Visit the Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam. Afternoon tour of Berlin to the renovated parliamentary building. Visit the Brandenburg Gate, the State Opera house, Alexander Platz, drive 'Unter den Linden' and visit the former Checkpoint Charlie.
Ritz Carlton, Berlin - Room 947
What a great day we've had! It all started with breakfast. This hotel has the best breakfast I have ever had, anywhere. First off, in the fresh fruit section they had passionfruit. Then in the crepe section, they had crepes, chocolate crepes, french toast and pancakes. Just as well we had to be on the bus at 8.30 am because I could have stayed there for hours, just grazing. As it was, I left with a handful of smarties! Bad girl!
I am looking forward to breakfast tomorrow as we have a bit more time to enjoy it.
This is where the Prime Minister works and a lot of formal ceremonial parades are held here.
Today was a huge day sightseeing. I took over 250 photos. We drove to Potsdam and on the way called into Sanssouci Park. This was a beautiful area with a very grand palace that belonged to Frederick. The garden was lovely too.
Mole damage to the lawn!
This would be ideal for my bathing requirements.
We then visited the Unity Bridge where the East and West used to exchange spies who had been captured. Very historic place. We had one foot in the East and one foot in the West.
Then onto Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam where Stalin, Truman and Churchill met to decide what to do with Germany after World War Two. It was a most interesting place and hugely historic. Unfortunately, our guide said it wasn't worth paying to take photos inside so we didn't buy a permit. What dills we were. It was hugely historic and obviously meant more to our generation than younger ones.
The weather is fabulous and we are loving Berlin. It is amazing.
We were driven back to the city and dropped off for lunch in front of a department store called KaDeWe. We went straight to the sixth floor where the food hall was to have our lunch. Just wow! You think the food hall in Harrods in London, well this is 10 times better than that. Everything is so fresh and shiney. We just wandered around with our jaws on the ground. We had lovely fresh rolls for lunch and then Phil found the meatball section and had a meatball and mustard on fresh bread.
This guy gave us a free sample of the chocolates he was making, so we bought a small sample pack.
Back on the bus to continue our city tour. We stopped at the only section of the Berlin Wall that is left. What a horrible time that was.
On the way to the wall, we walked over this circle on the ground, and with the vibration of the feet, little bells rings intermittently. It is really quite fun.
We then went to Parliament House, which just like ours, the security gaining entry was very strict. We all had to have our passports with us. We had to stay together in our group because we were given VIP entry privileges but jamming 20 of us in a tiny lift was a bit much, especially for Gail who suffers from claustrophobia. Anyway, we arrived at the restaurant at the top and proceeded to have afternoon tea, with tea and coffee and apple and cherry crumble. When are we ever going to stop eating?
After that we had some free time to walk up the top of the glass dome. What an amazing engineering feat. These Germans sure know how to do things precisely. It was very hot up the top under the glass but we all took some amazing photos.
Back to the hotel by 5pm, for a little rest and then to get ready for our Farewell Dinner at the Marriott Hotel, two minutes walk away. We quickly went across the road to see another amazing roof over an eating area which Phil had found the night before.
This is the doorman at the Ritz Carlton in Berlin, John.
After dinner, we all congregated on the footpath outside the Marriott and Phil made a little thank you speech to Tim for looking after us so well on our Baltic States tour. Then time to say goodbye to William and Claire who are leaving very early in the morning. They have been a great couple to travel with. We had a lot of laughs.
This car is all electric and it doesn't cost anything to plug it in and charge it up. People "buy" a share in the car and are issued with a card that gives them entry to the car. Then, on their iphones, they can see where available cars are and to use them it costs 32 cents a minute.