John was again up early and decided to take a crack at changing some tickets at the main station, Berlin Hauptbahnhof. He took the local S train two stops and found he was way too early for any service other than a ticket machine. But it was fun to look at all the people up at 6AM going hither and yon on what turns out to be a national holiday, Ascension Day. In Germany it is also “Men’s Day” which was described in the local literature as: “Ascension Day in Germany is also Father’s Day, or Men’s Day as it’s called in some places, and the traditional way that Germans like to honour dear old Dad is with good old beer, and lots of it.”
But we did not discover the rationale for celebrating until late in the afternoon when we saw a group of four men sitting around a table with at least 10 tall beers awaiting consumption. In the meantime John walked back from the central station, enjoying the quiet, a fiddler at one of the stations, and the light as the sun rose into a clear sky.
We had a nice breakfast at the hotel and
then made our way to the Bode Museum as it opened. What a beautiful space. It took our breath away more than the art (see pictures below). After a lengthy stay we walked back toward the rest of the museums on the island where we ran into two different street vendors groups, one selling antiques and junk and one selling art of different sorts. The first was fascinating in that there were a number of soviet era uniforms, hats, and medals. The second was interesting personal art, none of which got us excited enough to buy something. So we made our way back to the Neue Museum to finish what we have now started twice before: the Egyptian collection. We went up to the second floor and found where we had stopped – the pharaoh’s Fan Carrier – and proceeded. Interesting that the Fan Carrier had received the Gold Collar of distinction from the pharaoh, meaning he was a really important person. John offered to carry Peggy’s fan if it meant distinction (i.e., gold necklace) but he was rejected. After another twenty steps we found ourselves having seen ALL the rest of the exhibits in the museum on our first
two visits … and left for a light soft drink at one of the cafes along the Spree river. We enjoyed a late lunch at a local Italian restaurant and then took a little downtime at our hotel before going out again for a walk along the main thoroughfare (with thousands of other people trying to figure out what to do when almost everything was closed for the holiday).
Clearly the answer is drink lots of beer, even if you are not a “man”! And so Peggy and John went out for a beer and some celebrating. It was a short visit to a nice bar where John had the required beer and Peggy had a G&T. Then home to bed.
It was a short visit to a nice bar where John had the required beer and Peggy had a G&T. Then home to bed.
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