Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Berlin ist schön! (Germany Vacation Part 3)


Berlin is beautiful! Let's hope so, because it's the final stop on our three-part Germany tour. To get to Berlin, we'll have to take the train from Bremen, with a change in Hannover. Berlin is full of things to do - we could stay for weeks and not see everything. So what do we do in our short time here?

It would be wise to partake of Berlin's historical points, because it played a significant role in Europe after World War II. We should visit Checkpoint Charlie and the East Side Gallery. The East Side Gallery is a memorial section of the Berlin Wall which still stands, and is covered in murals by artists all over the world. (You can see it in virtual tour format - when you reach the webpage, read the history, then close it and follow the arrows on the ground through the opening in the wall - the murals are on the other side.) Next we'll visit the Brandenburg Gate, comemmorating the border between East and West that once stood there.

Next we'll want to stroll over the Reichstag, a five minute walk from the Gate. The Reichstag is home to the German Parliament, and from the top, offers a marvelous view over central Berlin. After taking in the view we'll head over to the Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to a number of fascinating museums and the Berlin Cathedral, seen on the postcard. Our tour guide Anja suggests visiting the Pergamon Museum, where many ancient excavation have been reconstructed, including the huge Pergamon Altar, the Market Gate of Miletus, and the Ishtar Gate. The Pergamon Museum houses an Antiquities Collection, an Islamic Art Museum, and the Middle East Museum.

After enjoying Museum Island, we might decide to take a day trip to Potsdam to see the Palace of Sanssouci, the former palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. It has been said that it rivals Versailles in France.

Sadly, this is the end of our trip through Germany. It's been splendid - not the real thing, but close! I hope you enjoyed the tour! Look for travels through Turkey with my friend Pinar coming very soon. ;)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Welcome to Bremen! (Germany Vacation Part 2)


Continuing our journey through Germany, we've hopped on a train in Cologne and now we're on our way to Bremen, three hours northeast of Cologne. Bremen is located in North Germany, and the city has been shaped by its close relationship with sea trade and the Hanseatic League. You can enjoy an interesting overview of the city at Bremen in 3 minutes. Important stops on our visit to Bremen will be the Bremen Town Musicians statue (a story by the Grimm Brothers, seen on the card to the left), the statue of Roland, Bremen's protector erected in 1404, and the Bremen Town Hall. We can wander through the Schnoor quarter, Bremen's oldest with houses dating to the 15th century. After wandering a while, we can stop at the new Universum, a hands-on science museum with about 250 exhibits.

After a day in Bremen, we're going to spend a day in Bremerhaven, about 40 minutes north of Bremen, and situated on the North Sea. We'll take a boat ride down the River Weser to get from Bremen to Bremerhaven, and then perhaps we'll head to the Klimahaus, which you can tour in 360 panorama. The Klimahaus takes the visitor on a journey along the 8th line of longitude, through the many different climates of the world. After the Klimahaus we'll go to the German Emigration Center, which details the history of German emigration to many countries. After our day in sunny Bremerhaven, we'll head back to Bremen to hop on a train to our final destination... which we'll visit in my next post!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Germany Vacation, Part 1: Cologne


As part of the Make Me Smile Round Robin I started several months ago, I started an experimental group called "I need a vacation," where the participants plan an itinerary for one another on the backs of three postcards. I am so excited with the results! Anjaaustel sent me on a wonderful trip through north Germany, complete with directions on which trains to take and what sights to see! So I thought I'd take you along with me. You can see her own text below; I'm just reiterating her own itinerary. I've spent a bit of time investigating many of these places, so I encourage you to click each of the links to get the most out of your virtual travel experience!

Our plane will land in Frankfurt, and then we'll take the hour-long ICE train to Cologne. When the train crosses the Hohenzollern Bridge over the Rhine, which you can see in the postcard image, we'll see the Cologne Cathedral for the first time. The train drops us right in front of the cathedral. Click here for your virtual tour of the interior.

After thoroughly exploring the cathedral, we're off the explore the Roman-German Museum next door. Cologne was founded as a Roman settlement, and the museum was built over an existing Roman mosaic.

Next we head down the stairs to walk along the Rhine for a while. We head into town a few blocks to visit the Chocolate museum and the Olympics and Sports Museum, and maybe take a break to have a pint of Kölsch, the local brew (and also the local dialect).

We continue our stroll around town and head to the Kölner Zoo, one of the best in Germany. We'll take our time here, because it's our last stop in Cologne. Tomorrow we'll head to another destination, a post which I'll share with you... tomorrow. ;)

Related Posts with Thumbnails