We debated whether or not to go to Berlin because of the 3-hour bus or train ride each way, and it ended up being a highlight of our cruise. We booked a tour through SPb Tours, and we were very happy. Our guide, Heather, was a history PhD from America, and she had lived in Berlin for the last 10 years. She was very passionate and knowledgeable. We had 22 people on our tour, compared to much larger groups on the HAL excursion. We also booked our St. petersburg tour through SPb, and then got a discount. Plus, it was less expensive than HAL to begin with. We had a photo op at the Olympic Stadium, then drove by the Charlottenburg Palace and the Victory Column, and then visited the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church for about 30 minutes, which was bombed in WW II and which they did not restore to show the futility of war. Then we drove to the Reichstag (Parliament Building), where we got out and walked with our guide for awhile. We visited the Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial, and then stopped at a cute little cafe for a German lunch. Then we walked to the bunker where Hitler committed suicide, and walked to Museum Island and Gendarmenmarkt. Then we got back on the bus and drove to Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall. Then we got back on the bus for our drive back to Warmemunde.
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