Day 16: Auf Wiedersehen…with tears and smiles…

Wakey-wakey, I’m here!! Your last day! Geez, it came faster than we wanted it to. We thought of all sort of reasons to stay another week, but unfortunately there were work commitments which could not be changed. Sigh. All good things come to an end. Like it or not.  😦  Yep, the holiday was now over, so we grudgingly had to pack our bonnie bags and head for home. After a somewhat long drawn out breakfast, we loaded the car, did all the necessary tidying and checks of the house, then locked the door. Believe it or not, but dropping the key into the safety box was not easy. That clink at the bottom of the metal box meant it was final. No getting back into the house anymore. Sob. Sniff. And to crown it all, it was the sunniest day we had experienced since we were there. Bright beautiful sunshine! Our gloom lasted for quite a while though, until we were well and truly on the very busy highway to Berlin. Yes, we were making another overnight stopover, to visit family again, and the thought of seeing them lifted our spirits. Yay!

Conclusion: Rügen was amazing. We had so much energy, probably due to the high quantity of iron in the water, hee…heee…fish, fish, and uhm fish, plus all the lovely fresh air. The house we lived in was well-equipped, big, quiet and good value for money…As it was surrounded by fields and farmland, we were lucky to always see the cranes flying overhead, mornings and evenings. Very early in the mornings….Noisy creatures! They also spent some days on one of the fields behind the house. Fantastic! We also walked nearly every day, taking in as much of the island as we could. It was not overly tiring to do so, just relaxing. It’s also better to know beforehand what kind of holiday you want, and when. We found the variety of accommodation facilities on offer quite overwhelming, as we’d never been to the island before. Whatever, in the end it was all good…after eeny-meeny-miny-moe…

Berlin - Brücke zum HauptbahnhofSome wonderful pictures of Berlin. This is the bridge over the river Spree, going towards the main station, and decorated with many finished and unfinished beer glasses. These were the leftovers from the previous night’s celebration of the Oktoberfest, a la Berlin…

Berlin - Kanzleramt    Berlin - Regierungsviertel

The building to the left, the ‘Kanzleramt’, is the official government office of Angie, the current Chancellor of Germany. In the forecourt is a rusted steel sculpture by a Spanish sculptor, and is simply called ‘Berlin’. Directly opposite (picture right) is another imposing government building, which is also called the washing machine. Hmmmm, wonder why….Probably because when cruising along the river Spree, one sees this big square concrete ‘cube’ with a big round hole in the middle. Inside are rows of windows, which looks like it was just plopped into the cube. This picture was taken of the front, and the cube is to the back somewhere…

Berlin - ReichstagThe Reichstag building, which was opened in 1894, severely damaged in a fire in 1933, and fully restored in 1999. The glass dome on the top has a 360 degree view over Berlin, and it is currently free to go up there. The queues are long though. L.O.N.G!

Berlin - Brandenburger Tor    Berlin - Brandenburger Tor

The Brandenburg Gate, a must-see in Berlin, was erected in the 1730’s, originally as a symbol of peace. It has been used for many different purposes, political or otherwise, from Napoleon to Kennedy, who, in 1963, proudly declared that he was a Berliner. In some areas in Germany, a Berliner is similar to a jam doughnut…just saying…This gate was also directly behind the then Berlin wall, on the former East German side. If you are facing the heads of the Quadriga (the horses on the top), then you’re in the former East Germany. If you’re facing the, dare it be mentioned, backsides, then you’re in the west.

Berlin - Jüdisches DenkmalThe Holocaust Memorial has about 2700 concrete slabs, in various sizes, and is situated near the Brandenburg Gate. There are no inscriptions on the slabs, but there is now a visitors centre erected underneath, for more information.

Berlin - Potsdamer PlatzPotsdamer Platz. A busy and bustling area, with traffic and more traffic. There are a lot of fancy hotels, various kinds of restaurants, business offices, entertainment and even a star walk of fame…Well, this is just a strip, or sort of an island, between two very very busy hooting and tooting roads. Yes, a star strip…uhm.

Berlin - Sony Centre                          Berlin - Sony Centre

The famous Sony Centre, with its conical roof which apparently represents Mount Fuji. The textile sails on the roof have these amazing light effects, seemingly changing its colours every few seconds or so, from reds to blues to other hues…Getting poetic now, not so???   😉  Sitting in one of the restaurants below, sipping juices or umbrella drinks, chatting or simply just people-watching, is a nice way to while away an hour or so…Try it!

Berlin - Sony Centre       Berlin - Sony Centre

Inside the centre. This cinema, picture left, is quite famous, and is used a lot for previews and presentations. Red carpet stuff. Yes, this is where the big and the not so well-known stars and starlets come to introduce their new movies.

Berliner Theater am Potsdamer PlatzTheatre. Dancing. Convening. And of course eating. Yum-yum-yummmm! At a restaurant a few short steps from here, we had the most divine, finger-licking lip-smacking spare-ribs ever. Okay, not ever, but in a long while. After eating fish for almost two weeks, it was positively hmmmm…

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