Monday, May 23, 2016

Berlin, day 1

In Berlin we rented a house which was about 20-25 minutes away from Check Point Charlie.  The house itself was interesting; it had 2 bedrooms upstairs where the boys slept (Andrei and Anton shared a bed) and Ilya got his own room.  We slept in the bedroom downstairs which opened up to the living room.  It honestly felt like a summer house for inner city Berliners.  The best part was the yard.  It was large enough for us to play soccer.

The entire time we were in Berlin the weather was absolutely beautiful.  On the first day, we left the house around 10AM and came back around 6PM having walked the entire time.  We started with Check Point Charlie and Berlin Wall museum.  The museum was very small but very informative and very crowded.  The problem we encountered is trying to explain to boys how the wall came to be and how it went down.  It’s just not something that they seem to understand.  Then we stopped for lunch at a really nice place.  We all ordered our drinks and they came in a bottle with a glass provided.  Most people wouldn’t think much of it except Anton decided to take a bite out of his glass.  We tried to piece the glass together to see if there were missing pieces and as it happen, one piece was missing – not on the floor, not on the table, just missing.  Somewhat frantically searching  on the internet, we realized that taking him to a hospital wouldn’t do much good because they don’t do anything – you can’t see glass on x-ray and unless there is blood there is nothing they can do.  Yep, that's my baby!

Check Point Charlie

Steps at Gendarmenmarkt

Next to Berlin Wall Museum
Somewhat nervously but we decided to continue with our plans and walked to Berliner Dom which was amazing.  The Dom is beautiful inside and I learned that Andrei’s religion classes at school are actually useful when he explained to me who Jesus is.  We also walked 270 steps up to enjoy the view from the top.  The stairs start off as nice and wide and as we got closer to the top they got narrower and smaller.  In front of the Dom is a beautiful fountain with park where we rested for a bit.
After the Dom we took a very long and interesting walk down Unter den Linden Strasse all the way down to Reichstag.  On our way we stopped for ice cream and Anton who always get chocolate, got chocolate biscuit after Chris made sure from the seller that there were no nuts in it.  After taking a couple of licks, Anton gave it to me saying he doesn’t want it anymore - kind of weird.  In a couple of minutes, Anton’s face started getting red and we realized that we have an issue.  As it happens we are the smart parents who leave the allergy medicine back at the apartment but thankfully we found the pharmacy right away.  After we gave him the medicine, Chris sat with Anton while I took Ilya over 2 doors down to get ice cream.   We came back about 5 minutes later and Anton had thrown up.  Yep, the ice cream definitely had some nuts.  At that point, we were only about 5 minutes away from the Brandenburg Gate and another 5-10 from Reichstag.  

Berliner Dom

Fountain in front of Berliner Dom

Unter den Linden Strasse

Again, we decided to walk this time I carried Anton for a bit since he was a bit weak. In order to get into Reichstag, you have to schedule an appointment in advance which we did not do. We just walked around it and took some pictures while boys played in the sprinklers.  For a capital city, Berlin has lots of parks and green space.  In that green space there are lots of memorials to victims of Nazi regime.  We really did a lot our first day in Berlin …

Brandenburg Gate


Another view of Brandenburg Gate

Memorial to the Murdered Jews

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