109 mph. Yep, that’s how fast our top speed was on the autobahn between Munich and Berlin. I know you are wondering why I didn’t punch it even further but think about it, there was way too much precious cargo in that car with Katie and her parents there and I wasn’t about to let my ego take over.
Dennis and Sherrill were amazing and rented a car so we could drive ourselves between our two destinations in Germany to see the countryside and give us a shot at the famed autobahn (i.e. the highway system in Germany with no speed limit). The rental place gave us a new Range Rover so Dennis and I were happy to see what it could do on the open road. Pretty sure Katie and Sherrill weren’t as amused in the backseat at the higher speeds. But the journey was a blast and we were amazed to see just how beautiful the German countryside is and how normal 90+ mph is for their drivers.
Along the route we made two stops: a quick fill up and Holocaust museum stop in Nuremberg then lunch and a walk around the quaint town of Bamberg. Both were great to break up the six-hour drive and good to experience. Like most Holocaust museums/landmarks it was pretty humbling and sobering, but definitely a must see.
We arrived just after dark to Berlin and made our way to our hotel and dropped off the car. We stayed in the north end of the city which put us right in the middle of a fun ethnic area of the city (aka great gyros and kebaps). Over the next few days we explored tons of the city including iconic things like the Berlin wall and checkpoint Charlie. In addition, we really appreciated our time walking the Jewish War Museum. It is a must see if you are the city and extremely well done.
One of days we ventured by train out to Oranienburg to visit the Sachsenhausen memorial and museum. This was a holocaust concentration camp and by far the saddest place we have ever seen. The sheer scale of the camp and what it was used for made your stomach sick. At one point I had to go sit outside of it all as you can only take so many stories, pictures and facts about a mass genocide. From a museum perspective they do a wonderful job of giving you tons of information in a digestible way. I walked away knowing much more than when I started even though the naïve part of me wishes I didn’t.
All in all, we loved our few days and Berlin and it was such a treat to get those extra days with family. Being away this long makes you really appreciate how much you see loved ones back home, so any time we were able to get over the past weeks was a real blessing.