Exploring Berlin (Vacation Part 3)

We got up bright and early so we could make the most of the day. We didn’t have to be back on board until 9:30 but we opted to rent a car and drive to Berlin from the port in Rostock. It was going to be about a 2.5 hour drive. We caught a cab from the port to the car rental, and this was our first hurdle over the language barrier but it was an easy one because the cab driver knew the place  we were talking about. He did “offer” to drive us to Berlin for a mere $450 (US). Geez! Anyway we picked up an Audi A3. It came with a GPS so we wouldn’t have to worry about getting lost. Thankfully the GPS spoke English. 😉

We stopped at a little cafe to grab some light breakfast. Bruce learned what ”WC” meant.  Shortly after we were on the autobahn! Jake was pretty happy about that. It was a gorgeous day for a drive. I didn’t know A3’s could go that fast! We even had a Camry (or whatever the German Toyota equivalent is) pass us when we were going 180kph. Crazy!

Our first stop was the Brandenburg Gate. There was a tourist information place there so we wanted to get some ideas of where to go other than what we had already picked out. Bruce picked up a piece of the Berlin wall to display on his ever-growing collection of items from around the world.

IMG_0684Our next stop was part of the  Berlin wall. The tourist information guy told us where to find it. There are a few all around Berlin, but apparently this one was pretty easy to get to.

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We left and headed to Checkpoint Charlie. Parking in central Berlin is a HUGE pain in the butt. We ended up parking at hotels all day, with the exception of the first stop. Oh, and the squeegee kids were out in full force. Anyway, we parked at a hotel and found a pizzeria. The pizzas were enormous, but we were hungry. 🙂

The intersection near Checkpoint Charlie was packed full of people. It’s pretty cool to see though. We briefly went in the museum but decided not to stay.

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We then went to the DDR Museum. This was probably both Bruce and Jake’s favorite place. Bruce because it’s very interactive – you can touch pretty much everything. Jake loved seeing the history and reading about what it was like to live back then.

This is directly across the canal from the DDR Museum, which I thought was a beautiful building:

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Jake has a friend in Berlin so we met with him at a Schnitzel house. I never knew there were so many different ways to make schnitzel! Bruce and I split one and it was enough for both of us…it was really very good.

We headed back to the ship. We hit a small storm on the way there, but the roads were mostly dry and we made it back around 9:10 or so. It was a long day but we were so glad we had decided to make the trip into Berlin instead of staying in Rostock.

Today is an at-sea day so we’re relaxing. Jake’s at the casino playing a Texas Holdem tournament, Bruce is in the Kid’s Club (and is very excited about the make-your-own-board-game thing they have going on tonight), and I plan to hit the spa in a little while. There’s an Old World wine tasting in a little while and I’ll take Bruce to the pool this afternoon.

Tomorrow we’ll be in Talinn, Estonia!

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