Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Baltic Cruise - Berlin

Hi, We spent our first full day at sea. On our second day we were docked at the German port of Warnemunde.  Directly across from the dock was the railroad station.

We took a train from here to Berlin.  Travel time was 3 hours each way, however, we felt it may well be our only opportunity to visit this city.

For our visit to Berlin we chose a shore excursion that emphasized the Jewish Heritage of Germany.  The excursion included the train fare.  The train was chartered by the ship and there were other tours aboard.  Our first stop was the Jewish Museum.

Outside was the Garden of Exile which consisted of 49 columns in which Willow Oaks grow.  The columns are all at an angle to create the feeling of disorientation that exile brings.

Ruthe took this photo and we are not sure what it is, however, I thought it striking.

From the Jewish Museum we went to the New Synagogue.  This building was mostly destroyed during WW II and only a small part remains.  That part is now a museum.  Inside the building is a model of the synagogue as it was.

Another photo from my wife shows pieces of the table used to hold the scrolls of the Torah and Haftorah while they are read.

Here is a photo of the synagogue before its destruction.

The three domes top the facade of the New Synagogue while the building to the right is a new addition to the museum.

A tram line ran outside.

Our next stop was the Reichstag building; the German Parliament.

From the Reichstag we drove to Brandenberg Gate.

Everyone pedals on this contraption but only the person in green steers.  This was taken on the east side of Brandenberg Gate.

From Brandenberg Gate we walked a short distance to the Holocaust Memorial.  The site iscovered with 2,711 concrete blocks that vary in height and are arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field.  According to the architect's project text, the objective of the design is to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere, and the whole sculpture aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason.  Ruthe took the photo below.

After we left the Holocaust Memorial we passed the last remaining segment of the Berlin Wall

on the way to Check Point Charley.  For a fee one could have their photo taken with actors portraying soldiers and/or using a variety of props, e.g., the American flag and hats.

This was our last stop so it was time to head for the train and our 3 hour trek back to the ship.  I hope you enjoyed the photos.

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