We left town Friday morning and headed towards Nuremberg or Nurnberg. We hit some traffic which is to expected with an upcoming holiday weekend. After parking we explored the Christmas Market in addition to seeing many churches along the way.
From there we headed towards Dresden which is where we would be spending the night. Dresden is in eastern Germany, along the banks of River Elbe. There was vast destruction during WW2, but the city has been restored.
We arrived early evening and checked into our hotel called Gewandhaus Dresden, Autograph Collection. The lobby and our room was very pretty and from our room we had a view of the Holy Cross Church. After we checked in, we explore the markets and area sites for the rest of the evening.
We first headed to the Dresden Striezelmarket which is the oldest Christmas market dating back to 1434. It is located in the historical city center. In the center of the market is the world's tallest Christmas pyramid. We walked around seeing more Christmas markets and different sites.
Early afternoon on Christmas Eve, we left Dresden and headed towards Berlin. On the way we made a detour to Gablenz, which houses Rakotzbrucke or known as Devil's Bridge. It would have love to see it in the fall when the leaves were changing, but winter is what I got. I came across this bridge while exploring Pinterest. We were very close to the Poland border and I wanted to do some Polish Pottery shopping but with it being Christmas Eve and rain was coming I didn't want to take a change. There is always this summer!
After a few more hours of driving we arrived in Berlin and checked into our hotel. We soon learned that our room had been upgrade to a junior suite, which was a very nice surprise and early Christmas present for us. It was early evening so we explored some of the sites.
We first headed to Checkpoint Charlie which was a best known border crossing during the Cold War.
Then explored Gendarmenmarket which had a Christmas market and the neue Church and franzosischer church. Then saw the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag.
As we explored Berlin we kept seeing bears and wondered why. Here is what I found:
The colourful Buddy Bears have become the cheery ambassadors from Berlin to the world.
Since 2002, the United Buddy Bears have been on world tour, promoting tolerance and the peaceful coexistence of peoples on all five continents. The tour was kicked off with a “Buddy Bear Berlin Show” in front of KaDeWe. Since then, the individually painted Buddy Bears have found homes across Berlin, bringing joy to young and old with their friendly appearance and providing the perfect selfie motif.
You can even load them into your google map so you can go all over the city and find them. I thought that was neat but didn't do it. I saw a few and was happy with that.
Merry Christmas from Berlin! Late Sunday morning in the rain and wind we explored more of Berlin. We headed towards Museum Island and on the way we saw the Berlin Cathedral and stopped by the Radisson Blue which has a huge fish tank in the lobby. We arrived at the Pergamon musuem and had to wait in line for over an hour to go inside, I guess everyone had the same idea we had, but it was worth it! We were able to see the Ishtar Gate. After exploring the museum we stopped by the Christmas market, then spent the rest of the day relaxing in our hotel room. We left the next day for home!
A teacher who loves traveling the world.