Monday, August 24, 2015

Day 11: Last Tourist Day

Last Tourist Day
Well, not really the last tourist day, but Chris goes back to work tomorrow, so we're ending our vacation.

Ticket machine (right)
and validator (left)
Another morning of rain. It is such a wonderful sound to hear and I really do wish we could send it to the PNW to help with the Washington and Oregon fires. I don't know how long in the night it has rained, but it stops by the end of breakfast, so perfect timing for us to go out and explore (note, today Chris is bringing umbrellas just in case and I don't argue this time!)

Now that we have the U-Bahn ticket system down (for now), we buy tickets successfully and the first time (the bill intake is now working, so that helps a lot). And we don't need to transfer, so it's straight away to Potsdamer Platz (another renovation created over rubble left behind from the Berlin Wall and the SED reign).

Reminders are all over. There are even representations in the center of the mall, as well
a few exhibits, including the photo on the right of the only way family members, separated
by thewall, were able to see each other by climbing ladders, lamp posts, etc.
Part of the Berlin Wall painted by Noir.
We walk around Potsdamer Arkaden, which is a three story shopping center, and just one of the buildings in Potsdamer Platz. Mostly window shopping and buying a few souvenirs, including items from the Amplemann store and the Thierry Noir store. The man running the shop today is from Virginia (I think that's what he said) and came to Berlin 35 years ago and decided to stay. He explained Noir is said to be the first person to paint the Berlin Wall. The artist chose simple designs (so he could paint fast, although he was arrested a few times) and a bright palette (to bring more colour) for his art. Out front of the building is a (relocated) section of the Berlin Wall to serve as an entrance.

We lunched in the "food court" and paid 50 cents to use the bathroom. So, if you want to ride the U-Bahn or use a bathroom, you MUST have small coins in your wallet! Keep those coins! I used to think it was important for parking at the library, but now... it's to make sure I can use a bathroom when needed! Thought: This sure seems like a way to punish those of us with small bladders. Unfair, I say.
At the Sony Center. Part of the fountain is "hovering" in the air, seems very futuristic (middle).

Embarrassing receptacles for the slushies (left)
Venice in a square (don't ask?)
Other thoughts: The Fanta orange drink here is more like sparkling orange juice. Xander is very unhappy about this problem, as he loves the Fanta from back home. But what do Europeans traveling to America think of our Fanta? Too syrupy? Too sweet? Nasty?

As we ponder these questions, we get a slushy from the local movie theatre, also taking note that Minions might be playing there now or soon, and perhaps we can actually see it there! The Sony center has a big movie theatre and most (if not all) are playing in English.

More of the Sony Center, including its ceiling.

Next on our walking tour is Checkpoint Charlie. Not the original, but a recreation of the original, complete with actors posing as guards asking for people's passports. Posing for pictures with you (for a fee) if you like. And of course, my favourite juxtaposition, McDonalds in the background. And P.S. I'm pretty sure those soldiers holding the U.S. Flag are NOT from the USA.

There is a "block-sized" exhibit across the street that we visit (much to the kids' impatience, it was hot in the sun). A quick look around for Chris and me, before moving on.

Next? Nespresso! Back to try more flavours and buy more capsules. We aren't out yet, but wanted to get more flavours. But we waited too long for our free shots, as the line got super long (I guess people know about the complimentary espressos and cappuccinos!)

So, we skipped it, after all, and just bought our capsules and headed down the street to our final destination of the day (the kids' dangling carrot finally achieved), Ritter Sport Bunte Schokowelt (colourful chocolate world?) Oh. My. God. The chocolate was overwhelming. Large. Lots. Crowds. Smells gooooood!
Ingredients for Chris and Diana's creations (left)
Our chocolatier getting the bubbles out (left-middle)
The many chocolate bars we got for less than 12 Euros and the chocolate spout (right-middle)
Meine Schoko Kreation (right)
Our first thing to do is to order our custom bars. You tell a chocolatier which chocolate to use and what three ingredients to add into your custom bar. Then, you have to wait 40 minutes for it to "chill" before picking it up. So we created our bars and then went into the shop area to see what damage we could do. We were a bit starry-eyed from the cheap prices. Having been to Ghiradelli and Tcho and we know how expensive chocolate can be. So at less than an Euro per bar, we went hog-crazy... I'm feeling a little sick to my stomach thinking about eating it all... but mostly just excited (we did wait until after dinner to try our bars, which were DELICIOUS, by the way).

The last thing of the day was to send the kids home (from the U-Bahn station) and Chris and I went to the Lidl market to get a few items. I am shopping a lot by picture. Thank goodness for pictures! So, I bought meat that had a picture of a cow and a pig on it, guessing it's either ground beef or a combination of beef and pork. Either way, it'll work!

Stop me, I've eaten half my custom bar!

No comments:

Post a Comment