BERLIN, GERMANY, August 30 – September 02, 2015 – Our 2015 Europe Rediscovered by VIP Private Jet is underway in Berlin, Germany. Everyone traveled on various flights from their hometowns to Berlin where they were met at their airport gate by VIP Assistants and whisked through Immigration and Customs to their private transfer to settle in at the Adlon Kempinki Hotel. We gathered in the Lobby Lounge for our Welcome Reception; frequented by Berliners to see and be seen!
In the elegant Bibliothek private dining room we enjoyed a memorable dinner with a preview of the adventures ahead and enjoyed our view of the sunset over Brandenburg Gate.
We started our discovery of Berlin on a sunny day. On Museum Island the curator of the Pergamon Museum took us back through the Ishtar Gate to the glories of Babylon times. Returning to the present we enjoyed lunch with panoramic views of the city monuments from the glass dome at the Reichstag building; down the block from the Brandenburg Gate location where President Reagan delivered his “… Tear down this wall…” speech. We drove through the formerly divided Berlin and stood puzzled with sad hearts at the Checkpoint Charlie border crossing, the focal point of the Cold War where the West-East divide began and ended. The Wall history and incidents are remembered and documented throughout the capital city of Berlin, now a center of art and architectural developments.
Our discovery of the area continued with a drive to Potsdam, the former seat of the Kings of Prussia. As we left Berlin we stopped in Grunewald Railway Station at the Gleis 17 Memorial, a somber reminder of the deportation trains that carried Berlin Jews to ghettos and extermination camps from this location from 1941 to 1945. A concrete monument depicting silhouettes of deportees stands near the track lined with steel commemorations inscribed with dates and other details of each transport.
In Potsdam more distant history was relayed to us by our excellent guide at the palaces and museums. It was a delightful day in the gardens of Sanssouci, the summer palace of Frederick the Great. After our delicious salmon lunch we visited Cecilienhof Palace, location of the Potsdam Conference of 1945 before our return to Berlin. There was still time to explore the KaDeWe Department Store and shopping avenues before dinner! Between our hotel and Brandenburg Gate we took the opportunity to see the rally cars participating in The Challenge Supercar Rally from Berlin to Istanbul starting on September 2.
We bid farewell to Berlin as we board our flight to Salzburg, enjoying the flexibility of our Private Jet with a stop in Dresden along the way!
Check out some photos from our first stop in beautiful Berlin… Click any photo to enlarge.
Click here to follow us on our adventure, next stop Dresden…