After Andy and Carmen's Wedding, Mike and I took the train to Berlin for a few days of sightseeing and relaxation. The little bear greeted us at our hotel, the Center City Marriott. The sign next to him advertizes the Euro 2012 soccer championship games, going on while we were there.
On our first day in Berlin, we walked around the area from the Brandenberg Gate to Museum Island, ending with a visit to the Berlin Cathedral (right and below).
Built originally at the end of the 19th century, it was severely damaged in the Second World War, with the rededication of the main church in 1993. The organ is considered to be the largest and most important intact instrument from the German Late Romantic Period.
Mike suffered most of the week with a bad cold, so I went for a walk one day by myself, headed to the German Historical Museum, left. I walked through two floors of exhibits tracing the story from ancient history through the fall of the Berlin Wall. Fascinating!
My walk took me by the Französischer Dom (French Cathedral, below left) and the Neue Wache, a very impressive memorial rededicated in 1993 to the memory of all victims of violence (below).
The Euro 2012 championships were very much a part of this week.
As a visitor in Berlin, it was impossible to miss the signs of what was going on. Having beaten Greece in the quarterfinal round,
the German team advanced to the semifinals against Italy. The game was played at National Stadium in Warsaw.
We visited the plaza behind the Brandernberg Gate twice this week. This was the main public viewing area for the German semifinal game against Italy. On the left, you can see people laying in supplies.
The picture on the left below was taken two days before the game. The road was closed to traffic for two miles - if you look closely you can see the Brandernberg Gate in the distance. Two days later, we came back before the game. Untimately, about a half million fans came to this area to watch the game on one of the many large screens set up for them.
Most of those people went home very disappointed.
Italy advanced to the championship game, where they were eventually beaten by Spain. The headline the next morning tells the sad story.
Our hotel in Berlin, above left, was a comfortable home base, and the trains from Frankfurt to Berlin and back were easy to navigate.
During the ride back to Frankfurt, we received a text from Andy and Carmen. They had spent the week after their wedding relaxing in a spa in the Black Forest, and they were coming home that same day. We connected at the airport, and had a lovely dinner with them in Frankfurt.
We flew home from Frankfurt the next morning, and Andy and Carmen went back to Waldlaubersheim.
Auf Wiedersehen for now.
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