August 11, Berlin
We saw lots, didn’t EXPERIENCE as much as we’d hoped. The cruise ship port, Waramunde, is three hours from Berlin. Consequently, we had to pay beaucoup bucks to use the private train (to meet our particular time constraints), and took a tour that also went through Pottsdam. We had a few minutes at Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Berlin Wall. Then most of our time in Berlin was a drive by, “Look out this window to see the Reishstag, to your right see the Memorial to Murdered Jews”
We drove through some verdant, shadowy forests to Potsdam and saw many lovely villas where nazi leaders had lived, and a prison, so close by and convenient to their homes, where they could torture Jews and political dissidents. (Terrifying) The incongruity of this heavenly place with the hellish deeds done here made me nauseous. We saw walked the grounds of some historic sites, but didn’t have time to tour inside, Grrr. Lesson learned, don’t go to Berlin or Pottsdam with a cruise ship. Our plan was to come here for nearly a week last year on our own. I will now set about a new plan to come back to experience Berlin.
The tour bus drove to Potsdam, stopped at a pretty restaurant for a traditional German lunch, toured the outside of some historic sites, sorry no time to go inside or read anything here, grrrrr. Then back on our train for the three hour ride back.
Pooped from sitting ALL day, we cuddled into the cabin and watched “Bridge of Spies”, that Tom Hanks movie we missed. We went over that bridge today, and saw lots of other locations that were in that movie! It told the story of the Americans exchange with the Russians and the East Germans of a soviet spy for Francis Gary Powers and an American student during the 60s. That was really cool to see.