Welcome to part two (of four) of my trip to Germany and some surrounding countries! After exploring western Germany – and a side trip to Paris – it is time to see some of eastern Germany.

The majority of my time during this segment will be based in Berlin. This is for a couple reasons. First, the city has a ton to see and do. Second, this is where my familial connections to Germany are most recent, as my father’s side of the family is from here (and my father even spent two year-long periods here as a child), and my mother’s first cousin still resides here.

The basic itinerary is below. Remember, it is subject to minor changes based on any number of factors, but I’ll try to stick as close to it as possible.

Day One – Paris to Berlin

My flight gets in pretty late (this was done on purpose to give me a mostly full day in Paris before flying from Orly) so I’ll basically just be checking into my Airbnb in Prenzlauerberg – formerly east Berlin and now a hipster neighborhood – and going to bed.

Days Two Through Seven – Berlin

Where do I start with this city? Seriously, where? I know I’ll be purchasing a three day museum pass and spending those days trying to visit as many of Berlin’s world-class museums as possible. I know I’ll be exploring the Jewish history here, and seeing what is said to be one of the most powerful Holocaust memorials in the world. I know I’ll be trying to experience the world’s largest expat Turkish community, at least through their food. There is so much, and I’m not limited on time, so I’ll try to get to all of it.

Day Eight – Berlin to Hamburg

I wasn’t originally planning to visit Hamburg. But with two free IHG hotel nights needing to be used, and an insane number of recommendations for the city, I gave in. The high speed train is fairly quick, and I’ll spend my first afternoon wandering the city’s interior, around the shores of the Außenalster.

Day Nine – Hamburg

Today is the city’s waterfront. My day will begin at Miniature Wunderland, home to the world’s largest model train setup. Then I’ll explore the former warehouse district of Hafencity that is now apparently a fairly chic housing development. I hope to also take a harbor cruise and visit the Maritime Museum.

Day Ten – Hamburg to Berlin

A morning train will take me back to Berlin, and TRT writer Mandy Meehan will be meeting me there!

Days Eleven Through Seventeen – Berlin

Back in Berlin, and more fun things await! I’ll explore the history of East Germany at the DDR Museum, experience the Berlin Wall at Checkpoint Charlie, climb the dome of the Reichstag, visit the Brandenburg Gate, and take a day trip (or two) to Potsdam and its immense palaces built by Frederick the Great.

One other exciting set of activities is on the docket. I’ll be exploring some family history, visiting the house my great-grandparents lived in (and my father during his childhood), seeing a statue of my great-grandfather, and visiting a neighborhood named for him. And yes, I’ll be telling his story.

Day Eighteen – Berlin to Dresden

Another fairly quick train or bus gets me to one of the most important cities of eastern Germany: Dresden.

Days Nineteen through Twenty-One – Dresden

Dresden is probably best known for being bombed nearly into oblivion in a single night during World War Two, an event captured by Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. While most of it has been rebuilt, there are still ruins left as memorials to that terrible night and the death caused. My highlights for my visit include the magnificent Frauenkirche, the Zwinger museum complex, and the Green Vault – where some of the most valuable jewels on the planet were stolen several years ago.

Day Twenty-Two – Dresden to Prague

It’s off to Prague, and part three of the trip!

As always, articles from this portion of the trip will be well behind my actual visits, so the best way to follow along is via my Instagram page, where I’ll be posting daily highlights.

Below is a map of eastern Germany. Hamburg is at the top left, with Dresden at the bottom right, and Berlin just up from there.

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