February 22, 2004


Kevin and I spent yesterday in Berlin. We took the fancy ICE (Inter-City Express) train out early in the morning and set off to see some of the sights we missed on our last trip there in 2001. Because of my limitations we decided not to take on too much.

We started out by going to Treptower Park to see the Soviet War Memorial. After a nice stroll through the park we arrived at the memorial only to find it closed and apparently under construction. What a bummer!

We then decided to go to the KaDeWe, the second largest department store in the world behind Harrod's. Personally I think the KaDeWe kicks Harrod's butt. We headed to the food floor which has several (and I mean several) food stations selling everything from wurst to wine. Some of the stations served food ready to eat, from soup to lobster tail. We had intended to eat there but it was so overwhelming (not to mention that we kept getting lost) that we headed up a floor to the buffet restaurant, which was more manageable.

The KaDeWe has their own house brand of just about anything you could want. For lunch I had the KaDeWe Pilsner, and then we looked around the candy counter and I had a KaDeWe chocolate bar. We headed to the wine section to check things out and there was the KaDeWe Riesling. Instead we purchased a wine that made it on Wine Spectator's Top 100 list. Of course they didn't have the year the Wine Spectator recommended, so we got another year.

After that I was pretty exhausted so we decided to see a couple more thing. We headed down the street to the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedachtniskirche, a beautiful church that had been bombed out in WWII and left in its crumbled state as a memorial of the destruction. It's hard to imagine the kind of destruction left in the wake of WWII, especially in a city like Hamburg that was almost totally destroyed. We also visited the rebuilt chapel next door. It was very modern and had thousands of small stained glass windows in various colors, primarily blue. That was very pretty.

Next we went to the Deutsches Technisches Museum Berlin. This was a museum of technology with a science center. We went first to the printing press area where we saw a couple of different printing presses and a Linotype machine which I'd never seen before. A man was giving a demonstration and we stayed for some of that, even though I didn't understand what he was saying. We then went to find the jewelry exhibit but it turned out to be under construction. The train exhibit was quite large with full-sized locomotives and cars. I found a place to sit down while Kevin saw trains to his heart's content.

By that time it was time to catch our train back home. This train was a lowly Inter-City train (not an Express) and you could see the difference. The train had originated in Prague and looked like it had just traveled from Prague. Kevin was able to catch some sleep but the rattling and movement kept me up and made me car sick.

All in all it was a good trip. There are still more things I'd like to see in Berlin so I think we'll be making more day trips. I was pretty exhausted but wired when we got home and had a hard time falling asleep. I made up for it today by sleeping some very long hours. It was worth it though.

Posted by Shelby at February 22, 2004 06:34 PM