This morning we said goodbye to everyone and left Laka. There were a few tears shed as we packed up the car and hit the road. We drove northwest toward Germany. I expected a 7 hour drive, but we got to the outskirts of Berlin in about 6 hours. For about the last 2 hours in Poland we drove through a road construction area. They are expanding the single lane road into a freeway. It was slow going. We couldn’t find any good places to stop for lunch either, so we just had some snacks along the way. By the time we got to the Berlin suburbs we were hungry enough to stoop so low as to go to McDonalds. We were ready for some American-style food.
Our hotel in Berlin (the Movenpick) is very modern and trendy. It is very different than the hotels we have stayed in the rest of the trip. Berlin is hip and lively. Since the architecture is new, a lot of the buildings are very modern and futuristic looking. The hotel is a couple of blocks from Potzdamer Platz, one of the main plazas of the city. Our room was on the top floor, with four big skylights in the ceiling.
In the evening we walked around the Potzdamer Platz. The day had been warm, and it was a nice summer evening for a city walk. There was an exhibit in the plaza about the Berlin Wall, including a section of the wall. There is a brick line in the roads and sidewalks showing where the wall used to stand. We then walked down a couple of blocks to the Brandenberg Gate. I read that the gate was constructed in 1791, and since then has been the symbol of Berlin. During the Cold War, the gate was just inside the eastern side of the wall. We had dinner in an Australian café in the Sony Center, a new entertainment complex adjacent to the Potzdamer Platz.