Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Over the River, Through the Woods to Berlin We Go

I am so far behind in posting about our trip to Germany in November. 
When I last left the trip, we had spent our final day in Munich and were heading to Berlin. 
LPP had class on Monday, so we had one last meal in Munich before heading out early on Sunday morning for the 5 - 6 hour drive in The Beast.
We ended up eating our final Munich dinner in a very dated Italian restaurant, Pizzeria Alla Scala a few blocks from our hotel.
The service was poor, although there seemed only to be one waiter when we arrived and the food decent at best. 
I will say that the elderly owner presented our youngest with treats that won most of us over.

This place had the menfolk in the van drooling on Sunday morning. 
I must say that looked to be a pretty sweet showroom.

We also passed the Olympic Park.

And then to the Autobahn. 
As we cruised up the country, quaint villages appeared, always centered by a church tower. 

One thing that I loved. 
On Sunday's semi trucks are not allowed to drive on the Autobahn!
We passed several rest areas that were filled with trucks just hanging out. 
They had chairs and portable tables set up and were relaxing, I suppose. 

It reduced the number of vehicles on the road and allowed us to stay in either the center or right lane as the Porsche's and Lamborghini's flew past on our left.

The weather was nice all the way and the changing scenery as we travelled north was interesting.
Although not everyone was as enamored as I was.

Germany, as much of Europe, are invested in wind power. 
We saw many wind farms on the way.

These barriers appeared on either side of the Autobahn we passing through towns.
Maybe to reduce sound?
All in all, the Autobahn was much better that I had feared. 
I know driving on it was a bucket list item for my hubby, but I was not as excited 
I have changed my mind, although I don't believe that we Americans could handle it here.
There are speed limit signs when approaching on and off ramps and through cities.
I found it fascinating that everyone obeyed the limit.
Cars noticeably slowed  when they should and sped up accordingly.
It was cool.
As we found ourselves nearing Berlin, we decided to stop in a town about 15 miles away for dinner.
After several attempts, and minor meltdowns, to follow maps to a specific restaurant, we parked and walked in Potsdam.

  As it turned out, we walked through the Near Garten and happened upon Cecilienhof.
As it turned out, Cecilienhof is the former home of Crown Prince William and was the site of the Potsdam Conference .
In the summer of 1945, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin gathered for a series of meetings and negotiated how best to punish Germany for bringing Europe through WWII.
The postwar map was officially drawn here.
Fascinating and it was just the tip of the iceberg regarding the history we would experience firsthand in the next few days.
After a further failed attempt at dinner, we drove on into Berlin and checked into our lodgings.

When I reserved this place, I knew it was a small apartment with enough beds for us and that it was in the general neighborhood where LPP's apartment was so we could meet her after classes easily.
What I did not know is that this place was perfection! 
Very modern  and well appointed. 
It overlooked a street that was ideal for people watching. 
It had two bedrooms, kitchen with dining, a lovely living room and large bathroom. 
It also was just a short distance to the rental office where we were able to park the van overnight.
It was wonderful. 

We walked a block or so to dinner and relaxed over food and a much needed alcoholic beverage.
After walking back to the apartment, LPP left to walk to hers.
THAT is a strange feeling. 
Watching your daughter walking down a street in Berlin...alone to her apartment.
And realizing that it's okay and that you are very proud of her.
I'm anxious to share Berlin with you soon.
It was so much more than I had expected.
In case you care to catch up on this trip this far....

Day 7

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