We left our hotel at 8.00am and our coach driver took us on a city tour of Copenhagen passing the Little Mermaid and the Amalienborg complex of palaces. We had a few hours free time at City Hall Square where Pete and I enjoyed a relaxing coffee break in a little cafe near the square before our long drive ahead.
In the afternoon we headed for Gedser for a 2 hour Ferry crossing to Rostock, Germany. We were able to do some duty free shopping and the alcohol was so cheap. Then onward by road arriving in Berlin at 6.30pm. We checked into our hotel, the Park Inn Berlin Alexanderpand and met Dolly, Sandy and Martin in the foyer for a night walk past the Fernsehturm TV Tower and onto the Brandenburg Gate.
The tower was constructed in 1965 by the administration of the German Democratic Republic. It was intended as a symbol of Berlin, which it remains today, as it is easily visible throughout the central and some suburban districts of Berlin. With its height of 368 metres, it is the tallest structure in Germany, and the second tallest structure in the European Union.
The Brandenburg Gate is an 18th-century neoclassical monument and it is built on the site of a former city gate that marked the start of the road from Berlin to the town of Brandenburg an der Havel. One block to the north stands the Reichstag Building, which houses the German parliament. The gate is the monumental entry to Unter den Linden, the renowned boulevard of linden trees, which led directly to the royal City Palace of the Prussian monarchs. The Brandenburg Gate was often a site for major historical events and is today considered not only as a symbol of the tumultuous history of Europe and Germany, but also of European unity and peace. The Quadriga on top of the Brandenburg Gate was built in 1793 and it is a chariot drawn by four horses abreast. It was raced in the Ancient Olympic Games and represented the chariot of gods and heroes. The quadrigas were emblems of triumph, victory and fame. The Quadriga was magnificent lit up at night.
We continued walking to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. It is a memorial that is a stele-field which can be approached and walked through from all sides, serving as a central place for remembering and reminding people of the Holocaust.
On an area of about 19.000 square metres, the architect Peter Eisenmann set up 2.711 concrete pillars - so-called steles - of varying heights to create a grid-like structure. The terrain is smooth yet unevenly inclined. You can enter the structure from all four sides and thus the wave-like shape of each side is perceived in a different manner depending on you stand.
The extraordinary design, which was revised several times, represents a radical approach to creating a monument. The memorial is also complemented by a well-designed underground information centre, which was also designed by Eisenmann, possessing an unique form of architecture which encompasses 800 square metres, where visitors can learn about the victims of the Holocaust and the various places of horror. We continued on through the Embassy area which was patrolled by Police and the Parliament Building and Chancellors Office. We noticed on the Pedestrian road crossings Ampelmannchen (little traffic light men with hats on, one red and one green). There is a bit of cold war history attached to these icons but just about every souvenir shop has some form of Ampelmannchen for sale, T Shirts, coasters, hats, magnets etc.
We arrived back at our Hotel after 10pm and had a nightcap then bed because we had an early start next morning.