Thursday, September 30, 2010


We arrived safely via bus to Berlin.  The kids did great on the bus and enjoyed getting to go along with the "big kids" aka the MSU students.  We stopped at Wittenberg and saw Luther's church.  Really cool.  We climbed the 289 steps up to the top of the church tower to look out over the city.  Beautiful view, bonus workout.  Pics to come later, our hostel has a slow internet connection.

Tonight after getting settled we visited KaDeWe.  Its one of the largest department stores in Europe and was a PR tool for the west during the GDR days.  Amazing place.  Not kid friendly, but super cool.  The first time we REALLY longed for a babysitter since we arrived.  Tim and I could enjoy an evening there.  Yes, I know I am the non-shopper with the even more non-shopping husband, but this is no store, its an experience.

They have counters you can sit at and eat gourmet foods as well as an amazing buffet style restaurant.  We planned to eat there, but there was nothing for kids and it was really expensive.  A coke was 4,90 euros.  The food was well into double figures for a basic meal, but it all looked fabulous.  The gourmet floor was the most interesting- a champagne counter with hundreds of varieties, seafood, pasta, etc all cooked up for you by a professional chef as you watch.  There is 1/2 of one floor devoted to gourmet sweets.  Incredibly expensive, very unique.  The seafood bar had every fish and crustacean I have ever heard of including octopus.  They had a section of American food you can't get in Europe.  I was very tempted to buy some bisquick!  The kids drooled over the pop tarts, cake mixes, and M&M Mars candy.  None of it had prices, so we assume you aren't supposed to feel the need to ask.  We felt not only out of our culture, but out of our socioeconomic group as well.  Had we been there with no kids we would have eaten some really great food and enjoyed a few hours in a very unique place.  Instead we went down the street to the Lego store and watched our kids have a blast playing, ate McDonalds and came back to the hostel.  Here is a website so you can see for KaDeWe for yourself.

Picture an east German knowing about this store while living in a world where you had to wait in line and hope for groceries.  Reportedly when the wall fell this was one of the major places the east Germans first wanted to go.

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