As we awoke in our room, the sheer height of the ceilings were impressive.  At least 18 to 20 feet high, it felt so open.  As I looked tot he right , four large windows greeted the daylight as it streamed into the room flooding it with a warm glow and a cool breeze.  The girls were understandably groggy and a bit cranky as I had to shake them a couple of times before I got them upright.  We got ready, went down fro breakfast, and headed out for a guided bus tour of the city.  On the tour we saw all of the big sites.  The Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, Pottsdamer Platz.  We also saw Schloss Charlottenburg, the skinniest office building in Germany, and the Berliner Dom.  We ended the bus tour at “Checkpoint Charlie”, and went to the museum there.  A very interesting museum filled with very clever ways people tried to escape the East.  Rigged suitcases, enlarged gas tanks and trunks, flying machines.  Someone even escaped succesfully through two surfboards sandwiched together.  We also managed to visit some of the Berlin wall that was still standing.  We wrote our names in silver sharpie on  a large black section of the wall that said “BERLIN” on it in very large white letters.  We have a picture of the girls pointing to our name “The Oehlers”.

After the fun of the museum visit and wall visit,  we spent our free time grabbing some lunch at the train station and heading out again to really get a good look at some of the spots we saw on the bus tour.  Most notably, we spent a decent amount of time in the Berliner Dom.  A glorious cathedral.  The girls and I went inside to behold the beautiful church.  Most interesting were the catacombs in the basement of the church.  Many coffins above ground, ornately decorated in the finest stone and the most intricut engravings and too many to number.  What was most striking were the numerous amount of small coffins, which is most tragic to imagine the pain of these parents, and all or most of these children could be living today if they hadour medicines and technology. 

We then walked down “Unter den Linden” to the Brandenburg Gate.  As we walked, Sophie rolled…on her Heelys.  She had every German head turning to watch her.  They seemed to enjoy the very American shoes.  One woman even stopped John and asked him where he had found these shoes.  He then had to explain in German to her that we were from America and we got them there, to which she was very dissapointed. 

We ended our time in Berlin eating chili and rolls in a mexican restaurant,  It was quite delicious, and was a nice ending to our time in Berlin.