Probably our favorite part of our journey was our visits to Berlin. My parents were awesome and watched the kids for a day so Ty and I could go by ourselves. We went on an amazing walking tour and learned SO much about city history. Then, we went back a few days later with my Dad and Jennifer and the kids.
This is the Berlin Cathedral. It burned after a bomb set it on fire in WW2, but has been reconstructed just like most of the buildings in Berlin. It was amazing how many of the buildings had been refurbished or were nearing completion in an attempt to restore buildings after the rule of the GDR.
This building was Hitler's headquarters, which after the war became the headquarters for the GDR. There is a mural on the wall of the building which depicts the Socialist ideal of happy East Germans. In the foreground is a blown up photograph memorial of the realistic faces of the unhappy protesters wanting their freedom.
An obligatory picture of Ty next to a piece of the Berlin wall.
Some beautiful flowers. We went at apparently just the right time of year. The bitter cold was over and we had some very pleasant weather and lots of sunshine.
We tried to get a family photo in the train station.
Funny story... Levi hopped into a fountain in front of the Berlin Cathedral which got his shoes and pants soaking wet on a fairly chilly day. To keep his toes warm, we put gloves on his feet. After sulking for a bit, he eventually thought it was funny. By the end of the day, Colt wanted to wear gloves on his feet too :)
We went to several museums. I remember the boys were making fun of this particular statue's member. This is the armory museum that was really interesting with lots of old stuff :) We didn't spend too incredibly long here as we got reprimanded a few times for the kids behavior/noise. It was interesting that despite the most recent history of WW2 and the GDR (Communistic rule), the tour guides kept reiterating that most of Berlin's history was focused around rulers wanting to welcome other cultures and religions and trying to make Berlin a place of tolerance and culture.
We did visit a really cool chocolatier. They had tons of famous Berlin buildings built out of chocolate. After several tastes of milk, dark, mint, and the like, we were ready to continue on our day!
This is the Leipzig Hauptbonhauf or train station. I loved the architecture of the place.
One thing I'll remember about Germany is all of the graffiti. It was EVERYWHERE! And the graffiti was WAY better than most American graffiti I've seen. This stuff was actually art with different paint shades and really quite impressive to look at.
Anyway, this is a very brief (3 part... ha!) recap of our trip. I took almost 500 pictures that I'll put in a book for our family, but wanted to share a bit about it here. While it was a difficult trip in many ways because we had our 4 year old, 3 year old and 18 month old kids with us (you haven't picked up on that by my comments have you? ;), it was also a trip where many memories were created and hopefully will be one our kids will look back on fondly for years to come. Thanks for hosting us, Dad and Jennifer!