Thursday, July 30, 2015

Berlin, Germany

This is the last trip from 2013 I have to blog about and I'll be all caught up, from 2013 that is, I still have lots to do from 2014! Haha, the struggle is real.

In June 2013, we took our first family trip to Berlin! The capital of Germany! Drew was the one who booked everything. He booked a hotel in the Mitte area, near Alexander Platz.
Sidles Family Vacation to Berlin

Rylie was super excited for our family vacation

We stayed at the Motel One, (Completely different from Motel 8 in the states) Honestly for the price we paid it wasn't worth it. Parking alone for one night was 24 euros! Don't get me wrong it was a nice hotel, but we stayed in Berlin for 2 nights. 48 euros just my car could sit in a garage. At the time I wasn't working and we had just paid for our Budapest adventure. Drew decided that we needed to take advantage of the 4-day in June, so we were off to Berlin. We must have hit traffic because I remember the drive taking almost 5 hours! (It's only 3.5)
"Double Beds" Can you see where the dogs were laying?
Drew planned everything, from where we were staying, to what we were doing.
I think he did a great job. Of course, after this I've taken over planning the vacations, but every now and then I let him plan one. ;)
The first thing we saw was Check Point Charlie. We even got our passports stamped, it's more of a tourist thing, but Drew and I both wanted passport stamps.

Sidles' @ Check Point Charlie June 2013


Checkpoint Charlie has become one of Berlin's primary tourist attractions. An open-air exhibit was opened during the summer of 2006. Gallery walls along the Friedrichstraße and the Zimmerstraße inform on escape attempts, how the checkpoint was expanded, and its significance during the Cold War, in particular the confrontation of Soviet and American tanks in 1961. An overview of other important memorial sites and museums on the division of Germany and the wall is presented as well. Tourists can have their photographs taken for a fee with actors dressed as allied military policemen standing in front of the guard house. Several souvenir stands with fake military items and stores proliferate as well. It's a big tourist attraction. It's nice to see though.

From the Berlin Wall, we headed off to the Berlin Victory Column. Looking back now, Drew lead me on the long way. -_- Although we did find the Sony Center. We even took a little break so I could get some Starbucks! (It's the little things that matter) The Victory Column looks like it is made of Gold, Berliners have given the statue the nickname Goldelse, meaning "Golden Lizzy". We found a little Bratwurst stand and sat for a quick lunch.

From the Victory Column, we made the hour long walk down to the Brandenburg Gate. You can see the Brandenburg Gate, and it doesn't look like it's a far walk. Ever heard the phrase looks can be deceiving? Haha It's not that bad of a walk though, there are lots of places to stop off and see. Maybe that's why the walk took so long. When we finally made it to the Brandenburg gate, we found Boba Tea (Drink with Tapioca Balls in it), since being in Germany we haven't been able to find it!

After our long day we dropped the dogs off at the hotel, and headed off the Alexander Platz. We heard it was supposed to be this big place to go souvenir shopping and hang out. It wasn't. There were more Mall shops, then souvenir shops. But the great thing about the Alexanderplatz was the Berlin TV Tower. We ended up going up the TV tower. From 203 and 207 metres high you can look out over the entire city with its large number of tourist attractions: you can see the Reichstag (Parliament building), the Brandenburg Gate and the Main Railway Station from here, as well as the Olympic Stadium, the Museum Island (Museumsinsel) and the Potsdam Square (Potsdamer Platz). It was an amazing site. I would suggest buying your ticket at one of the kiosk for a future time, you can skip all of the wait lines. It's a little bit more, but sometimes paying a little bit more is worth not having to wait for 2 hours.

 The views from the TV Tower

Apparently we weren't the only ones who decided to head to Berlin for the weekend, we did meet up with some friends for dinner. We had our firsst experience with currywurst!
We made plans to meet up the next day at the Berlin Zoo. But since we had the dogs, they wouldn't let us into the Zoo. I guess it's only a handful of Zoo's let dogs in. Instead we walked around the park area outside of the zoo. It was a nice walk, we even found a lock bridge.

All in all Berlin was awesome. Drew got his first (of many) steins, we went on our first family vacation, the dogs did amazing out in public (we were most worried about that)  and Drew got to drive on the Autobahn. Berlin is such a great city. It's the capital of Germany for a reason after all!