Sunday, February 27, 2011

Willkommen in Deutschland

First stop, Berlin.  It is still one of our favorite places we've visited.  Thousands of years of history meet in Berlin; from ancient artifacts in the museums, to Hitler's "grave" and the Berlin wall, etc.  We'd definitely recommend it to any and all travelers coming to Europe and would recommend at least three days there.  Marijke's uncle Scott and his girlfriend Sandra wrote a great article about traveling to Berlin, check it out here.

Also, remember you can click on photos to see them larger, then click a second time to make them even bigger.

We were riding the train from Copenhagen to Berlin when all of a sudden the train stopped and they told us we had to exit the train.  We got off to find ourselves on a ferry.  We were really surprised as the ticket woman told us we wouldn't be taking a ferry on our trip.  It was really odd to have train tacks on the ferry, but it was nice to stretch our legs and eat some snacks.

A few train stations.  The Hauptbonhof (main train station--picture on the left) was massive and really modern.  The others were more historical and cute with interesting architecture, old tiling, etc.

We took a walking tour of Berlin and highly recommend them.  They're a great way to get to know a new city and make sure you hit all the big sites.  It really saves time when you can just follow a guide who knows where they are going and you get to learn all kinds of interesting background information about the buildings you're seeing.  They're also great resources to find out practical info like where to eat, etc. 

 The picture with Marijke in it is a museum today, but Hitler gave a number of speeches to Nazis from those steps and the photos of the huge rallies of Nazis were mostly taken here.  We ended up smiling in a lot of our Berlin photos, but it was a little weird as it is filled with such heavy history.

From top left going clockwise:  an interesting comparison between an idealized Nazi vision of Germany and a photo representing reality.  A monument remembering the "Book Burning",  it is supposed to represent a sterilized and empty library.  You have to look down into the ground to see it.  The statue was interesting as the hooded figure doesn't actually have a figure inside, just empty space--if we remember correctly, it's supposed to represent loss and suffering and sorrow of all people and the artist didn't want to portray a specific person.  A good example of non-exciting Nazi architecture.  Old facade of the Reichstag.

Top row, left to right: History Museum on "Museum Island," the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Richard on the bridge going to Museum Island with the "TV Tower" in the distance, street performers making bubbles on Pariser Platz.
Bottom row, left to right:  the US Embassy to Germany (had to get my fingerprints taken), train station, Brandenburg Gate and Richie's Currywurst.

Berlin Wall

Checkpoint Charlie 


The Reichstag Building--we went at 9 pm hoping to avoid a long line and still waited an hour to get in.  We're glad we got to go, though, as it's been closed to the public due to terrorist threats.

 A chocolate Reischstag

The Sony Center

Monday, February 21, 2011


Checking the map on our way to the temple; our delicious lunch; Irma; the bike lanes in Copenhagen.
 The Copenhagen, Denmark temple.

A few of the amazing buildings in Copenhagen.  The night pic is the church with the statues (or copies of statues?) of the twelve apostles and the Christus statue.

Joseph and Louise Jansen with new baby Aimee--such a little doll!  Richard and 'Jansen' served together as missionaries in Scotland.  They were kind enough to show us around Copenhagen, take us out to dinner, drive us around, take us to church, allow us to stay with Joseph's parent's, etc. etc.  Thanks for everything you did for us!  We had an amazing time and it was all possible because of them.  One thing we really enjoyed was the 'traditional Danish dinner' we had on Sunday.  Marijke had a sandwhich (open-faced, one piece of bread) with potatoes, radishes, hard-boiled eggs and a mayo-based sauce topped with fried onions.  Richard had a similar sandwhich but with fish and other meat.  They also had delcious chocolate and desserts.  Oh yeah, and we can't forge to mention the danishes!  They had lots of poppyseed pastries that were delicious, but unfortunately we didn't take any pictures.

 Danish Kroner

New Haven

Having fun with the soap someone put in the fountain; 'Del Boy' the Jansen's Rhodesian Ridgeback snuggling up with Richie next to Jansen's dad, Lasse; a little more Copenhagen.

We had a great time in Denmark and wished we could've stayed longer.  This was taken on our train to Berlin.
Farvel Danmark! 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Velkommen til Danmark

We are really behind on our blog, but we're going to conintue to update it in the order of our travels, hope you don't mind.

The ferry ride from Oslo to Copenhagen was more like a cruise with restaurants, activities, hot tubs and decks for lounging and comfortable cabins.  It was a great way to travel and we definitely recommend it--bunk beds and all :)  We'd also recommend paprika chips and that almond bread from Norway.