Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Potsdam and more of Berlin

On Sunday we decided to head to Potsdam and see this lovely area of Berlin. Potsdam was a popular place for the kings and queens of Germany and they built lots of palaces and gardens. We took a Hop on, Hop off bus and really enjoyed seeing Schloss Cecilienhof.

 There were so many fancy buildings here. We climbed up to the top of the Orangerie at Sanssouci to check out the view and also went through the rooms inside.
This is the view from the top.
Today we went back into Berlin and climbed the 253 steps to the top of the Victory Tower.  It was very misty but the view was great. 
This mosaic around the monument was amazing.

 This is how high up we were!
 Here is the monument and we were up the top!
 We then wandered around and saw the Brandenburg gate again.
Here I am on our walk through the Tiergarten. 
We then walked up one of the shopping streets and visited the food court in the Galleria Lafayette. Just had to have coffee and cake!
 Here is the view down to the pastry and cake section.
 In the afternoon we visited the Pergamon Museum which has an amazing collection of ancient antiquities.

Tomorrow is our last day here and we fly home in the afternoon. We have had a great holiday but it will be lovely to come home too.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


We had a great day in Berlin yesterday. We headed into town and walked past some amazing sights on our way to the TV tower to join our Fat Tire Bike Tour. I know...I rode a bike!

 The tour was great even though it was on a bike. Made me realise that we should be having at least a week here to see more great museums and sights.
 Here we are at the Berlin wall. So amazing to see all the fairly recent historical sites.
 The memorial to the Jews.
 There is a marathon here today so there were so many people around.
 Here is the proof! I am riding a bike.
Each bike had a squeaky toy on it and was named so you could get your own one each time. I managed the ride without falling over or running into anyone!
 In the evening we went to the amazing restaurant at Potsdamer Platz where they cook the pasta dish on the spot. We had to wait in a line for ages  but it was a very interesting experience and the pasta was good.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Volendam, Marken and Edam

We have had a very busy morning travelling...tram, train, plane and several more trains! I am having a bit of a rest this afternoon. We are in a nice hotel about a half an hour from Berlin. Bruce has finally managed to go for a ride and I am planning a nap or a read! Just thought I would catch up on my blog first. Yesterday the sky was blue so we headed to Volendam on the bus. It is a pretty seaside town.

 We caught one of the ferries above over to Marken. Marken is a very quaint town with an interesting history involving lots of water (like all of the Netherlands). We enjoyed hearing about its history at the little museum.
 There was some lovely old embroidery on display in the museum.

 We also caught the bus to Edam which was another lovely town with nice waterways and leaning houses.


Yesterday we headed to Leiden on the train. We bought a guidebook and did a walking tour of the town. There were lots of attractive housed and canals.

 It was exciting to see a windmill!

 Rembrandt was born and educated here and the house lasted until the early 20th century and then it was pulled down to extend a building. What a shame. This plaque marks the spot!

 Saw a little bit of patchwork in one of the shops.
 We climbed up high to the citadel to check out the view.
We were lucky and it didn't rain! We enjoyed morning tea in a little cafe on our walk and just had to try the dutch apple pie!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cologne and Amsterdam

On Sunday we walked into Cologne in the light rain. It was good to see the cathedral but as it was Sunday it was only possible to have a short peek inside as there was a service. We enjoyed wandering through Cologne's amazing museum with so many Roman and medieval bits and pieces.

We arrived in Amsterdam on Monday on the ship and went on a tour of the city. We enjoyed seeing the Rembrandts at the Rijksmuseum and went on a canal boat ride. Yesterday we walked and walked!! We loved seeing all the Van Gogh paintings. There were so many to see including lots of earlier works. Mind you, we had seen the best ones in Canberra just last year.

 Look at all these lovely blue and white goodies.
It was good to see the "wonky" houses and the canals too. We did see a few "coffee shops" too with lots of people enjoying the experience. It has been "fun" dodging the many bikes!

In the afternoon, I went to the Anne Frank Museum which is in the house where they hid and where Anne wrote her wonderful diary. It was so sad but also wonderful to see the photos and the actual house.