Museums, Soccer and moving on

Trip Start Apr 20, 2008
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Trip End Sep 15, 2008


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Flag of Germany  ,
Sunday, June 29, 2008

Today we went to the German History Museum.  This is a really good museum that covers the history of Germany and much of Europe from the Roman times until present.  However, we only had time to go from the Roman times to the French Revolution, so we may have to go back tomorrow.  I have not taken a lot of European history in the past and it was a good opportunity to put into perspective some of the major historical events, battles, people and movements into the over all history of Europe and the world.  We learned about some of the early kings of the Holy Roman Empire of the German People like Charlemagne, Rudolf von Habsburg (the first of many Habsburgs), and Maximillian 1 "the last knight".  There was the Reformation and Martin Luther that brought about the) Protestant religion and of course sparked many wars including the Thirty Years' War, which devastated Europe.  After that came the Habsburgs and Bourbons contesting with each other for supremacy in Europe for generation before the French Revolution.  It was here that we ran out time, so we went out for some supper and then back to the hostel.
 
We had a nice sleep in and then went down to the Sony Centre to buy a new camera.  After dropping my old one for about the 100th time (a few days ago) it finally stopped working (or at least the flash did).  It sucks that we had to spend money on a new camera, but at the same time we're excited about having a cool new camera that has better features than the old one.  After that we went back to the German History museum to see some of the things we missed on the first day.  We went through the French Revolution and the domination of Europe by Napoleon.  The congress of Vienna was to restore the balance of power after Napoleon had been defeated.  Finally in 1848 Germany became a nation state for the first time.  Next came Wilhelm the second and it was his desire to create a great empire that led to a rivalry and arms race with the other great powers and eventually started WWI.  We got through WWI and that is were we ended.  We finished the day off with some great East Indian food for supper before heading to bed.
 
Sunday is the day for the big match (Germany vs. Spain in the final of the Eurocup).  We did some laundry first and then made our way down to Brandenburg gate for about 3:00 to be sure we got in.  Even though the game wasn't until 8:45 it was still fairly crowded when we got there.   The place was done up like a fair ground with beer and food stalls stretching as far as you could see down the road.  There were 4 giant screens for showing the game and a main stage beneath the first one where there were bands playing, break dancers and other entertainment.  Everyone was decked out in their Black, Red and Gold ready to cheer on the team and the whole atmosphere was like being on the Red Mile during the Flames big run to the cup final (except this was much more organized).  We bought the "ultimate fan" package, which came with wristbands, a flag, a lay, and face paint all in the German colours.  Ok, call us bandwagon jumpers if you like, but it really helped get us in the spirit.  The face paint was particularly beneficial, because we would offer to let people use it and sure enough we would have new friends.  We first met this American couple that were very nice, but they were leaving to go watch the game with their parents somewhere else.  Next we met 3 people from Germany; Wolfgang, Dirk and Aleen.  So we drank all day with them, during the game and then when Germany lost (1-0) we went with them to drown our sorrows.
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