The Old National Gallery
Modern Art displayed on the outside of the gallery.
Day 5 - Berlin on foot
We started today a bit earlier (we set the alram), had a nice breakfast in the hotel (crepes made to order and as many croissants as we wanted), and met Chris and Kathy in the Lobby. The weather forecast called for scattered showers and much lower temperatures, around 85 degrees, so we planed to explore the east side of Berlin as well as some museums. as we left the hotel it started to shower so we grabbed a taxi over to the DDR museum.
The DDR museum is a hands on history of life in East Berlin during the 60s, 70s and 80s. It had lots of information, objects to touch, and pictures to look at and was obviously quite popular. We spent about 45 minutes exploring the museum and poking around in cabinet and drawers.
When we left the DDR Museum the rain had stopped and we headed for the Old National Gallery to see what was on display. The outside of the gallery was quite impressive and there was an interesting work of Modern art displayed on the out side. Tony and I decided that it was t-shirt with
The building bricks
Thousands of these bottle tops were stapled together to make the shirt.
the middle torn out where a peace symbol had been. It was made out of thousands of flattened pieces of metal that looked like they came from liquor bottle caps woven and stapled together. The Gallery contained work from the 17th and 18th centuries. Chris and Kathy were interested in seeing that but I wanted to see the old masters at the culture museum. We decided to check out a nearby shopping district together and then spilt and meet back up at 6PM in the Lobby for dinner.
After picking up some souvenirs for people back home Tony and I took a break at a cafe to have some water and a little snack. Warm peaches with chocolate sauce and whipped cream is very good according to Tony. There was a wonderful group of musicians playing in the courtyard where we sat, flute, guitar and cello. They only played three different songs but they were very good.
Our next stop was Checkpoint Charlie, the main crossing from west to east Berlin before the wall came down. About half the tourists in Berlin decided to visit at the same time we did. It was by far the most crowded
One woman currywurst stand
all over Berlin we saw human currywurst stands.
place we had been yet. Some friends and family of ours had been in Berlin before the wall came down. We took some pictures especially for them. The tourists, McDonald's, and street vendors should be a nice contrast to their memories. The guardhouse and sign are reproductions. The originals were taken down in the early 90's.
The two blocks closest to the crossing on the east german side of the wall have not been developed yet and there is a series of information panels there that talk about the history of the wall and the conflicts that effected it from 1961 to 1989. Tony and I really enjoyed reading those and looking at the pictures. we walked by the Mauermuseum (Wall Museum) but it was so crowded we decided to pass.
As we walked toward our hotel we found a section of the wall that had been left standing. The ground next to the base had been dug out about 15 feet down and we could see where various holes and utilities passed through. We looked as we walked past but didn't stopped to read. The wall was not very tall or very thick.
We made it
Check point Charlie 20 years later
to our hotel at about 4 PM, dropped off our packages and headed out for the culture Museum about 10 minutes from the hotel. It housed paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries. We spent about an hour and a half looking and paintings and listening to the free headsets that gave commentaries on various paintings. I really liked looking at the portraits from the 1600s and Tony really liked the landscapes.
We stayed until the museum closed and then met Kathy and Chris in the lobby of our hotel for dinner. We went to a very tasty Italian restaurant (Kathy and Chris had Italian 3 out of 4 nights in Berlin...I wonder what they'll eat at their next stop, Italy).
Today we learned:
* Tourist attractions are usually filled with...tourists
* It's easy to get lost in an art museum, after awhile all the paintings start to look alike
* Anne has no sense of direction in Berlin, not just at home, and it frustrates her
* There are people in Germany who don't speak English
Tomorrow we are headed back to Marburg by way of the Harz Mountains for our last night in Germany.
The old east side of the wall.
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