Thursday 1st September Check out day in Berlin!

Up at 7am this morning for early showers. We also needed to do some more chores.

Out for breakfast – another chore. We went to Potsdama as we thought that would be easy. Everything was closed! We found a coffee shop but only rolls and cakes. We settled for that. I had a roll. Cathy a croissant. And 2 cups of coffee.

 We are now waiting for Norah  to come.We would like to leave our bags here till it’s time to leave.

Through the lounge windows. Such a lovely outlook.

Through the kitchen window. 

Some signs we saw. Proactive. Could we do this at home?

Not Norah but Andrea (a dancer – now with 2 children and lives in a 4 story apartment with no lift!) arrived. Ok for bags to be left. She was lovely. An Australian who has lived in Berlin for the last 10yrs but been obsessed since she was 16.

We walked the other way through the tunnel and found a lovely old church with an amazing cemetery.

Some lovely grave sites if you can call them that. The cemetery was very shady and green and peaceful above all.

Uber not big here so caught a normal taxi but on the Uber app. Took 45 mins to get to airport – should be 24 mins. Driver great with our luggage.

Airport pretty awful. Very small – built in 1949. New airport should have opened in 2012 but stalled due to fire safety issues and then the investors walked away.Still supposed to be finished sometime. A very interesting story from the man from a sunglass shop.

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Wednesday 31st August Berlin last day

We have ticked pretty well all the boxes in Berlin. We have also wandered and found lovely streets and beautiful buildings and parks.

Today we went to the Berggruen museum in Charlottenburg which was an adventure in just getting there. I have been getting my directions from Google maps but they are pretty vague at times. 

Catch the U7 train from near where we are living. Get out 10 stops at Richard Wagner strasse and walk 800m sounds fairly simple. However there are about 4 exits at the station which sort of complicated things so we headed in the opposite direction! 

We were also looking for some place to have our morning meal of the day. Very hard to find in this part of town. We sat and then walked out of 2 places and finally had to settle for a little French place that sold good coffee and cake! Cathy had a waffle – only with icing sugar and I had a piece of cheesecake and that was our brunch.

We got further lost when we took off again but finally found our way. Thank you Google maps. Ok in the end. Probably ok if I had checked when I got out of the railway station.

The museum was beautiful – Klee, Matisse and some Picasso. Beautifully arranged paintings. Interesting dialogue. We spent some time there.

Headed for homish. I found a familiar station and we got to it but the next line was unfamiliar and we went the wrong way-  heading out into the country. We knew we were heading way out of town but had no way of knowing which track would take us back as there were 4. Luckily found an English speaker who directed us to the next platform. Wonder where next we would have headed!!

Back to Fredereichstrassa. – this is our favourite station. All our needed lines meet here. On our S1 we got off at Potsdama and got Indian take away. We also needed tonic to finish off the vodka!

Home for dinner then cleaning and tidying. Along with the vodka and a bottle of red. That helped a lot.

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Tuesday 30th August Berlin

Friday is the day for museums. A full day so up early.

Thought to take a picture of my bedroom!

a little dark but you get the gist. It is such a lovely space. Cathy researched the owners. Eleanor Lyons is an Australian opera singer. Her husband is Russian Australian (Vladimir ) and he is a piano player. Looked him up too. They are both doing well. 

Out to museum island today – specifically to the Pergamon museum. We had our first bus ride today. Quite fun cos you can see more. Off the bus the first job was to find breakfast and we found the most lovely spot. 

For the best breakfast we have had. It looked so quaint we had a look around and found the oldest building in Berlin. A beautiful old church built in 1248 ( I think ) 

After spending a long time here we set out again for our intended museum. A long and winding road. They are building another part of the underground so a great diversion of foot traffic. A pretty walk along the rivers edge – the Spree. Then we found a lot of other museums and they are all big. Eventually we found ours.

Pergamon is a place in the old world. I think in Syria but maybe not – bit somewhere there. The ancient world of the middle East. German archeologists found these artefacts in the late 19C early 20C. Such a lot of beautiful things. Hardly the proper word to describe them I’m sorry.

These are original tiles pieced together from the original findings.

Such beautiful relics. And of course the jewelry. Such sophisticated pieces from so long ago.

The gallery itself is being upgraded do sections were not open today. We didn’t a couple of hours here then didn’t more tune wandering the sights.

The river Spree

Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels

King Neptune

Another beautiful building. They are all big!

This is a colossal church – the ? Dom.

We even went to the TV Tower. 203m tall. A great view of the city. 

Some Asian food on the way home. Home by 8 pm for a lovely bottle of red.

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Monday 29th August Berlin

We had big plans today. And lots of directions. Breakfast along the way. Some of the stations are huge with lots of shops inside. Easy to  get side tracked which we didn’t today!! 

Firstly to East Side gallery – graffiti on the Berlin wall. Pretty amazing.

After that we went to Checkpoint Charlie. The black box gives info.

a piece of Berlin Wall. 

Along the way we found lots of interesting buildings and signs and other things! And Cathy bought another pair of shoes! 

Interesting buildings.

After that we went to the Jewish museum. Very interesting building but pretty daunting. 

The tunnel of love

Somewhere along the way we had a late lunch. The choice of restaurant in Berlin is Turkish or Italian. I have never seen so many. I am craving something Asian! We settled for Turkish because it was getting rather late. Two zucchini puffs with salad and hummus. Interesting but good.

We also found Hitler’s bunker – the site! And places where that lot hung  out. 

We then went to Holocaust Memorial. An amazing place – apart from the rampaging young people making lots of noise.

By this time it was getting close to 8 pm so we trained home. On the way at Brandenburg gate  we saw lots of police cars and policemen. We asked them why they were there and they said there was a left wing protest. However not many people turned up. A bit sad for them! 

Home for a bottle of red that was left for us and some planning for tomorrow.

The beginnings of a sunset which turned it to be beautiful but I couldn’t get a photo.

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Sunday 28th August Berlin

A down day. Katja leaving. I have a sore neck and Cathy has another problem!

I went with Katja to the railway station. She and Cathy have been together for about 5 weeks. Their walk in the UK, our visit to Amsterdam and then these few days in Berlin. She will miss the company. A quick goodbye then to the chemist for goods.

I caught the train home but took a different one to get to our area and got a little lost. Happily I found my way with the help of Google maps.

We spent the whole day in our apartment apart from venturing out for something to eat at lunch time – our first food for the day!  Slept and dozed. Regenerating the batteries!

Also did some planning for our last 3 days. 

We went for another walk in the evening. Icecream for dinner and we both took a Naproxen. Panadol for bedtime. That should do the trick.

Not a dull day just a catch up day.☺

I did get a chance to talk to Michael and Polly – now back in the UK. The weather is sunny which is lovely for them. Good to hear their voices. Easier cos only 1 hr different.

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Saturday 27th August Berlin

Up a little later. Went to another area for breakfast. With our poses we can go anywhere! A train ride on the S and the U to…….. A very long walk – should have hit of at next station! But lovely leafy streets so beautiful shade to a recommended place for a lovely breakfast then a leisurely walk along some back streets. Inevitable shopping along the way. 

Also this area was near a park with remnants of the Berlin wall – difficult to find but all the your groups were in the same area so there must have been some but we didn’t find it.  Mauer park – we did see a line marked in the pavement – said Berlin wall and the dates 1961 – 1989. We also found a very long wall with graffiti – not the Berlin wall but a wall where graffiti is allowed.

The landscape is pretty bleak but we think that is meant to be.

More walking – exhausting in the heat so we find a lovely outdoor bar with old fashioned furniture and a very friendly waiter – who didn’t like Angela – we told him he was wrong, that she was a great leader especially her approach to refugees! –  and stopped for a well earned rest.and some people gazing. There are many more obese people here. Very noticeable.

Home fit a short rest before heading out for dinner at Potsdama plarz fit another italian dinner. Katja heading hind in the morning 😢 It has been fun having her here. A lovely dinner with another we think Italian waitress. We were headed for another but this was very inviting. A lot of outdoor eating here at the moment while the weather is so lovely. 

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Friday 26th August Berlin

Up early – have a lovely outlook in my sunny lounge come bedroom. Beautiful trees outside the window.

Out for breakfast. Again to Einstein’s as they advertise an  omelette. We sat outside but no one had omelette. The strangest thing. I had scrambed egg and the wasps loved it. There were 3 or 4 and they swirled around my breakfast the whole time I was eating it. Had to put a serviette over my plate! Not very pleasant. Katja had a boiled egg with some trouble and Cathy had sweet things with no trouble at all. I thought bees and wasps liked sweet stuff.

After that adventure we headed for the i to get info on travel and the hop on, hop of bus. We spent quite a bit of time on the bus but it was so slow cos of lights and traffic we got off to do our own tour. Think that is the last bus trip I will do. 

After some relax time with a drink we wandered. The Sony building is amazing with a huge glass dome like structure joining about 4 buildings.

Sorry about web photos but the building so beautiful.

Wandering about it’s possible to find surprising things. There is a bombed out church which has been left as a reminder of war and what it does.

Poignant.

We also went into a very posh shopping centre. Very very posh! But another beautiful building. We had our makeup done at Dior and bought some! Claudia was absolutely lovely. So serious and conscientious. I had my eyes fine first then we went around the stir Tiwi check it out. Chanel and every other name you could think of! Nothing we could afford. Toys for children

Then the make up. We learnt how to apply it and got diagrams.

This is the shopping centre – plaza! Been going since 1905. We had a  lunch there too. Salad for me, cake for the other 2.

Cathy also found a companion fit Katja. A lovely rat called Ratatouilli – handmade in Germany. He is very cute.

More wanderings. A piece of the Berlin wall. More great buildings. Everything is big here and so much has been rebuilt since the second world war. 

It was very hot – hard to imagine I an going back to cold in a week. We found a lovely Italian restaurant with a young italian waiter for dinner.

Home knackered at 9.30pm

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Thursday 25th August leaving Amsterdam 😢

Up early to be ready for 8am – Katja came to our house. Uber cab to train station. Train at 9am. Lovely drive to station seeing more of the city.Station is huge and very modern where we were but the station itself is old and as with all of these stations is huge and beautiful.

Although the trip was long the scenery was interesting. We had many stops too. We dared anyone to come into our carriage. By md we were a bit bored so we bought food – a rye bread sandwich with cheese for me ( like cardboard but healthy!) And crisps for Cathy and Katja. Of course with the obligatory wine. Fun time after that – singing our favourite songs. A couple did come into our carriage towards the end which was great cos the man very kindly helped us down with our cases. One of Cathy’s weighs 20kgs!  They were in racks above our seats.

Hit a cab to our Airbnb. It is up a flight of stairs but is beautiful.It is big and very light with separate rooms – lounge where I’m sleeping on a futon your bed. A big bedroom – Cathy’s turn for the good bed. A kitchen with take and chairs – where Katja is sleeping on a mattress on the floor. Separate sleeping quarters for us all!

We wandered round out area. Close to a park, station and shops – a Lidl store.nearby! It is a Turkish area. Our street is very quiet.

Caught the train to the Brandenburg gate

The obligatory photo.

Looking for somewhere to eat and Katja found Einstein’s – a renowned spot which one of Allison’s friends had recommended. A lovely old building with posh wait staff – all men! Food was very good. Lots of veg!

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Wednesday 24th August Amsterdam

Our last full day today. It is beautiful and sunny. We sat out on our deck and watched the world go by.

This is real ☺

That is all three views from our deck!

Out about 12. Had to do real things too – like washing, washing up and packing.

A different way this time. Caught train into city. Went to Amsterdam museum – history of Amsterdam. Very interesting and to a beautiful old church, a courtyard  garden with lots of old very lovely buildings. 

http://www.amsterdam.info/sights/begijnhof/ 
An oasis but of course today filled with people.

Then a big treat for lunch – pancakes! At an institutional pancake house. Up a steep flight of stairs to a tiny restaurant – we had to wait 15 minutes – so up the stairs twice. As lovely as before but a more exotic shop with teapots all over the ceiling.

Then home to take parcels to post office and mattress back to Katja in the go get car. Only could take 2 people so I stayed home to rest. My first afternoon nap in a while. ☺

Once home from chores we ordered pizza- home delivered to our boat. With veg! All lovely. We were to meet Heath but couldn’t get a tram so home and then to bed.

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Tuesday 24th August Amsterdam

Booked into Van Gogh museum at 9am so up early. Woken by a phone call at 5am – Vicky’s Green Clean! Frightened the life out of me. So up very early!

We walked through the park. Plenty of bikes to dodge! And many toilets though no one using them thank goodness. I do think they are a great idea.

There is another proper toilet next to this.

The exhibition was wonderful. So many paintings. Many I had never seen before.

I loved this one.

I didn’t realise that he painted so many almond blossom. Like mum’s

Thought this vase of almond blossom so pretty.

From the gallerys we wandered – found the opera house and civic buildings

When we got to a tourist spots there were hoards of people – to be avoided.

Found some lovely little streets with smaller canals and bridges

And bike riders. I nearly got skittled – every crossing has 3 or 4 sets of lights – for bikes on each side, cars on each side and trams. Luckily the bike rider was good!!

Street art although I have not seen a lot of it. Maybe much more in other areas.

We had lunch at Wagamammas – a lovely treat.

A bike park. I saw a multi – story carpark!

Final we were exhausted so caught a tram home.

Katja came after work. We sat out on our balcony and had a drink then went to the food hall to eat. A converted tram repair shop. Great atmosphere with live music. Not to busy thank goodness. 

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