Europe 2013, day one: Germany, Berlin


A few hours of roaming around Berlin after a 22-hour trek (DC-Newark-Dusseldorf-Berlin) and a 4-hour nap.

We took a cab from the airport to the hotel. It took my husband ten minutes to get the Bubba off the plane. They were literally the last ones off. He crashed the minute we boarded our second flight.

We arrived at our hotel and were so thankful to be able to check in early. Immediately after checking in we told the kids it was time to nap. I was slightly concerned because both kids napped some on the flights but neither parent did. Fortunately both went to sleep fairly quickly. I had set my alarm for 2:30 and woke up at 2:22. While everyone was still sleeping I took a shower. I starter opening the curtains to the room and gradually people started waking up. The kids had taken four hour naps. The Bubba was still pretty hard to rouse and I though Rhubarb was in pretty good spirits….The cab driver was really nice and even had boosters in his car. He did not speak a lot of English but he spoke enough to point out significant sites.


I immediately realized I was wrong about Rhubarb. She immediately started complaining that she was hot and hungry. Our initial plan was to get a late lunch but we had to change that plan. Rhubarb was complaining about being hot. Bubba wanted to get on a metro train somewhere. So we promised them after we got to our first attraction we would get them a snack and then go on a train.

More of the Berlin wall

More of the Berlin wall

The first attraction we saw was Checkpoint Charlie. It just happens there is a McDonald’s right behind the checkpoint. By this time both kids were complaining so we went to Mickey D’s not because the kids wanted to but because I knew what to expect in there and at this point I was just trying to make the kids happy. So three of us had McFlurries.

Standing in front of a piece of the Berlin wall

Standing in front of a piece of the Berlin wall

Next we headed to the Brandenburg Gate. We had to walk a few blocks from the S-bahn stop. Rhubarb was not doing well at this point. We had to alternate carrying her. Finally Bubba and husband walked ahead of us. Eventually Rhubarb spotted a fountain. We headed straight for it and we both got wet from the spray, which seemed to make her perk up a little.

The Brandenburg gate

The Brandenburg gate

We caught up with the boys in front of Brandenburg gate. Rhubarb was still a little grumpy and at some point I think she asked if she could take pictures with my phone. Once I agreed to this she was in a much better mood. Now if I want her cooperation I tell her I need her to take my picture. There are also a bunch of bear statues around Berlin so I tell her if she finds one she can take my picture with the bear.


We left the Brandenburg Gate and headed to the Reichstag which is a block away. The dome was closed today but hopefully opening back up tomorrow. I went to get tickets for tomorrow at what looked like a relatively small line that we thought would move fast. I was wrong. It was the world’s slowest shortest line ever. The guy told me that normally it is a two hour wait to get tickets to go into the Reichstag. I think it took us about 45 minutes to get our tickets. The husband had taken the kids to wait in the shade while I waited in the sun. Anyway we go back tomorrow morning at 9:30 to go into the dome.

After getting those tickets it was now 7:00 PM. We decided to head back to the hotel. Either way back to the hotel involved two transfers on the train. We chose the way that took us through the main train station and decided to get dinner there too. On the way to the train station we found another fountain so we let Rhubarb stop and play again. Every time we find a fountain I will make sure we stop for Rhubarb. That is her thing.



Rhubarb playing in a fountain

Rhubarb playing in a fountain

So eventually we made it to the main train station. The kids enjoyed watching all of the trains and it was a very impressive building. We went to the food court area where I had Pizza Hut and the kids had Burger King. You can tell we are really branching out and trying the German food. We do plan to eat at real restaurants but today is all about keeping everyone happy.

So, we then headed back to our hotel. We had to change trains at Alexander Platz which we discovered is right next to the Television tower in Berlin. We took pictures but did not go up in it. We might possibly go up in it tomorrow.

The kids went to bed relatively easy at 10:00 PM. On the agenda for sure tomorrow is the Reichstag building. I think I want to go to Potsdam to see the palace there but also because it is a long U-bahn ride. The kids really enjoy riding any sort of metro train. I would also like to make sure we see the Pergamon museum before we leave and the Berlin Wall that is still standing. We are also talking about doing one of those tour buses. The weather tomorrow should be much cooler than today – a high of 77 with good chance of rain versus a high of 95 with no rain (today).

The kids and I on a Berlin subway train.

The kids and I on a Berlin subway train.

Categories: Berlin, Germany | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Europe 2013, day one: Germany, Berlin

  1. Sarah Hogue

    I love reading about your travels!! The “bear” pictures are awesome… go Rhubarb!

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