And Photos!

September 18th, 2016 , 11:14

Should now be uploaded, though some of the titles may be changed as we realise we’ve put the wrong thing on!

Frog Blog


September 17th, 2016 , 10:14

So up yesterday and off to the station. Had breakfast at the station, found our platform, and settled in to wait for the train. Which didn’t come. Due to a ‘technical fault’ it was running half an hour late. So panic, because that meant we’d miss our connection at Köln, which meant we’d miss our Eurostar train and be stuck. So not so much panic, cause stuck in Europe could be fun.

DB assured us that the conductor would call ahead and hold our train to Brussels – oh the joys of a joined up transport system run by the state! So we had a pleasant journey through Germany looking at church steeples and domes and sometimes church steeple domes. Then a frantic dash for the train door at Köln – and found out they’d brought our train in to the same platform the Brussels train was on so it was just a mad dash up the platform and onto the train. Of course our seats were all the way at the other end of the train!

So find our seats, sit down, and wait. And an announcement – due to a technical fault the train would be delayed. ARG!!! But it turns out we only left 10 minutes late and by the time we’d got to Brussels we were on time. So a stroll to the Eurostar terminal, through immigration , and into the waiting area. They are doing work on the Eurostar terminal in Brussels, so it was a bit of a warren – we were wondering if there would be an area to eat or if everything was closed. But nope, once you wind your way through everything is there and the first thing I saw was the Pierre Marcolini shop. So I have proper chocolate. (Joe says he started to say ‘I’ll get a seat and watch the bags’ but I was gone, had scooted into the chocolate shop.) We also got something to eat – actually I had to get into that queue and get us food cause Joe said the chocolate wasn’t enough and he wanted a beer. Then onto the train and on our way home. Through the dark clouds and rain. Ugh. Got out in London and it was cold and dark and damp. So back home.

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September 15th, 2016 , 20:44

So up and out to the Bauhaus Archiv – largest collection of Bauhaus material. It was a straight walk through the Teirgarten, so we walked. Lovely day in the garden, went through the ‘English garden’ which wasn’t so very English but still nice. In the morning there are water sprayers going, so had to dodge some wet paths. But still a lovely walk. Got to the museum just as it was opening, but headed to the cafe for breakfast. Best coffee in Berlin was in the cafe at Bauhaus.

The museum itself is tiny – displays actually say they knew it was too small as they were building, but as it was a Bauhaus design they went with it. The building is lovely, but takes almost no time to go through the museum. We spent about an hour and a half, but that’s because I really like the style and was watching a video! Joe paid for a very heavy hardback book on the Bauhaus from the start to 1933, then I had to carry it all day.

We then walked along the canal toward Potsdamer and passed one of the other Bauhaus buildings in Berlin – The Shell House. It’s really lovely and Joe took lots of photos. We walked on, up to Potsdamer and along to the memorials along the old wall. Unfortunately the one for Peter Fechter is right in the midst of a cafe! We ended up at the Museuminstel where we had lunch, then we walked along the river back to the hotel, stopping for Joe to take photos. At the train station we saw a Oktoberfest tent, so had a look in. Why is Oktoberfest in September? Or why isn’t it called Septemberfest?

We packed as we’re off tomorrow (boo) then went out to a nearby Croatian restaurant and had a wonderful very large meal. We got a sharing platter – after Joe had crowd sourced what to eat from the online menu amongst a bunch of his work colleagues. Which was the other shell of the day – the centre of the platter had a large flaming scallop shell – yes, on fire. Cooking the skewers of lamb. There is a photo. And at the end of the meal we got a little brandy. Then back to the bar and g&ts on the water watching the boats and people.

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Joe’s Reward

September 14th, 2016 , 19:28

Brauhaus Lemke beer taster

Today was museum day. Got up earlier and got out and on the way to Museuminsel. Once off the S-bahn Joe said we were early (we only had about 40 minutes to get there! But Joe said early!) so we stopped for coffee and bread. And then we could get to the Neus Museum and wait for it to open. Headed straight for Nefertiti and were possibly the first ones there as we were the only ones in there! It was nice to have the space to stop and look. Stunning piece. Then a wander around the Neus Museum with Joe muttering about time. For some reason.

We then joined the queue for the Pergamonmuseum. The Ishtar Gate is the first thing you see currently, go through that and see the Roman Gates. The whole museum was large gates – or seemed that way. There is still building work going on (should be completed by 2025) so most of the Pergamonmuseum is closed and no access to the Pergamon alter. But still nice to have a look around.

Then off to the Altes Museum with Etruscan, Greek, and Roman statues. Joe was getting grumpy despite stopping for a drink. So didn’t spend long there and headed over to the Humboldt Box to see the work they are doing on the palace. Really really nice reconstruction with a modern wing along the water. Should be a beautiful museum when finished. And the Humboldt Forum is named for both brothers – one for founding the university and the other as a scientist (Joe would like me to point out that there is a penguin named for him, amongst lots and lots of other things).

Then back to the art and the Alte Museum and primarily 19th century painting, which isn’t my favourite. We scooted through that very quickly (though Joe complained we were in there too long) and headed for the Bode Museum. Medieval to 17th century, but much more gothic and medieval than later things. Also saw some of the ‘Trojan Treasure’.

Interesting to read some of the descriptions – the second world war was presented as something awful that German’s caused and should never be repeated because much of the art was destroyed. But the most interesting was how many displays had ‘these items were stolen by the Russians and kept, breaking international law!’

So, Joe’s reward, pictured above. After he dragged me out of the Bode we went to a place recommended by one of his work colleagues. A craft brewery with restaurant. And Joe got the tasting rack as above. We had a starter as he tried each of the beers. Then he ordered one of the nasty things and we had dinner. Our first ‘traditional’ German meal. It’s been so hot we’ve been eating very light meals and usually Asian! So today Joe had a knuckle of pork with sauerkraut, mash, and mash peas; and I had the sausage platter with three different sausages and potatoes fried with onions and bacon. Very meat heavy, but very nice!

And I get another museum tomorrow!

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September 13th, 2016 , 18:42

Up earlier this morning, thought we’d get coffee and wait for the boat tour, but no coffee, only the full breakfast. Hmmmm. So we sat and watched the boats go by (did we mention we’re staying right on the river? Cause we are. Can see it from our room.) It was another lovely morning (we are here during a heat wave – sunshine and 30C most days. I’m loving it, Joe is melting.) The boat arrived right on time, we got on (though they almost lost me as they hadn’t properly secured the gangplank, new hire I think, but no harm done), and off we went in German and English. We were sat on the sundeck and we got sun (Joe melted). Got our coffee and sat back for four relaxing hours watching Berlin slip by. Even got to go through three locks! Definitely recommend the boat tour, the long loop one is interesting.

Joe will have to go through his photos and upload to flickr!

We then headed back to the hotel, dumped camera, sorted out stuff, and right back out to the S-bahn and into the centre. Ate lunch and then went to the DDR Museum. That is a interesting museum! Played with loads, though didn’t get to drive the Trabi as the queue was awful; I was waiting but we got this really odd bloke who was shoving his way to the front of everything – he tried to shove in front of us to get tickets to go in, but the man selling the tickets didn’t let him. Quite odd. The museum is very hands on – open everything, poke at stuff, read, watch TV, answer the phone, watch old films. Really interesting.

Then back to the hotel where we’ve had a g&t while watching the river and people go by. Going to shower off (did I mention it is hot?) and head out for dinner.

Frog Blog


September 12th, 2016 , 15:37

So slept in again, so not out and about until gone 10. Stopped at the front desk of the hotel and bought one day travel cards for the metro, buses, trams. Our plan was to ride the rails and see what we saw. So off to the Museum area first and bought three day museum tickets (yay – tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday – museums!) Joe got lots of photos. Then back to the metro and off to the Olympic Stadium. Got to the stadium on the S-bahn trains, walked around the stadium (more photos) and to the U-bahn and back to the centre. Off to Nordbahnhof and the wall memorial. It’s been left pretty much in situ, with no man’s land and the two bits of the wall. Interesting to see and Joe got more photos. We also saw the information about the Ghost Stations and videos/photos. Then my sandal broke. So back to the room to find some outdoor shops to replace the sandals.

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Ich bin ein Berliner

September 11th, 2016 , 20:26

So Berlin. Joe was in Holland for work stuff, so I came over on the ferry and met up with him on the train in Hengelo. Long journey! Left work at 5 on Friday, up to Harwich and on the ferry, dinner and sleep, in Hoek van Holland at 8 and off. Didn’t get on the train to Berlin until 3pm but was in Hengelo by noon – I hit all the connections just right and was over an hour earlier than I thought I’d be. Especially with rail works around Rotterdam! So I walked around Hengelo and had lunch – no left luggage there so I had to carry the bag which limited how far I could go. But I found a market with a live band – brass – playing blues and disco! Fun. Got on the train, found Joe – we had a whole little compartment to ourselves, and watched Germany go by. Got into Berlin about twenty past seven, so that was a long trip. But lovely.

Off to the hotel from the station and we’re staying right on the river, lovely hotel, lovely area. So dinner at the hotel last night and straight to bed.

Slept in – we’re on holiday! So left quite late in the morning and just walked all over. Crossed the river and headed along the park along the river walk to the Government district. Can’t get tickets to go up the dome but had a walk around the district. Then down to the Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial. We didn’t go into the exhibit there, but did walk around the blocks. Then headed for Checkpoint Charlie, via Potsdamer Plaza.

Saw bits of the Berlin wall along our walk, but at Checkpoint Charlie there is a museum. It looks a very small museum, but once you’re upstairs it just keeps going! Lots of information about the wall and the people who helped people across – many of the same people who’d been in the German resistance fighting the Nazis. Interesting.

We then headed out along the longest section of wall remaining and an interesting exhibit on the Nazis on the site of the gestapo headquarters. From there walked back to the hotel through the park. So a very long day of walking and seeing the top sites!


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