My hotel is an old renovated 19th century apartment house on the west side of Berlin. There’s no elevator and 48 stair steps between the door to the building and the door to my room. As you can see it’s a nice sized room, but one little caveat, my private bathroom is down the hall. I love quaint, but it will be a challenge come the middle of the night when I need to make that quick bathroom run. April 25, 2016

The remnants of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Originally built in the 1890s, it was damaged during the 1943 bombings. April 25, 2016

A close up of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church clock. April 25, 2016

I’m not sure why I’m so fascinated by these street lights, but I am. They have a history all their own in Berlin…Ampelmännchen…as being one of the few features of communism to survive unscathed. This sign obviously means stop. April 25, 2016

And, this Ampelmännchen means go. April 25, 2016

Since I didn’t get any sleep on the airplane and I needed to keep moving, hydrated and fed, I thought stopping in at this quaint little Italian restaurant down the street from the hotel would be a wise choice to end my day. How could I go wrong with a name like Mamma Monti? Sometimes the language barrier is just that, a barrier to the Italian I’m familiar with and the Italian on a German menu. Since I couldn’t read the menu, I didn’t find out until I was seated in a nice cozy corner that this is vegan Italian. Goodbye meatballs! Hello salad! April 25, 2016

At the end of the Museo Della Sbarco in Catania, Sicily, was a memorial to all the fallen shoulders, some 14,864. The photo shows the British cemetery in Catania. April 25, 2017

Another iconic Berlin site is Checkpoint Charlie. It is an important symbol of the Cold War, because it came to epitomize the separation between east and west. After the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961 by the East German government to prevent its citizens from fleeing to the more prosperous West, President John F. Kennedy ordered the U.S. forces to build three checkpoints at different locations along the wall so diplomats and allied forces could enter West Berlin. Checkpoint Charlie became the most famous. April 26, 2016

I was so hungry at dinner time that I started eating before I remembered to take the picture. I’m at Mar y Sol, a Spanish tapas restaurant in Savignyplatz, the section of Berlin where I’m staying. I’m enjoying chorizo, herbed potatoes and shrimp boiled with red peppers and garlic. And, to top it off, I’m having a glass…well two glasses…of Tinto de Verano…red wine with lemonade on the rock, that’s correct just one ice cube. It was all quite delicious! April 26, 2016

This iconic television tower, called Berliner Fernsehturm, was launched in 1958 and can be seen from anywhere in the city. April 26, 2016

The adorable street light and beloved symbol of Eastern Germany, called the Ampelmännchen, has a souvenir store of his very own. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Ampelmännchen acquired cult status and has become a popular souvenir item for tourists…like me. April 26, 2016

The Berlin Cathedral called the Berliner Dom may look very old but it was actually completed in 1905 to look old and as the Protestant counterpart to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. April 26, 2016

Originally built around 1818 as a guard house, this Greek looking temple is now a memorial to war victims and is called the Neue Wache, the New Guardhouse. April 26, 2016

Inside the middle of the New Guardhouse is this incredible statue called the “Mother with her Dead Son.” The original small statue was designed in 1938 by Käthe Kollwitz – who lost her youngest son in the First World War – as a sort of pietà. The statue in the Neue Wache is a copy created in 1993 by Harald Haacke who made his version much larger. April 26, 2016

Humbolt University is part of a large square called Bebelplatz, the scene of the infamous Nazi book burning campaign in 1933. April 26, 2016

The very famous Brandenburg Tor or Gate was originally the main entrance and part of a wall surrounding Berlin. It opened in 1871 and was built as a sign of peace. April 26, 2016

A close up of what is called the Quadriga, a chariot with four horses and what used to be the goddess of peace, Eirene. However, in 1806 when Berlin was occupied by French troops, Napoleon ordered the Quadriga to be taken to Paris. After Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, the Quadriga was triumphantly brought back to Berlin, and was turned into a symbol of victory instead of peace. An iron cross and eagle were added to the laurel wreath. April 26, 2016

This is all that is left of what use to be Hitler’s underground bunker. It is now a parking lot. Also, above ground were the Reich Chancellery buildings which were leveled by the Soviets in 1945 after Hitler’s suicide. April 26, 2016