Over the past week we have returned to Germany, going back to Hamburg and Berlin with a few more things to see before leaving the country. We spent a few days in each city, revisiting some of the highlights and seeing a few sights we had missed previously.
On return to Hamburg we had missed two big things: going to the top of the St. Michaelis Church, and Miniature Wonderland. The second of those sounded like a pretty silly thing to go see (which is why I had skipped it on my first visit), but people insisted that it was worth a visit. Turns out, they were all correct. Our bike tour and church tower visit weren’t uniquely interesting or noteworthy, but the miniature wonderland exhibit was really a fun visit. It is the largest small railroad in the world, and has mini versions of Hamburg, “Middle-Germany”, parts of America, an imaginary town, an airport, some of Sweden, and other little cities or countries that they decided to include. We probably spent an hour and a half just marveling at the mini world with it’s trains, planes, cars, boats, and people filling the little world.
After returning to Hamburg we returned to Berlin! We didn’t get to spend a lot of time in Berlin on our last visit, but there weren’t that many more sights for us to look for on our return. We had already done a tour of the city and seen famous memorials, so this time the big highlight was the fact that we were able to see a Germany game of the Euro 2016 competition while we were there! We went to the Brandenburg Gate, where the city has closed down all nearby roads and set up a massive viewing area for watching the Germany games of the competition. It was really cool to see something like that in a European country. Apart from watching a lot of soccer while we were there, we also did a bike tour and visited the top of the Reichstag building. The bike tour was the first time that someone pointed out the bullet holes in the city to me. Many buildings have bullet holes from the Soviet push through the city, and most buildings have left them unfilled. It’s a very interesting remnant of the Second World War in the city.
Overall, it was a fun return to a couple of great cities, and now we look on to Amsterdam as our second to last stop!