong side of the road. However once we'd crossed a few roads I remembered to look the right way! Walking down to the city centre we passed an amazing mixture of old and new with a lot of colour.
We walked past the headquarters of the Federal Intelligence Service of Germany. It is an enormous complex, seeming to go on for ever. The first employees moved in when it was opened in 2014 but there is still work going on. This is just part of the building
There was a lot of building work going on all over the city. We tracked down a delightful Italian restaurant for dinner.. We sat outside as it was very warm and enjoyed listening to the comments from the 4 young Australian men who sat at the table next to us. They were on a 4 week trip to Europe and were spending a few days in Berlin. The other couple eating outside were from America. As we walked back to our hotel I spotted this wall.
I wasn't too keen on the giant cockroach.
The next day, our only full day in Berlin we headed out to the city centre armed with a map and a list of places that Lucy thought we might like to visit. We knew we couldn't do the list as we planned on walking and the only way to see everything Lucy had identified would have meant catching the U-bahn. So we worked out a route that would cover the main bits. Our first stop was the Brandenburg Gate. As we waked the route we saw pieces of the Berlin wall. These are pieces that get moved around the city
It was very crowded around the gate which is situated one block south from the Reichstag building that houses the German parliament (Bundestag). Following the reunification of Germany in 1990 Berlin became the capital of the Federal German Republic and the parliament voted to move from Bonn to Berlin. The move took until 1999 to complete.
There were slightly less people on the other side of the gate so I got a picture of John to prove he had been there.
From here we set off to walk through the Tiergarten which is a beautiful city park. Looking away from the gate the park is on both sides of this road that leads down to the victory column which commemorates the Prussian victory in the Danish-Prussian wars in 1864
We turned right into the park and immediately came upon this memorial.
The memorial was opened in 2012. Many of the slabs around the pool had the names of the death camps on them. It was a very peaceful memorial but chilling none the less.
The park was beautiful and it was lovely to be under the trees and out of the direct sun. There were a lot of berries on the Elder trees. Great for wine making.
Well hidden pools with ducks and statues.
I couldn't get a good picture of the Victory column. You can go up the column and look out over Berlin. We decided to leave this until we next visit. I thought I had the camera on a slant when I took this but looking at the column it was a little squiffy. (OK not as much as my picture).
We walked back into the city through the Tiergarten on the opposite side of the road. There were several tranquil lakes,
There was a rose garden, but not many roses, although lots of other plants. I was very taken with this stag. There was a matching stag on the opposite side of the flower bed. It was at this point I saw a red squirrel zip by and disappear into the undergrowth and then up a tree. He was too quick for me to get a picture.
Just before we exited the Tiergarten we came across the Global Stone Project. There are 10 stone groups. 5 have been placed on the 5 continents and the remaining 5 groups of stones are in the Tiergarten in Berlin. On 21st June when the sun hits the stones they are connected and people are asked to join this connection to promote global peace. John enjoyed looking at the 5 groups - well 4 groups and 1 lone stone.
There are still more photos to come but I need to go to bed. Trying to keep up my walking, get household chores done and some sewing has exhausted me so I need to sleep. I'll share more with you tomorrow and tell you how I'm getting on with my sewing.