Meeting our parents in Berlin

After one year and a half of travelling, we decide to meet our parents in Berlin. Instead of starting with an overloaded scheme, we have some time to spend together before we arrive back in Belgium… An overnight at the airport asks its toll. We have some trouble to find our hotel and above that we miss our alarm and arrive too late at the airport to pick up everyone. Shame on us, but working with fixed appointments is not our speciality anymore. Better later than not, we’re finally reunited. A smile and a tear, but the tone is set.

Discovering Berlin starts with a taste of West-European unfriendliness. On the metro we’ve bought a wrong ticket on our way to a metro line shop for a 5-day tourist pass and we meet a ticket check. The officer in charge has no ears to our explanation and we’re charged 200€ fine…
Welcome to Europe, the people here feel like the weather! Cold and rainy. Everywhere in the world we should be able to make a bargain and explain the situation, but not in Berlin.
No worries, after that we can finally start to discover the city.

We enjoy a view over the city on top of the Reichstag, whereafter we stroll along Unter Den Linden with all the static architecture of the city, pass a Christmas market on the Gendarmenmarkt on our way to the Museuminsel. There we enjoy another view over the city on top of the Berliner Dom. Our day ends in a good grill restaurant… A nice end of the day!

Our second day starts with some more architecture around the Alexanderplatz, before we take an underground to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum and the Juden Museum… The weather allows us not many other things today. We learn all about the Berliner Mauer and the Holocaust. Nonetheless we end once again in a tasty Italian restaurant… This is one of the advantages of Berlin, quite cheap, but good food!

The next day we drive out of Berlin, to Potsdam. We intend to visit the world famous Sancoussi Palace complex. The weather is with us today, luckily since we have a lot of gardens to walk through… Unfortunately during the winter most of the palaces are closed, but there is no reduction of the entrance fee. Not a real fair system, but the two palaces we could visit were really worth the trip!
From Potsdam we rail back to the Kurfurstendam, for a meal and some shopping along Berlin’s most famous shopping street!

Time flies, so does our time in Berlin. Our last full day in the city. In the morning we want to visit the Lego-museum, but only kids may enter. Big kids have no luck…
Instead we visit Potsdammer Platz, some remnants of the old Mauer before we go to the KaDeWe – das Kaufhaus Des Westens – the greatest shopping mall in town. There we stroll through some levels and I dare to have a haircut… Not exactly what I had in mind, but still better than before.

From Berlin we’ll have a long train journey with the ICE till Köln and Brussels. From there we take the conventional lines back to Torhout… After a long time back in Belgium. But not for long, we’re already planning the second leg of the trip: South-America…