Germany: a dream for UNESCO lovers

Berlin: Museum Island

Berlin: Museum Island

We rolled off the ferry in Rostock, Germany, at 6:30 AM. Check-in at the hotel won’t be until the afternoon, so we chose to drive an extra hour to the historic city of Stralsund. A great opportunity to check yet another UNESCO World Heritage location off our list!

We seem to be on a mission here in Europe!

Meandering through Stralsund’s streets, we encountered the imposing Mariënkirche, rows of colorful Brick Gothic and Renaissance homes, the Kütertor (city gate) with the intact city wall, views of Strela Sound, and finally the vibrant Hanseatic city center. Afterwards, we popped into a bakery for some delectable German pastries.

Stralsund: Alter Markt

Stralsund: Alter Markt

Stralsund: City Centre

Stralsund: Beautiful Historic City Centre

On the road again, this time taking the long way back to Rostock, we could enjoy the beautiful Baltic Sea Coast. We first stopped in the village of Niepars where a quaint 13th-century church caught our eye. In the peninsula area of Darß we climbed through the dunes to enjoy some sunny time on the beach.

Back in the hotel in Rostock, we opted to visit the seaside district of Warnemünde instead of yet another historic city center – that of Rostock itself. More beaches, the boulevard with a landmark lighthouse, rows of picturesque old town fishermen houses, and more perfect sunny weather. :-)  We wandered around the Alter Strom in search of a prime place to grab some traditional German food, ending up at Zur Traube for a nice fish dinner and Rostock Pilsener. Prost! Just before we headed back to the hotel to recoup after a long day of touring, we caught the sunset over the sea. What a day.


APRIL 23

Off to Berlin! We made it to the capital around 11:30 and were soon off to see the sights. First up was Olympiastadion, home of the 1936 Olympic Games. Next, we hopped aboard the U-Bahn towards the Tiergarten for a beer in the park and the ascent of the Victory Column.

Olympiastadium Berlin

Olympiastadium Berlin: 1936 Summer Olympics

Victory Column Berlin

Siegessäule Berlin: Victory Column in Tiergarten Park

On to the Reichstag, where we sampled some “wursts” outside the Brandenburg Gate, got lost in the Holocaust Memorial, visited the site of the Fürherbunker, wandered through Potsdamer Platz, and ultimately ended up at the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. The museum was a chaotic Cold War info overload, but fascinating to delve into all the same.

Holocaust Memorial Berlin

Holocaust Memorial Berlin: I am overwhelmed and impressed at every visit

Drained after extended museum time, dinner was long overdue. We caught a train to the Friedrichshain district, where we enjoyed an amazing schnitzel at Keule Berliner Mundart. Exhausted from touring all day, our full tummies definitely made us sleepy. Back to the hotel for us!

Brandenburg Gate Berlin

Brandenburger Tor: World Famous Gate in Berlin


APRIL 24

Another day in Berlin begins with a trip to Charlottenburg Palace, where we strolled through the immaculate gardens. Next on the tour was the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Known as “The Hollow Tooth”, the church still shows extensive damage as a result of WWII bombing.

Kaiser Wilhelm Church Berlin

Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtnis Kirche in Berlin. Or better said, what’s left of it…

Back at the Brandenburg Gate, we were lucky enough to stumble upon a largely kid driven pro-immigration protest. What an interesting sight. Here we began our walk to Museum Island. (Indeed. Another UNESCO World Heritage site. ;) ).

Berliner Dom on Museum Island

Berliner Dom on Museum Island: Beautiful Church

We snapped a few pictures of the ornate Berliner Dom before splitting up. Will went to see the ancient art in the Pergamon Museum and I grabbed a coffee on the banks of the Spree. We reunited and continued our walk to the Rotes Rathaus and the Television Tower, enjoyed “Berliner Pfannkuchen” on the Alexanderplatz before going all the way to the East Side Gallery to take a gander at all the Berlin Wall art.

Berliner Pfannkuchen

No surprise there: Will loved his first Berliner Pfannkuchen…

East Side Gallery Berlin

East Side Gallery: “My God, help me survive this deadly love.”

By then it was definitely time for some food, so we pigged out on döner kebab at Bistro Istanbul. Though pretty tired, it wasn’t quite time to call it quits, so we ventured once more to Friedrichshain and had a White Russian nightcap on the Simon-Dach Straße.


APRIL 25

Our time in Berlin at a close, we bid farewell to the city and made our way to Potsdam for one last attraction – and one last UNESCO site – before heading home. Once reaching the palaces we began walking through the very extensive grounds. Took a few photo ops on the vineyard steps of Sanssouci, before entering to view the Rococo interior of Frederick the Great’s summer home. By 3.30 pm we hit the road again and drew a close to our cross country road trip.  Destination: Deurne.

Neues Palais Potsdam

Neues Palais: Just an extra palace for the occasional visitor…

Schloss Sanssouci Potsdam

Schloss Sanssouci in Potsdam – Posing in front of the lovely stairs overgrown with wine ranks leading into a beautiful Spring Garden. Makes for a great view from the upstairs balcony!

What is your favorite UNESCO World Heritage Site? And why?

Your comments are most welcome. I’d like to hear from you! 

* More photos can be found on this Facebook album. Sorry: only available for family and friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

English Deutsch Español Français Nederlands Português