The Day of Museums
Trip Start Jun 07, 2010
23Trip End Jun 30, 2010
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Where I stayed
Before we did that though we had a nice little breakfast at our hotel. Nothing fancy, bread, spreads, tea/coffee, cereal, fruit, and juice. It really hit the spot. I like the bread here with sunflower seeds on it. So tasty!
After our breakfast we decided to walk to Museum Island. It was a bit of a hike but well worth it. We stopped at a bakery on the way and bought chocolate pastries and water.
Because its Sunday a lot of places were closed this morning but fortunately for us the museums were open. Before the Museums we ended up on the square where the Nazis burned books from the library. A memorial is in that place now, a glass square on the ground under which bookshelfs stand. They are supposed to represent the number of books that were burned here. Across from the square is the University that both Einstein and Lenin were present at, at one time or another. Lenin was kicked out and nearly killed because of his ideals.
The sites come one after another on this particular block, because beside the University is a memorial to the Jewish peoples. It is a huge pantheon like structure with a solitary statue inside. While we were ther Chris pointed out two young people with UofA sweaters on! Small world.
Next to this memorial is the German History museum, which we decided to enter on the fly.
This museum was well worth the 5 Euros that it costs for admission. It chronicled the History of Germany from the time of the tribes and the Romans up to 1994. There were a number of interesting finds in this museum, including Napoleon's hat and pillow! The sections were grouped according to time period so it was very easy to navigate and experience the changes in Germany. The World War sections were quite large, and the WWII section basically filled up the bottom floor. It was intense.
Following the Museum, we visited the Berlin Dome, which is impressive both architecturally and artistically. This Dome houses a beautiful church, organ, and altar, as well as a crypt and some stunning views of the city. We bought audiotours but I wasn't very impressed with mine. I ditched it about 1/3 of the way through and decided to experience the Dome my own way rather than listen to the life of a random artist or noble that I have never heard of. I'm just biased, I'm not bashing that sort of thing.
The inside of the Dome was stunning and visually impressive, with a ridiculously high ceiling covered in precious paintings, mosaics, stained glass, and gold. The alter was beautiful as well, gold from head to foot.
We climbed the stairs up to the top of the building. I had to be convinced because I'm not a huge fan of heights and this building is massive. When we reached the top however, the view was well worth the climb and the stiff legs I'm going to have tomorrow. We took a bunch of pictures of Berlin up there, the TV Tower front and center! We then went back down and entered the crypt, which houses kings and nobles of Germany. It was a little odd and surreal to have these caskets lining the walls, with dates from the 1600s.
We left the Berlin Dome and contemplated what to do next, deciding on lunch and then more museums (they are closed Mondays so today was our only chance). We ate at an Italian eatery around the corner from the canal and then made our way to some of the museums.
We opted for a full pass to all the museums because even entrance to two cost more than the pass. We started with a museum of Greek art, which was really neat, especially this huge domed room which housed statues of the Gods. My personal favorite was a red figure vase that contained the name of the artist along the bottom!
This Greek museum was relatively small but it had a lot of interesting things in it. It's new also so things are being moved in now.
Our feet were killing us by this point, so we went to sit and eat ice cream, and finally made our way back to the hotel. We washed a few clothes and watched the Germany vs Australia game. Half we watched in the room, half out at a sandwich place, which was very good. Germany won 4 - 0! It was impressive. The whole time people throughout the city were freaking out, we even heard fireworks go off numerous times. FIFA is huge! Walking home after dark in a strange new city can be a little nerve wracking but this was nice. It was only 3 blocks from where we are staying, so the walk was calm and enjoyable. We got home before the football crowds, because a half hour later we could hear car horns blaring, people shouting, horns blowing, and more fireworks,
Ah Berlin, you are crazy.