Wednesday, June 5, 2013

German Cathedral at sunset

We've worn out our map!

Germany 2013 - Berlin day 3

June 5, 2013
  Today we took the subway out to Charlottenburg Palace.  The palace was built in 1699 by Sophie Charlotte, the wife of King Friedrich I. We didn't go into the palace itself but spent time in the gardens and wooded park.  It was a nice way to pass a couple of hours, although I haven't seen yet a palace garden and park that can compare to Schonbrunn in Vienna for me.
  We hopped back on the subway and went to find KaDeWe, supposedly the largest department store in Europe (or Germany?). Anyway, the place is huge.  This one store is as large as some shopping malls I've been to.  We spent most of our time on the 6th floor, which has a huge assortment or food items from Germany and all over the world.  They also have fresh foods that you eat there in little bar-like areas.  We looked at a couple of things on the other floors but had serious sticker-shock from the prices.  We went back to the hotel and just relaxed for the rest of the afternoon and had dinner at the hotel.
  Later in the evening, we all went out for gelato and took a few last pictures, then headed back to our room to pack.  We managed to acquire a large number of souvenirs on this trip, so it's a good thing we arrived with one completely empty carry-on and another empty bag to boot.
  Tomorrow we make the long flight back home again- after we head out for some breakfast and one last pretzel stop!

Germany 2013 - floods

Remember all that rain I mentioned? It has caused massive flooding in parts of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.  The day we drove to Berlin, the authorities were evacuating some parts of Dresden and the news yesterday showed flooding in Prague.  There are cities along the Danube that we remember well from our trip in 2009 that are having terrible problems with flooding, Passau and Melk, and we heard that even Vienna may have flooding. The sun has been shining in Berlin for the last 2 days and the good news today was that the rivers seem to be starting to go down.  We hope so because the people in those towns along the rivers have really been suffering due to all the rain.

Our fun circular bike tour

Remnant of the Berlin Wall

View from the Siegessaule