This was, for the most part, our “explore the former Berlin Wall sites / East Berlin” day. But first of all, we went to the Zoologischer Garten S-Bahn station and took the city bus that runs the most touristy public transportation line from there to Unter den Linden, through the park and past the Brandenburg Gate etc. Then we walked to the Gendarmeriemarkt and to the Ritter Sport store that the kids absolutely wanted to see and shop in. We did our requisite chocolate shopping, and then went on to Checkpoint Charlie (nyah) and on to Potsdamer Platz and sat under the SONY “roof” structure for a bit; Kai was very upset that we couldn’t take the time (or money) to go to the Legoland that’s underneath the building, and I felt bad for him, but the fight about it was very unpleasant and marred my morning a bit. We took the U-Bahn to the Alexanderplatz instead, and once we’d had some pasta in a fairly nice restaurant with view of the tower and the Alex, things were better. We decided not to go up the TV tower, since there was a wait apart from an exorbitant fee; instead, we went on to the “East Side Gallery,” the last long stretch of the Berlin Wall that is still remaining, with paintings by various artists on the former Eastern side (including the famous ones of the Trabi breaking through the Wall and the Breshnew/Honecker kiss) and major, constantly renewed graffiti on the Western side. Part of this stretch runs along the Spree, and we sat down for a bit and both Kati and Mark skyped from that location to show Krynn and Mark’s parents the Wall. That was fun. Then we went by tram (first tram ride, not very useful in Berlin, actually–it was a big detour) to the Nordbahnhof, where there is a Berlin Wall memorial site right where the former French sector and the Russian sector met in such a way that the sidewalk belonged to the West, but the houses to the East, and a church was situated so it was attended from the West but sat in the East. The photos from the time when the Wall was built there, a recreated part of the “death strip” and the overall architecture of the Memorial were really interesting, so it was too bad that the kids were getting a bit too tired to give it their full attention. They did, however, walk with us to the next & last stop, the museum for contemporary art in the former Hamburger Bahnhof; we didn’t really have enough time, since we got there at 5 and it closed at 6, but we did get tickets for a special exhibit by Anthony McCall with “light sculptures” that was really intriguing to walk around in for 30 minutes. Hard to describe, though–light projected in pitch dark rooms that had fog machines in them, so that the light made these ghostly pyramid and cylinder shapes and looked like you could touch it or scoop it up. But by the end of that visit, we were beat–we picked up some more Asian noodle takeout (at 2.50 Euro without meat and 4.50 with, that’s both cheap and convenient) at the Hauptbahnhof and called it a day. We’d had good weather all day (warm and partly cloudy–very pleasant), and just as we got home, it started raining–so weather-wise, we really had the best weather possible for Berlin, and it was nice to spend the evening in. We chatted a bit with the landlord after dinner and then called it a night. I was so tired, so I didn’t even try to take a shower, and slept really well starting around 9 pm.