Berlin Days Eight and Nine – Busyness

The last 48 hours have flown by a lot faster than I thought they would! Yesterday, my supposed “off day” because of the rain ended up quite a bit useful. The thunderstorm slated for the day moved through over night, so the day ended up pretty nice. After sleeping in late (15 minutes from the close of breakfast) I got up and did a little work on photos before heading out for an early lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe just down the street. I was the first customer of the day, as they let me come in about 15 minutes before they officially started lunch.

After that I was tired again for some reason, so I got another hour nap in before talking to Karen and my parents on Skype. After that I dabbled with my photos again for a little bit in Photoshop but then decided it was too nice to stay in any longer so I thought I would go to the Pergamonmuseum. As luck would have it, a minute after I got on the bus it started to rain pretty heavily. Just for fun I took the bus to the end of the line to see what that side of Berlin was like. It goes along the south and is more of a blue-collar, lower middle class area. There were a few signs of Turkish populations (via their businesses) on the streets the bus went around.

From the end of the line I had to figure out how to get back to the middle of town to Museum Island, so I caught a subway that went to Alexanderplatz. When I left the subway it was sunny and nice again, so I took the opportunity to take some pictures with the sun while I had the chance. Then I made it down to Am Kupfergraben and crossed the Spree to the Pergamonmuseum where I paid 12 Euros to enter. It was worth it, as they currently have a special exhibit combining their collection on ancient Babylon with collections from the Louvre and the British Museum (the Royal British Museum? I’m not sure which British museum…) The entire collection was stunning, and I was there for over two hours. When I left it was almost completely dark, so I just found my way back to the hotel in what had become a very active night scene in a drizzly Berlin.

Today Dr. Rogers and I met up at his hotel near Gesundbrunnen, a shopping mall and major train crossing station. After walking around in Prenzlauer Berg and some of the northern districts, we paid about 7 Euros for a tour of Berlin’s underground – one of three or four tours by a nonprofit company trying to preserve Berlin’s underground historical bunkers, some of which pre-date World War II. We toured both a pre-war bunker and a 1970s Cold War era bunker which is built into and around the Parkstrasse U-Bahnhof. It was well worth the nearly two hours of hunching over in mostly dark, underground bunkers.

After that we thought we would try our hand at traveling south but when we arrived at the Hermannstrasse U-bahnhof we surmised that the area was similar to that of Prenzlauer Berg. We were getting hungry by that point (around 5 p.m.) so we headed back to Alexanderplatz where we planned to go to the TV tower to see the city from above (hopefully on a clear evening). We ate Italian at a nicer outdoor restaurant and sat around talking about Berlin but even then it wasn’t close enough to sun down to go up to the tower. After sitting around people-watching for a while we figured we had time to watch a movie, so we went to see Get Smart (with German voice-overs) at a nearby Kino. When that ended we went up to the tower, an expensive 9.5 Euros which wasn’t even really worth it because the view from the tower had a bad reflection of light on the Plexiglass and wasn’t good for taking photos.

Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy again, so we’ll probably spend a lot of it indoors, starting with the Checkpoint Charlie Museum.

See you all later, and sorry I haven’t gotten pictures up yet. I just haven’t had the time and now it’s getting to be a bit overwhelming!

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