Similar to last year, headed towards Hannover and a visit to Bergen-Belsen. I never see anyone mention this Concentration Camp on this forum and I wonder why? The exhibits here are the most extensive I have encountered and I can highly recommend a visit. There were lots of Germans here, including many school classes. If you go, plan on at least half a day. Cafeteria on site.
Then up to Berlin. Evenings here were a blast, with the World Cup going on and a huge fan mile for partying spread out from the Brandenburg Gate. Light show at the Reichstag on selected evenings and the weather was so pleasant, that strolling around was pure enjoyment. Lots of bachlor and bachlorette parties running around too. Outside cafes packed.
Visited Ravensbruck & Sachsenhausen. Lots of groups from many nationalities at Sachsenhausen, but hardly any at Ravensbruck. Not sure why, but again, no one on this forum talks about this KZ at all. Maybe the fact that it was mainly women, a large percentage of them Polish Catholic slave laborers & Jehovah Witnesses, makes people uncomfortable? I really hope that my mention will awaken some interest to plan a visit here. The housing for the female guards offers an interesting perspective on these cruel perpetraters. All text is in English & German. If you are visiting Sachsenhausen, make sure to go in the cellar of the museum which was once the kitchen. The walls and pillars all have pictures of veggies and fruit painted on them by the prisoners. I found this to be such a contrast with what they were probably getting to eat. The items made by the internees gives one a glimpse into how they tried to bring a teeny bit of beauty into their lives here.
Stopped by the Olympic Stadium, which though interesting, doesn't rate that high on my list of things to visit in Berlin. The films are fascinating if you have time to watch them. though.
Track 17 should be high on your list to visit while in Berlin. Very moving Memorial. Easy to get to with public transportation. Many school groups were here, as well as some buses with seniors from other nationalities. No Americans. Again, I wonder why.
Off to Potsdam. Stayed at a charming little hotel in the Dutch Quarter, Hotel zum Hofmaler. Good price, great breakfast & super friendly staff. Went on a Night Watchmans Tour to get some of the history of the town and the next day did as much of the Sans Soucci park as possible before getting rained out. The Windmill was cool and if you have kids, take them up here. Did both Sans Soucci and the Orangerie Palace. Though I liked both of them, found latter to be prettier. Climbed up to the top of the tower for a grand view of the park. Headed over to the Roman Baths and enjoyed that exhibit too. It was about how they tried to bring nature into their homes and palaces. Stunning porcelain pieces on show. Then, the Chinese Tea House. The tiny, older woman working in there is so tickled to show you where to stand to hear your magnified voice. The combi ticket that gets you in all of the palaces for the day is probably best. I got to Sans Soucci early morning and got in without waiting at all. The park was full, but because it is so spread out, it never feels crowded. I have put Potsdam on my list of one of the most attractive towns I have seen. The architecture is so beautiful. Lots of pastels, with that unique baroque styling, then add in the Dutch quarter with great brickwork, and the town is a winner. Lots of boutiques and small cafes to choose from. Had the best dark choc. ice cream here.
In Dresden now and the rain has just stopped. YAY!!! Walking tour booked with Dresden Walks, and am also going through the Fortress Tunnels at 10:00. Will write more later on my train trip home to Frankfurt. Dresden is gorgeous by the way.