|"Greetings from Twente": Paul was my co-pilot that day and we reluctantly ended up at a McDonalds restaurant just off the highway to get a bite to eat, or in Paul's case, a big bite.|
Vincent and the kids eventually arrived about 90 minutes later. The first order of business was to fill up with water and we met a number of animated German campers who were excited to see our California license plates and learn how far we had traveled. Later, a man and his child also came by and congratulated us on having the courage to undertake this journey.
That evening, we walked over to the Holm-Seppensen snackbar and we all had a pretty underwhelming dinner; it was some sort of diced sausage in curry sauce with fries on the side. It could only be described as dreadful.
|CampingPlatz Holm-Seppensen is scenically situated on a small lake, surrounded by trees, and is equipped with a playground.|
We arrived at the Town Apartments without being stopped, yet feeling the stress, nonetheless. (This must be what it feels like to be transporting contraband goods with the worry of not making a traffic infraction or drawing any attention to our driving; not easy with California license plates.) I was relieved to find that Town Apartments provided underground parking and so the car wouldn't be visible on the street.
After checking in and getting settled, we walked out to get something to eat and found a great place for tapas. We walked by Checkpoint Charlie, named by the Western Allies, which was a main crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War. What's standing there today is actually a copy of the guard house and a sign that once marked the border crossing.
|"Actor" soldiers posing for the camera.|
|Going for an evening stroll, we passed the Bunesrat on Leipziger Strasse. It was completed in 1904 and was used by the upper chamber of the Prussian parliament. Today, it is used by the Bundesrat, one of the five constitutional bodies in Germany.|
|A Volkswagon used to smuggle people across the border: Those wanting to escape the GDR had to become increasingly creative in their desperate efforts.|
|Many people trying to flee East Germany did so via braving the Baltic. It is estimated that nearly 200 people died in escape attempts via the Baltic Sea.|
|The exhibition displays several propaganda posters used to illustrate that the elderly, the infirm, Jews etc were a burden to society.|
|There are numerous photographs that document key participants and events. This one was titled, "Taking a Break from Mass Murder" which was taken at the SS Retreat Sola-hütte near Auschwitz (late summer 1944).|
|Entry hall to the German Historical Museum.|
The German Historical Museum's permanent exhibition covers around 1500 years of Germany’s past. Some 7000 artifacts and exponents tell of people, ideas, events and historical developments from the 5th century to the end of the 20th century. The museum also hosts a number of outstanding temporary exhibitions throughout the year. A visit here really requires a full day and even at that, one would not be able to take in everything.
|The museum features an inviting restaurant. Here we are having lunch and hoping to gain energy to tackle and take in more of the exhibitions.|
|File photos of inmates at the Auschwitz concentration camp, 1942.|
|Powerful visual illustrating the fracturing of Nazi Germany by 4 key Allies.|
|At the "short end" of the memorial, one is inclined to sit and rest....and reflect. Many probably take this moment to check email if one had a smart phone.|
|The further one walks into the memorial, there is a growing feeling of claustrophobia. One feels dwarfed and consumed by these stelae. Many children visiting here however have a strong urge to play hide and seek, my own included.|
|The Berlin Jewish Museum is one of the largest Jewish museums in Europe and covers 2 millennia of German-Jewish history.|
|Ongoing tapes of Nazi trials are shown as well as interviews with German citizens asking their opinion of whether or not alleged Nazi supporters should still be convicted for their crimes.|
|A lot of old, familiar equipment is on display on the "Wall of Hardware".|
|The Apple II (1977) is widely accepted as the product that kick-started the personal computer industry.|
|Visitors can try out a number of devices and games. Here, Sarah is playing on the Nintendo 3DS (2011).|
|We all tried out wipEout HD (2010) on the Sony 3-D monitor (2010).|
|And the old arcade games were kind of fun too.|
On June 6th, it was time to press our luck and take the Prius out of hiding in the garage and leave Berlin. We gratefully managed to get out of the city without getting pulled over and we arrived back at CampingPlatz Holm-Seppensen after about a 4 hour drive.
On June 7th, we drove to our next destination, DCU Absalon Copenhagen Campground, on the outskirts of Copenhagen. James was my co-pilot. We took the Scandlines ferry from Puttgarden to Roedby. The crossing took only about 45 minutes, just long enough to have an open-faced shrimp and egg sandwich.
|A final farewell and glance back at Germany.|
On June 8th, we went to the Nationalmuseet (National Museum) in Copenhagen which is Denmark's largest museum of cultural history, where one can follow the history of the Danes right up until present day. Like many Scandinavian museums, the National Museum has a fantastic area dedicated for children. In fact it's set up as a separate entity, the Children's Museum. And to make this stop a complete no-brainer, the museum is free.
|At the Children's Museum, kids can dress up and pilot a ship.|
|They can wear authentic viking armor (realistic also weight-wise) and ride into battle to defend the fortress.|
|They can help each other build a wall.|
|They can shop.|
|The can prepare food. What's on the menu? Herring, of course.|
|They can go to school in a 1920's classroom. The kids spent an unusually long time here; perhaps they were missing the real thing.|
|The glass-ceiling foyer is an excellent architectural feature, providing as much light as possible during those short, dark winter days.|
|Christiansborg Palace with a statue of Christian IX in the distant courtyard.|
|How many silly tourists can you stuff into a guard's house?|
|Statue of Bishop Absalon (1128-1201). He has an interesting story, too detailed to add here but in general was known for supporting a time of peace in Denmark following periods of civil war.|
|A view of the Copenhagen Rådhus (city hall) tower from Vester Voldgade.|
|Mock battle ensues.|
|The red team lost. Or maybe they collapsed from heat stroke; it was uncharacteristically hot.|
|Paul purchased a crossbow and spent some time aiming at unsuspecting targets.|
|Are this mother and son actors or did they too collapse from heat stroke?|
|Tivoli opened in August 1843 and is the second oldest amusement park in the world after Dyrehavsbakken (opening in 1583) just north of Copenhagen.|
I discovered that visiting Tivoli during the spring/summer is a very different experience than doing so off-season. And we could not have been there on a more perfect day. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the colors of the gardens, buildings and rides were so rich and brilliant. I believe this was my favorite theme park experience I'd ever had. Many of the rides were unique and most had some kind of story to tell in the design details. We had such a wonderful time here and highly recommend it for families visiting the Copenhagen area.
|The Nimb Hotel, opened in 1909, is a 5-star hotel built in a Moorish-inspired style located right on the Tivoli grounds.|
|The Star Flyer: It's a classic swing ride but rises up 80 meters making it one of the highest carousel rides in Northern Europe. How Paul got me on this ride, I'll never know. Absolutely terrifying for those of us afraid of heights.|
|The Vintage Cars and Sarah's 15 minutes with the communal soda cup.|
|We rode the giant octopus on Nautilus: Riders themselves control moving up and down as they go around, and then touch down on water.|
|Ever wonder what it would be like to fly a WWII dive bomber? Then Veritigo is the ride for you. Riders experience 5 Gs going 100 km/hr. Nope, didn't ride this one.|
|Paul, Sarah and I on the Temple Tower: You have to work on this one which requires that riders pull themselves up in order to get the "drop experience". Requires upper body strength folks! Sarah wasn't pleased about the manual labor part.|
|Fantastic ice cream to help cool off on an unusually warm day.|
|What kind of prize can you win playing games at Tivoli? Massively-sized Marabou chocolate bars, of course.|
|The current building of the City Hall was inaugurated in 1905. It is the headquarters of the municipal council and Lord Mayor of the Copenhagen municipality in Denmark.|