Thursday, September 11, 2014

Some great days just happen!! Berlin on Wednesday!

Today was a little cooler but we awoke refreshed and ready to go after a longer than usual sleep! On Ben's advice we headed for the Jewish Museum which is an amazing piece of architecture as well as an extremely well-presented museum which gives a very detailed account of the Jewish faith and the, generally depressing, experience of Jews over the centuries.
The building itself is a real experience with some sloping floors, unusual "voids" (to indicate the absence of so much Jewish "presence" in today's Berlin - due to the terrible killings and repression) and a staircase which leads nowhere! The content of the museum is extraordinary - we are talking serious money here! - with interactive displays and with very detailed stories of individuals and significant points in Jewish history ... after the tour in Prague we are experts!!
We were there  most of the day and talked long about it afterwards .... a significant point of interest was the large number of school groups and the short section, at the end, which reflected on the average German's awareness of or interest in the Holocaust. There wasn't anything about Gaza!

As it had rained heavily while we were in the museum, we headed home (this transport system is terrific and you simply wouldn't be without a weekly ticket!!) to get the umbrellas and some warmer clothes. Todd was busy tonight so, refreshed by an ale, we investigated the "Berlin Wall Self-Guided Tour" on the aforementioned TripAdvisor App. We had realised that it started in easy walking  distance of us so began another very interesting trail.
The section near us is one of the main "museum" sections of the wall and we were able to spend over an hour in a fairly small area reading the excellent displays and getting the picture. As the rain moved in we followed the tour to the canal and sought shelter, sustenance and a 'loo around Haputbanhof (the main train station). Lo and behold there was this huge tent outside from which issued music. Attracted, we found ourselves in a cheezy, pop-up "Oktoberfest" beer promotion. There was lots of leiderhosen, some dancing, a large disco ball, food and beer! It was reasonably quiet but still fun and we danced a little!

Refreshed and invigorated, we wandered along the canal around the Reichstag and Chancellery areas along the river.
This is a very modern part of the city with wonderfully designed buildings and a light show. With everything glistening after the rain is was very impressive and quite spectacular. A short way further we came out onto Unter den Linden and the hugely impressive Brandenburg Gate, it all its floodlit glory! Again there was much to read and absorb but perhaps the strongest realization was that all of this had been within the East for so many years - it is difficult to contemplate!!

Home on the "U" to fall into bed and sleep the sleep of the justifiably tired!! A top day!!

No comments:

Post a Comment