191 Photos - Sep 12, 2012
Photo: Cheers! First dinner in BerlinPhoto: Prosciutto with melonPhoto: Pasta with tomatoes, garlic and basilPhoto: One of Berlin's newest government buildings at nightPhoto: The Reichstag -- we had a tour scheduled our first evening in BerlinPhoto: Inside the Reichstag's magnificent modern domePhoto: Top of the Reichstag domePhoto: You can see down into the room where the Budestag (parliament) meets.Photo: The Reichstag dome at nightPhoto: Menu at the Reichstag restaurant -- note "Marinated braised horse." No, thank youPhoto: Okay, this has to be one of the most visually stunning desserts everPhoto: The Brandenburg GatePhoto: Restaurants along the Spree in the Mitte section of BerlinPhoto: S-Bahn in BerlinPhoto: The TV Tower, known as the BeanpolePhoto: The Victory Column commemorates the Prussian victory in the war with DenmarkPhoto: Charlottenburg PalacePhoto: Marion and Pam at Charlottenburg PalacePhoto: Charlottenburg Palace ornate ceilingPhoto: Beautiful fireplace in Charlottenburg PalacePhoto: Pretty hallPhoto: Sophie CharlottePhoto: Room with mirrors to reflect the lightPhoto: CharlottenburgPhoto: My favorite room -- "The Porcelain Cabinet"Photo: This is one of those places you have to see to believe.Photo: This room has to be seen to be believedPhoto: Trompe l'oeilPhoto: Chapel in CharlottenburgPhoto: CharlottenburgPhoto: Royal crownsPhoto: Royal swordsPhoto: That doesn't look very comfortablePhoto: View of the palace groundsPhoto: Very tasty beer in BerlinPhoto: NIce day for outdoor lunchPhoto: Beautiful mosaics in the war-damaged Kaiser Wilhelm ChurchPhoto: The church was almost destroyed by bombs in WII.Photo: This is what it looked like after the bombings.Photo: A new church was built next door -- it is ultra-modern and sort of looks out of place, in my opinion.Photo: The "covering" of the damaged Kaiser Wilhelm Church -- the city just recently decided to renovate the buildings.Photo: Hildebrand Street!Photo: Berlin Wall remnantsPhoto: Checkpoint CharliePhoto: The famous sign at Checkpoint CharliePhoto: The famous sign at Checkpoint CharliePhoto: Checkpoint Charlie with guys dressed as guards -- two Euros to get your photo taken with themPhoto: Yes, it's cheesy, but so what?!!Photo: Checkpoint Charlie musuem -- passports collected during Cold WarPhoto: Photos at the museumPhoto: Piece of the wallPhoto: The last Kremlin flag to fly over East BerlinPhoto: Berlin wall remnantsPhoto: Pam at the Berlin WallPhoto: The plaque speaks for itself.Photo: The Berlin Wall in 1988.Photo: Photo of the Berlin Wall in the 1960s -- it started out as barbed wire, was built upon many times over the yearsPhoto: Better preserved section of the Berlin Wall that has become an outdoor art galleryPhoto: There are tons of paintings on this long section of the Wall.Photo: Marion and Pam at the Berlin WallPhoto: Interesting bridge over the Spree RiverPhoto: View from the TV TowerPhoto: View from the TV Tower -- typical East German buildlings on the leftPhoto: That ledge must be awfully heavyPhoto: Pergamon MuseumPhoto: The Pergamon Altar dates to the 2nd Century B.C. There was a lot of controversy surrounding the transport of the altar to Berlin.Photo: Close-up of the altarPhoto: Pergamon altar columnsPhoto: Market Gate of Miletus dates to about 120 A.D.Photo: My favorite --  the Ishtar Gate was the eighth gate to the entrance of Babylon.Photo: The Gate dates to around 575 B.C.Photo: The Ishtar Gate was one of the Seven Wonders of the World but it was later replaced by the Lighthouse of AlexandriaPhoto: Pam and some random woman at the Ishtar GatePhoto: The Processional Way leads out from the Ishtar GatePhoto: Loved the jewelryPhoto: The writing's on the wallPhoto: Prayer niche in Islamac Art sectionPhoto: Beautiful wood ceilingPhoto: Indian rugsPhoto: One more look at the Ishtar GatePhoto: Athena in the Greek sectionPhoto: Greek sectionPhoto: Model of the Ishtar Gate and Processional WayPhoto: Government building along the SpreePhoto: Berlin Cathedral -- the original dates to 1465; the present structure was built from 1894-1905.Photo: Berlin Cathedral is the largest church in Berlin; of course, it sustained major damage in WWII and had to be renovatedPhoto: Inside the cathedralPhoto: Inside the cathedralPhoto: The organ has 7269 pipes and 113 registersPhoto: The altarPhoto: The oak pulpitPhoto: We climbed 270 steps to the top and were rewarded with magnificent views!Photo: View of the TV tower, which we also visited (we took the elevator at that one!)Photo: View of the Rathaus (city hall)Photo: I swear the angel looks like she is holding a cigarettePhoto: Photo: Don't look down!Photo: The best sausage ever! And it's from the region of my ancestors -- ThuringiaPhoto: We took a boat ride on the SpreePhoto: Those marks are bullet holes from WWIIPhoto: Marion on the boatPhoto: Since Marion had a beer, I guess I should have one, tooPhoto: The ReichstagPhoto: New government buildingPhoto: Berlin Hauptbahnhof (train station)Photo: Construction cranes are all over Berlin, especially in what was East Berlin.Photo: Beautiful flowersPhoto: KaDeWe -- largest department store in central EuropePhoto: Potsdamer Platz was completely destroyed during WWII; now, it is a bustling, modern mall and business centerPhoto: Marion with the "Berlin Bear"Photo: Pam at the Brandenburg GatePhoto: The famous Quadriga -- stolen by Napoleon but later returnedPhoto: Between fire and bombing raids, the Reichstag building was mostly in ruins until German reunificationPhoto: What is my hair doing??Photo: The best pretzel ever -- I mean "Brezel"Photo: Other side of the GatePhoto: US EmbassyPhoto: Memorial to the Murdered JewsPhoto: Very interesting to walk throughPhoto: The memorial opened in 2004Photo: Galeries Lafayette in Berlin!Photo: My next car?? BugatiPhoto: Wind farms everywhere -- very uglyPhoto: Church in LeipzigPhoto: Hauptbahnhof in LeipzigPhoto: LeipzigPhoto: More windfarmsPhoto: And more windfarms -- these things are so ugly.Photo: Marion had schnitzel and friesPhoto: Hotel restaurant in ErfurtPhoto: Terrific bread, but I didn't like that bacon lard they served with it. Give me butter (a better-tasting lard!).Photo: This cat was waiting for handouts at the butcher shop.Photo: Tram in ErfurtPhoto: On the way to Bad LangensalzaPhoto: German countrysidePhoto: Bad Langensalza -- home of my ancestors on my dad's sidePhoto: Bad Langensalza (Bad is an official designation that means it is a spa town)Photo: It is a beautiful old town that dates to 932Photo: CathedralPhoto: Ornate buildingsPhoto: Rathaus -- Town Hall; check out the bellsPhoto: A wedding had just taken place at the RathausPhoto: Beautiful day, beautiful townPhoto: This depiction of medieval Langensalza was in the town hallPhoto: Love the spoon-shaped cookiePhoto: NIce spot for a coffeePhoto: Medieval church was undergoing renovationsPhoto: But they let us inside anywayPhoto: The organPhoto: Love a Biergarten!Photo: Marion was my offical translator!Photo: Medieval wallPhoto: Botanical gardenPhoto: Botanical gardenPhoto: The famous rose garden, site of a big annual festival in Bad LangensalzaPhoto: Black-eyed Susans in the rose gardenPhoto: The roses were past their peak but still prettyPhoto: A lot of the original medieval wall still standsPhoto: View from one of the wall towersPhoto: Reminds me of the wall and towers in Tallinn on a smaller scalePhoto: Thought this was interestingPhoto: There is even a Japanese garden in Langensalza!Photo: The Japanese garden -- a very pretty placePhoto: Perfectly-manicured grounds at the Japanese gardenPhoto: Enjoying lunch in town squarePhoto: Pam and Marion near the medieval wallPhoto: The archivist at the town hall is going to research our family and email what she finds. We have records dating to an Andreas Hildebrand who was born here in 1598. HIs three sons emigrated to America in 1690.Photo: I call these Lantana trees, because the flowers look like Lantana, but I've never seen Lantana grow this tall.Photo: My lunch -- bruschetta!Photo: This was the best German beer I had, and it is brewed in the Thuringia area of Germany (where Bad Langensalza is located).Photo: Plaques on town hall. The bottom plaque commemorates the reunification of Germany after the Berlin Wall came downPhoto: Every bit of the town is picturesque.Photo: Everyone in the shops was friendly, even if they didn't speak English -- at least Marion could talk to them!Photo: Bad Langensalza even has some palm trees! How do they survive here? Maybe they cart them indoors during the winter.Photo: Lovely flowersPhoto: Interesting drain systemPhoto: Pam in Bad LangensalzaPhoto: Another ornately-decorated buildingPhoto: One of the other big churches in the townPhoto: Very prettyPhoto: Nice countryside surrounds Bad LangensalzaPhoto: On the road back to ErfurtPhoto: Erfurt, another pretty town, a bit larger than Bad LangensalzaPhoto: Lots of shopping here -- just what we wanted!Photo: Nice cafes and restaurants are in every town.Photo: Typical architecturePhoto: Town squarePhoto: Erfurt's cathedralPhoto: We ate dinner at a German restaurant/pubPhoto: My dinner -- bratwurst, potatoes and sauerkraut -- not very healthy, I know. Well, the sauerkraut is good for you.Photo: Interior of the restaurant