Results tagged “Memorials” from Europe 2016

Managed to cool the room down a little bit last night by having the balcony door open. But I didn't like the idea of leaving it open overnight, and the aircon was hopeless, so ended up waking up hot :(

Went into Augsburg first up. Met up with a local guide and went on a walking tour of the city. Had an interesting walk through the Fuggerei settlement, then looked at various buildings, and finished up at St Anna church, where Luther stayed for a while in the cloisters.

Then we got given some free time, so went up the tower in one of the churches, then had a look at the shiny "Goldsaad" - gold room in the Rathaus. Had a bite to eat from maccas (because it was at our meeting place and I knew I could get a small serving of food).

Then we headed to Dachau. Very sad place. Especially the cremetoria. Our guide, Ute, was born in 1938 and had stories to tell about her childhood which was pretty cool.

And finally onto Munich. Our hotel is in the middle of an industrial area, so there's nothing of any interest around. We walked into our room and the first thing I said was "this room stinks". Even though it says it's a non-smoking room on the door, there's an ash tray and matches in the room. We opened the window up wide and the door as well to get some air through which has helped. Others weren't so lucky - they got actual smoking rooms. We were all not very happy at all. And to rub salt into the wounds, they charge ten euros a day for the wifi!!!! Which I flat out refuse to pay given our awful experiences so far. It's worse that we're here for two nights right when I need it for organising the next part of our trip (although for the most part that's mostly organised so not the end of the world). But seriously, what hotel in Germany in 2016 doesn't have free wifi? I think this calls for an uncomplimentary review on TripAdvisor. I went down to reception to start asking questions (like, how can I get into the city? where's the nearest station?). Then moved onto where's the nearest laundromat, which of course he couldn't answer, so I said can we look one up, because I have no resources, to which he said, oh there's a business centre computer I could use. I was hoping for some wifi, but whatevs. Decided it was entirely too difficult to get to a laundromat from here (being in the middle of nowhere and all) so gave up on that idea.

Had dinner in the restaurant downstairs. Ok but very salty. Then back up here to find the desk doesn't have any spare power points. You have to disconnect either the lamp or the tv to get power. So after being spoilt by generally good hotels with all the sorts of services you'd expect, this hotel really ended this particular tour very badly.

Sadly, yet again, I couldn't be with the sweetie on our anniversary today :(

Slept well for the first half of the night, but woke up to pee and had pretty broken sleep after that.

Breakfast was much the same today as yesterday (but they had bacon today!)

We were given the morning off to do what we liked. Except it was raining.

We decided to go to the Checkpoint Charlie museum first, since it opened at 9am and it was raining. I wish I'd done a bit more research, because if I had, I probably wouldn't have gone. I was expecting a lot more about the history of the wall and the escape attempts, and there was a little bit of that. But most of the museum is just a rabbit warren of rooms *covered* in text and some photos. And most of it has nothing to do with the wall. There was an awful lot about world politics.  There was stuff on Ronald Reagan. There was stuff on prisoners in North Korea. There was even some stuff on Picasso and art.

!?

It was the most confusing and disorganised museum I've ever been to. Really didn't enjoy much of it at all. As we came out we found maps which *may* have helped cut down the confusion.

So we'd gotten to the museum by an M29 bus. We bought all day tickets (7EUR) so we could hop on and off without having to stress about tickets. The bus stop where we got on sold tickets, although they only worked with coins and credit cards, although it wouldn't take mum's credit card so she had to buy hers on the bus (I didn't have enough coinage for both tickets). After the museum, we decided to take trains to Alexanderplatz. Getting to Friedrichstrasse was easy enough, but Friedrichstrasse is a huge, confusing, and very badly signed station. We got quite confused about where to go to get a train to Alexanderplatz and ended up asking someone.

At Alexanderplatz we walked out of the station and looked up. Good news! We could see the tower. Which meant we'd be able to see out of it. So went and lined up at the first security checkpoint to get into the building. Because it had been raining the queue was very short - only a few people in front of us. Inside we took one look at the queue to buy tickets, and went over to the vending machines to get them. Went straight in :) (after passing another security check). It was mostly cloudy, but quite clear, and the sun started to peek through. Took photos out of every window to make a panorama. It'll be interesting to compare photos from this trip to the ones I took last time to see what sort of construction has happened in the past eight years. We also ran into several groups of people from the tour who had the same idea as us. They couldn't get into the Reichstag dome because there were no available tickets til 6pm!

Next we headed back down to find the chocolate shop Robert and Winsome had told us about. And continued to get frustrated with the public transport system here. Specifically signage for people that need to figure out where to go. Or, as the case may be, the complete lack of it. Some stations had at least a board that had the stations on the line it was on. But others didn't. And very few of them have an overall network map so you can figure out which line you have to be on and which direction to go. *Eventually* found the right train at Alexanderplatz and went to Statdmitte, where we found the chocolate shop right outside the train station entrance.

The chocolate shop is pretty amazing. It's got all these huge models made out of chocolate, including the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, the Fernsehturm, and even the Titanic and an A380! I bought myself a small sample of chockies to try.

Then back to the hotel. Train from Stadtmitte to Halesches Tor to change trains (and a long walk rivalling the Paris metro to change trains) for a train to Uhlandstrasse.

Only had a very brief stop at the hotel, then we were on the coach, heading out to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. It was only a small camp in the scheme of things, and not a lot is left, but it was quite interesting, and pretty sad.

Finally back to the hotel. Got some stuff done before dinner (nice again as always) and finished up after dinner. Time to wash hair.

So yeah, slept pretty well last night.

Breakfast was down in the hotel restaurant. Ate plenty so we woudn't need lunch.

Then we had a local city guide and did a big tour of the city.

First stop was the Reichstag. Didn't go in, just had a look from the outside.

Then walked up to the Brandenburg Gate. The sun started peeking through the clouds by this point.

Then to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Spoilt somewhat kids and other young people screaming and making heaps of noise. Bruce did a little bit of an Anzac Day ceremony there which was nice.

Back on the coach and down to a piece of the Berlin Wall on Niederkirchnerstrasse - something we didn't see last time. Had only a very short time to look at the open air part of Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror). Really only got time to look at about a third of it :(

Then onto Checkpoint Charlie. Really just a photostop.

Then Bruce decided we should see inside the Berliner Dom instead of Marienkirche, so they got us there in time for the daily service, which is actually free, instead of something like seven euro to get into otherwise (although if you pay you can go up the dome apparently).

They gave us nearly an hour and a half after that to have lunch and explore, so we went down to the Marienkirche anyway.

Wandered up to Alexanderplatz to find the world clock, and look for snipers on the rooves. And it snowed. Really.

Back to the Dom, and a short walk to the Pergamon museum. Cool place, and we had quick entry on account of being a tour group. Although the entrance foyer is super chaotic. Sadly the altar from Pergamon is closed off at the moment due to renovations. But the market gate and Istar gate and procession way are amazing.

Back on the coach, and onto the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Turns out you can just go into the new church, so went in there. The blue stained glass is just stunning. The building looks *much* better on the inside than the outside!

At this point (it was about 4:30pm), they were going to head back to the hotel and call it a day. But I didn't want to just waste a couple of hours sitting around the hotel (even if I *did* have a lot of computer work to do), so we went for a wander back down the KaDeWe (via LEGO!!). Lots of yummies to be had on the 6th floor. I did end up getting a couple of macarons, which were ok but not super epic awesome. Then we walked back to the hotel.

Dinner was downstairs, but didn't get back up here til nearly 8:30pm, and there's still gps and photo downloading and blogging to do.  Too tired for this crap.