We arrived in the port of Warnemunde today which was to be our gateway into Berlin. For our tour today we were told to expect a 14 hour day. Well, they were not wrong. We had organised a wakeup call for 5am and left the blinds open, knowing the sun rises very early here – about 4am. We gathered this morning just after 6am in the auditorium for directions. Around 700 people were going on various tours in Berlin which meant we had to be ferried on the train from Warnemunde to Berlin. The entire train was just for us. The demand was so great for these tours, they had to hire extra buses to get people from Warnemunde into Berlin as there was not enough room on this train.

The train ride to Berlin was around 3 hours. I managed to have a few dozes while Luke wasn’t so lucky. Luke got to see lot’s of the countryside – very rural – lot’s of farms and crops.

Once in Berlin, we were herded onto our respective buses and were off on our tour. Driving in from the train, the first major sights was the TV Tour. The guide explained that it was built by the communists only to a certain point as they did not have the capability to complete the structure – they have to get the capitalist Swedes in to complete it. Thing was, with the sun shining on certain points of the Ball, a ‘Cross’ appeared which angered the atheist communists! The Swedes said it was God’s revenge!

We got off the bus closer to the city (in East Berlin) and walked until we got to the ‘Brandenburg Gate’. This is situated in the ‘dead zone’ which was once between the two walls. We continued onto the other sites including Alexanderplatz Square, Checkpoint Charlie, Red City Hall, Unter den Linder Boulevard and the Reichstag. The last major site was the remnants of the Berlin Wall. Most of the wall is now gone, as the Germans despised it so much that they tore most of it down. It was amazing to see – could understand why they hated it so much!

This was the end of the guided tour. We then had 4 hours free time to explore Berlin at our leisure before meeting back at the train station for the trip back to the ship. We visited the Sony Centre and decided to have lunch. The guide had recommended we try something authentic so we had the meatball and sausage which was served with onion gravy, mashed potato and sauerkraut. Of course, this had to be downed with a decent beer!!! Luke choose some sissy cocktail instead – but there was no holding me back! It was great.

We then decided to walk back to the train station. This took us the best part of two hours. Good to walk off the sausage!! We arrived back to the station for the scheduled 5.45pm departure, however the train itself did not leave until 6.30pm. We got back just after 9pm as the sun was setting – it is now 11pm and you can still see the red in the sky. It is challenging getting used to the daylight hours here – lots of them!

We were late back for dinner so we just got some snacks delivered to the room as we leave the port. There is a massive goodbye tonight with another big cruise ship leaving at the same time. There is opera, fireworks, horns blowing and hundreds of people lining the shore to say goodbye.

Tomorrow we are at sea (thank god – time to rest up) before heading into Stockholm. We are totally buggered so goodnight from us.

 

Lots of love,

 

Lara & Luke.

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