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Adventures With Robin

Your Go-To Travel Source

Welcome! This space serves as a platform for travel agent Robin Norell to share her trips, experiences and expertise with you. Exceeding your customer service expectations is Robin’s primary goal. Having worked for Disney for 2.5 years, she knows how to make your vacation magic. 

Robin has visited 25 countries (Caribbean, Europe, Asia) and 31 states, and has been on 26 river and ocean cruises (so far), visited Disney World, Disneyland and Disneyland Paris multiple times, and she is happy to share her travel experiences and knowledge with you to make your vacation the best it can be.

Robin has been awarded the distinguished certifications of CLIA’s (Cruise Lines International Association) ACC (Accredited Cruise Counselor) Certification, as well as earning her CTA (Certified Travel Associate) certification, has completed the College of Disney Knowledge, and continues to learn more about the travel industry every day.

Excelling in administration and customer service, she takes care of all the details, leaving you free to relax and enjoy!

Independent Vacation Planner

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March 26. More of Berlin

Tuesday March 26 

Berlin


Today’s plan was to meet at 10am (when they open) at Steel Vintage Bikes. They surprised me – Maggie joined us! Yay!


Yes it’s a bike shop, but it’s also a restaurant. And it was great – chocolate pancakes (that were each probably an inch high), pancakes with berries, French toast croissant – all delicious.



After breakfast, which was actually in a restaurant/building located on top of what was formerly Hitler’s bunker, we walked to the Brandenburg gate again – the sun was out and they thought I would like pictures with the sun.




Ines and Martin are having fun with my visit – they’re playing tourist in their own backyard and doing things that they have either never done or haven’t done in a very long time! I’m so glad – I didn’t want them to feel like tour guides (although they were) and not enjoy what we were seeing.


They had purchased 12:30pm tickets for a Berlin Under the Wall tour (thankfully they purchased the English version tickets). We met at an area in the former East Berlin, and walked down into a “building” that was created between the subways down deep and the streets above. It was built in the mid 1920s, but before they could finish the building, the economic Depression of 1929 came, so it remained empty space. In WW2 it was used as a bunker, and in the 70s it was used as an atomic bunker (although it wouldn’t have offered that level of protection).




They didn’t allow pictures on most of the tour (just a couple places). The tour guide was from Amsterdam, and he was quite a performer! He added drama to the stories and spouted out so much information, it was a great tour!



We learned about the construction of the wall, but mostly stories about those who tried to go under the wall. Some through the sewers, some through the train tunnels, others by digging their own tunnels. We walked from room to room and often there were benches to sit on while he spoke. Lots of photos, maps, and drawings. We took the subway to their “storefront,” and they took us to the remains of one of the tunnels.



It was a 2-hour tour, and when we left we walked through a park commemorating the wall, with a map of the area showing the wall, the guard watchtowers, and with markers on the ground showing the locations of some of the tunnels below.


We then went to sit and have coffee and tea. We went to Espresso House, and it was great! Ines and Martin had cappuccino (big ones) and I had a hot chocolate that was part milk chocolate and part white chocolate, which made it a bit less sweet than other hot chocolates and it was delicious. We also had snacks – muffins, cheesecake, and a chocolate chip muffin with caramel in the middle.










We next walked to Checkpoint Charlie – this was one of the few gates between East and West Berlin. If you held a West Germany passport (or a passport from any country other than East Germany, Poland, or Russia), you could go and visit East Germany and come back out again. Of course, like today, once you enter an area like that there is always the chance you won’t come out.


This sight was made famous by the 1961 Berlin Crisis, which had American and Russian tanks standing off just feet from each other before the situation was eventually de-escalated.




In this area there are a lot of museums, and even a theater in the round – so many opportunities for history lovers!


Our next stop was a sweet one – Rausch chocolate shop. So many Easter chocolates, chocolate models of the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate and other buildings, and so many chocolates! I bought some marzipan filled ones, and some little chocolates with Easter wraps on them for Alyx and her boys.




Next we walked to a big square – this is where the books were burned, right outside of the Humboldt University. There is a hole with plexiglass over, looking down into empty bookshelves, to signify the lost books.


















We then visited the Neue Wache, Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Victims of War and Tyranny - a small stone building with one statue inside.


We walked past the German History Museum, an interesting blend of old and new (a glass enclosed spiral staircase is on the side of the building). Then we walked through the Museum Island, where many historic buildings hold museums.



And finally dinner – at Dean and David, where Luis met up with us. Maggie had thought of that earlier and they have a bunch of locations. Reminds me of SweetGreen – bowls with various options of salad, vegetables, grains (rice, quinoa), and protein (tofu, chicken, shrimp, etc.). They also had smoothies, so we each had a smoothie and a bowl.



Ironically this was just around the corner from where we ate last night (and had such a hard time finding a place to eat) – we should have just walked a little further!

We finished dinner around 7, and I think everyone was tired (18,400 steps, 7.6 miles today), so they hugged me good-bye as I got into my Uber car.


So sad to leave them – they are truly good friends, more like family. I told them that next year, before our cruise from Amsterdam, I have to bring Vic here – to see them, and to see all the World War 2 history here. Fingers crossed!

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Robin is an Independent Travel Planner who has been awarded CLIA's (Cruise Line Industry Association's) Accredited Cruise Counselor Certification and The Travel Institute's Certified Travel Associate designation. Her excellent service is yours at no cost - she's paid by the suppliers (hotel, cruise line, etc.), nor does she charge a fee for services. She may even save you money over booking it yourself, as she follows all the specials and will get you a better price after you book with her. When you are planning a family vacation or celebrating a special occasion through travel, you want the best experience possible, and Robin is ready to help you! She provides excellent customer service, and your happiness and satisfaction is her top priority. With the knowledge gained by her extensive travel experience (25 countries, 31 states, and 26 cruises so far) and customer service experience (2.5 years employed at Walt Disney World Resort), she's excited and ready to help you plan new adventures!

Location: Alexandria - VA
Email: Robin.Norell.Travel@gmail.com
Phone: (567) 307-3476
Toll-Free: (866) 779-4830

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