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Ich bin ein Berliner

December 7, 2008

We went to Berlin and Dresden, Germany over the last weekend in November to see the cities and go to the Christmas markets. We had some major time constraints (mostly because I insisted that we fit Dresden into the weekend), but I think that we were able to see and do almost everything we wanted.

We took an overnight train from Zurich to Berlin, so we arrived around 8:30 am on Saturday, November 29. We found our hotel, right at Checkpoint Charlie, very quickly. And that’s where we started our self-guided walking tour of the city.

Then we strolled along Freidrichstrasse and some other cute streets. We came to the Gendarmenmarkt with the French and German cathedrals. It had a Christmas market set up, but it wasn’t open yet.  We also came to the Fernsehturm which is where everyone goes to get awesome views of the city. Unfortunately, it had started to snow and there was zero visibility, so we didn’t go up in it.

We eventually made it to the famous Brandenburger Tor.

From here, we walked along some memorials of where the Wall was. This also led us to the Reichstag, the German Parliament.

Although it was free, the line to get into the Reichstag was so long, we decided not to wait.  From here, we took the U-bahn to Schloss Charlottenburg. It was pretty, but nothing spectacular which I think had a lot to do with the weather. However, we were pleasantly surprised when there was an open Christmas market just outside the castle.

After enjoying the market, which included a kiddie ride where children were pulled in a sleigh-like contraption by dogs, we went back into the city center. We were back in time to make a quick stop into the German History Museum before it was dark enough to go to some more Christmas markets.

I am really going to miss the Christmas markets!

We enjoyed the food, music and holiday atmosphere until we were so cold that we couldn’t take it anymore and walked back to our hotel. We again walked along Friedrichstrasse which was now lit up.

And we also walked by Checkpoint Charlie before calling it a night.

We had a big day of more Christmas markets ahead of us.

And Mom, I wore the hat just for you!

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