Unfortunately I didn't have a great night sleep last night but Andrew had a good 12 hours so managed to catch up on the sleep he missed out on the night before. Not only was I the last to sleep but was the first to rise and barely slept in between but thankfully I felt fine and was excited about visiting some more amazing sights in this gorgeous city we were in.
We had a leisurely breakfast at the apartment before heading out which was great because there was no rush and no bother. Mum and John went out and bought some fresh bread and pastries and we had bought some other bits and pieces the night before so we had a yummy meal to start the day.
We caught the tram in to the city centre where we wandered and came across a neat wee artists market which Mum and I absolutely loved. The boys were striding ahead a bit and weren't that keen but hung in there and Johnny ended up coming across a stand that were roasting chestnuts so he bought some. It was really neat because we all stood there in the freezing cold cracking the skins of the chestnuts and thoroughly enjoying the taste and warmth of them! Something I will never forget!
We then decided to wander on and we came across a boat cruise that was about to depart so John grabbed us some tickets and we all hopped on. It was lovely cruising down the river and taking in all the sights from a completely different aspect. We had a full commentary but it was mainly in German and if he spoke in English we struggled to understand everything but it was well worth it. We saw lots of things we hadn't seen yet and took lots of great photos!
When we got off the boat we decided it was time to find a nice place to have lunch and we ended up at a popular Vietnamese Restaurant called Shi-Mai which we thoroughly enjoyed. It had a great atmosphere and was simply delicious food. Casual, cheap and cheerful so was perfect!
After our lunch we discovered a shop that was filled with merchandise of the green man from the crossing lights and it appears that he is a real modern icon of Berlin. He has a hat and is clearly strolling at a fast pace and as Mum suggested he is almost a symbol of moving on or walking towards a better future. I suppose anyone can take what they want from this but he has become a prominent famous Berlin icon.
Anyway after looking at a few shops we caught a bus to the Holocaust Memorial which was fascinating and upsetting at the same time.
The Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe is located near the Reichstag and the underground bunker where Hitler committed suicide. The designer has said, "I want it to be a part of ordinary, daily life. People who have walked by say it's very unassuming... I like to think that people will use it for shortcuts, as an everyday experience, not as a holy place."
The memorial consists of about 2,700 concrete slabs ("steles") arranged in a grid pattern covering 19,000 square meters. The steles are 2.38m long, 0.95m wide and vary in height from 0.2m to 4.8m. The ground slopes unevenly. Visitors are encouraged to walk between the steles; the memorial can be entered from all sides and offers no prescribed path.
We were all quite blown away by this and after chilling out for a drink at a local cafe we headed back for dinner at a restaurant near the apartment. We found an Italian restaurant called Al Dente and once again we were very impressed by the food and service. We did chuckle a little about the fact that we hadn't really eaten any traditional German food yet but it seems that's the way of life in Berlin. They eat all sorts of foods and take in all different cultures much like New Zealanders really. Another fantastic day!