Monday, August 5, 2013

Europe Trip Recap: Berlin, Germany, Day Two

Saturday, May 18, 2013: Day two in Berlin started out pretty roughly. I woke up at 2 am and was in so much pain. My right hip was killing me from all of the walking we did the day before. I swear it was because I wore my ankle brace on my left leg and was leaning more on my right leg to make sure I didn't hurt myself.

We planned to wake up much earlier than we did and get to the Brandenburg Gate area for the free New Berlin tour.

Instead, we got some much needed rest and woke up very late. We quickly got ready and thought we could still make the tour on time.

Mom and I picked up a rhubarb schnecke at the bakery around the corner from our hotel and it was divine! I love how much rhubarb is used in German baked goods and food in general.

I had to turn on my German language skills in this bakery because the girl behind the counter did not speak much English. I did pretty good and it was a nice challenge.

Look at all of those delicious carbs!

We walked to the Brandenburg Gate area and found out that the tour was already full at around 10:45 a.m., 15 minutes before the tour start time. The Saturday tours fill up quickly and we learned our lesson. I have been on the New Berlin tour two other times and while it was educational and wonderful, it took dedicating most of one's day to staying with the group. I promised mom we'd go to some of the tour sites later in the day.

We quickly came up with plan B, which was to go to KaDeWe since it was a very rainy day anyway. I knew Postdamer Platz was nearby, so we walked there to check it out and pick up the U-bahn train to the KaDeWe area.

KaDeWe stands for "Kaufhaus des Westens" and is a huge department store, only second to Harrod's in size. I actually enjoyed shopping at KaDeWe more than Harrod's. We were amazed at every turn we made. 

No caption needed.

The food section was just breathtaking! Check out those desserts! 

My mom picked out two Schleich figures for my nephews, who love zebras and tigers. 

I loved the Smurfs when I was young, so I enjoyed seeing Smurf Haribo gummies.

Look at all of the glorious cheese!

We were going to eat lunch at the winter garden at the top of the department store, but decided against it because it was very crowded and I honestly wasn't craving anything they offered food wise. Seeing the white "spargel" or asparagus started my obsession with finding it to eat later on in our trip.

Like a lot of our lunches, we just kind of settled on what we could find quickly and what was somewhat healthy. I was happy with an egg sandwich from a bakery.

After lunch, I craved a cup of coffee since it was a rainy, dreary day. McDonald's is usually pretty fairly priced for their coffee and desserts, even in Europe, so we stopped there for some treats. We walked to the upstairs area and were surprised to find a McCafe, which featured nicer desserts and espresso drinks. My mom got a yummy cheesecake and we shared it. 

On our way there, we saw a business with our family name on it (my maiden name). I don't consider it a very common German name, so this really excited me!

After shopping a little bit more, we took the U-bahn back to the city center. I wanted to show my mom some of the sites from the tour that we weren't able to go on, like the French and German churches.

We ran into a Ritter Sport store on our way to Checkpoint Charlie. This Schokokreation area was jam packed!

I picked up some Rum flavored chocolate for my co-workers because one colleague loves this flavor and you can't find it in the US. And look, another chocolate tower!

Spot me?

Fun displays on our way to the Berlin Wall exhibit and Checkpoint Charlie.

Near Checkpoint Charlie, there was an outdoor display dedicated to the Berlin Wall. It was nicely done and worth checking out.

A couple of blocks away from Checkpoint Charlie, there is a nice place to view the Berlin Wall and yet another outdoor display (this one more permanent) that was very educational. 

We had a little fun with pictures of my mom. The "Einfahrt" sign cracks me up every time. 

More sites on our way like one of the few buildings that survives from the Nazis. This one used to be the Ministry of Aviation and is now the Ministry of Finance.

We loved these gorgeous pink flowers.

One of the last stops we made was to see the site of Hitler's bunker, which is now a parking lot at an apartment building. This is a featured stop on the New Berlin tour and at least there is a sign there to explain where the bunker was underground.

Before heading back to the hotel, we stopped by the grocery store at the train station. I kind of love shopping in grocery stores in other countries, so I thought I would share some of my finds, especially the cat food.

I insisted that my mom buy this Milka chocolate box for my dad, who takes a nap every single day and who I get my napping habit from.

I just bought a few things for dinner and breakfast.

We ended our night at the hotel gym and pool. I think it was my first time seeing both in a hotel in Europe, so we had to take advantage of them! My mom decided not to swim, but I did a few laps and just played in the water. We even sat in the sauna too. 

After that, we split a delicious Berliner Kindl beer and some bread. 

Total miles/steps walked this day: 11.72 miles/27565 steps!

Next, I'll share our last day in Berlin, which was spent at Potsdam and in other areas of the city.

1 comment:

  1. Nice recap. I really wish we would keep track how much we walk on vacation. I know that we came back lighter after our trip to Italy with so much walking. Next trip I guess!