Saturday, October 16, 2010

September 10, 2010 - Friday - Amsterdam/Brussels/Berlin

Early in the morning we arose and hired a taxi to take us to the train station. We caught the first train to Brussels.

In Brussels, we purchased a variety of pastries and spent an hour walking around the downtown region. We walked through the park in front of the Royal Palace and passed by the American embassy. Belgian security stopped Adam from taking pictures of the embassy and looked through the camera to delete any images he had captured. Serious folks!

We switched trains in Cologne, and had some currywurst in the station. The train from Cologne to Berlin was busy and most seats were reserved. Eurail passengers without reservations, like us, resorted to standing or sitting on the ground in vestibules in between the cars.

We arrived in Berlin in the evening and checked into the Meininger hotel directly west of the Berlin Hauptbahnhoff. The Meininger is clean, and new, and hiply designed. The lobby had free internet and the rooms were clean and comfortable. We shared the room with two young Englishmen from Wimbledon. They were both uninterested in tennis and one of them offered to give me the free tickets that the local residents receive.

Having previously been to Berlin several weeks before, I was prepared to show Adam around. Our first task was to return to taste the best döner kebap in the city. We took the S-Bahn to Alexanderplatz and walked northwest until we reached Rosenthalerplatz. We enjoyed their excellent meat, bread, cabbage, and sauces very much.

We caught the S-Bahn heading east and alighted near the zoo. The bombed out Kaiserwilhelmgedachtniskirche was well lit and a stark reminder of scenes that took place in this area. We went to a small local restaurant where I had met an interesting Englishman a few weeks earlier. Alas, he was not there.

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