Thursday, February 3, 2011


From the bank - Day 10 - Berlin

Monday December 27th 2010

Today was my catch up day: the day where I scramble to see and do all of the things I did not do yet. Which was mainly the museums.

I stopped by the Sony Center to check out the new amazing architecture of seven buildings wit ha canvas roof over top. It was kind of cool. I probably would have liked it more at night time when it is all light up. I found it oddly small seeing as Potzdamer Platz seems so big.

canvas roof

plus me

I then headed to the Neue National Gallerie to view some art. But unfortunately it is now closed on Mondays. Which was ok, I guess, because it gave me more ime at the other museums.

Part of the Berlin Wall

Bullet Holes

En route to the Topography of Terror, I came across a building that looks like it had a bunch of bullet holes in it. Yesterday Annebel told us that if any “old” building we saw did not have bullet holes in it, it was more than likely redone since. I hope these are truly old bullet holes. Slightly intimidated by the name? The Topography of Terror really isn’t an overly lovely place to visit if you’re looking for a mood lift. It was the old location of the central buildings of Nazi persecution and terror and is now a documentation center. It was pretty much a kind of museum full of photographs, stories, letters, documents, you name it, that were dated from WW II and the Holocaust. It was sad to read some of the stories, most of them ending rather bluntly, but it was still interesting. I always wonder who bothered to keep up so many papers for so long. The site only opened in May 2010 and was free entry. Also, it was open air. That doesn’t mean that it was outside, but all the windows were opened, chilling you with a cold draft the whole time.
Sony Center from a far

On my way to the Jewish Museum I was famished so I grabbed a beliner and chowed down. I was also asked for directions by a rather large (and I mean like 8-10 person) family. We were headed to a common destination so I wrote their directions on their map for them quite promptly. I am a navigation expert.

this palce again
retracing a bit..
Topography of Terror (outside part)

I love Berlin


i miss snow so much
The Jewish Museum had a feel of it’s own. It consisted of two buildings; one old and one new. The older building only had the cafĂ©, coat check and security (oddly high security with four policemen outside at all times). The new building, like the rest of Berlin, looked very different from the old one.

its a cool city

After descending some stairs and a ramp, the lower level of the new building had three corridors. The longest one represented the continuation of German history and led up stairs to the museum. The second led to the Garden of Exile (closed in the winter months) and represented the emigration of Jews while the third led to the Holocaust Void which was a tall, empty shaft like room right in the skeleton of the building. Each corridor filled with personal belongings and stories of Jews that did not survive the Holocaust. The corridors were not level and each one intersected the other two. You then climbed up the two stories to the top floor where the museum starts with ancient Jewish history. As the path you follow zig-zags, you learn of a history that unfortunately is not a pleasant one; being filled with discrimination, prosecution and exile. The first floor is where you find the recent history (last 100 years or so) and more specifically, the Jewish History within Berlin. My favourite parts of museums are not the overall taking in of information, because really, after a couple of hours of reading history and facts, you just get overloaded and kind of stop fully taking it in. The personal stories are more, well, personal. You get more of a feel for the people and what a life was.
Jewish Museum

intimidating, eh

Older part of the museum

Next stop: the TV Tower. An interesting tid bit about the TV Tower; when it was finally finished, it was noted that it slightly resembles a cross. That did not go over with government at the time so they added a small tower on top. However, when the sun hits the metal globe, all across the city a golden cross is illuminated, but if you are the government, it is a plus sign. Yes, a plus sign. Believable.
TV Tower

My photos
dont always
turn out

This took about 30 some tries

I returned to the Museumisle to potentially take photos of all the museums, but the unrelenting snow was killing the quality of my photos and my time was getting rather tight to make it to the German History Museum.

This is Berlin.
Graffiti and snow.

Unlike the T.O.T. and the Jewish Museum, the G.H.M. was solely in German (except for the English pamphlet I got that outlined each general time frame). I still enjoyed walking and looking at the artefacts. The early history of Germany was something I had yet to take in today, having covered two of the more extreme sides of German history earlier. However, closing time was at 18:00 and I had only made it to the 1800s. Oh well, I did come across a fairly entertaining painting and a really old pinball machine. Things like that made museums worthwhile.

I think this was the side of the Dom

The old museum, I think

Thank you sir, for the photo

I realized that apart from the Berliner, which for those of you who don’t know, is a jelly fileld doughnut with powdered sugar on the outside (you can get them at Tim’s, but they don’t have plum filling and aren’t as good) I had not really eaten since breakfast. Thankfully a Christmas market was near (and open!) so I got the most delicious meal ever! Definitely potatoes and some kind of spinach and onion sauerkraut. Oh, SO GOOD! I ordered it because I saw some woman devouring her’s, then I saw another girl point at me and get the same! Three people made a very delicious decision right then. Mmmm…
Crazy painting from G.H.M. What isn't going on here? I love it.
Old Pinball machine
I can see this being on the
spring runways
maybe a bit brighter though..

this belongs in my narnia..

Back on Unter den Linden (which means Under the Linden trees) I walked into a forst of light. Mixed with the snow, I felt wonderful! I got my photo taken at the Brandenburg Gate, then I wandered over to the Reichstag. It was light up ridiculously well and had a ridiculous amount of security. It used to be part of the Tour, you would even go inside, but due to new security measures, it got axed.
someone tell me what it is...

Something I noticed; Berlin is the first city I have come across that actually has a snow removal system in order. Which is needed because it snowed all day. (and for the rest of my stay)

bad photo timing... but hey
its a photo of me and an
electric tree.
Brandenburg Gate


  1. What was in the tent at the Brandenburg Gate? Do you get any comments on your Olympic mitts?

  2. the idea. I did not check it out. I walked under the right side (of the photo) each time haha. It may have been part of them setting up for New Years, or taking down of Christmas?
    Some people once I got talking to them made a comment, but I really don't think many people know they exist. haha

  3. Five days to go from The Bank. You have seen some amazing things and places. This blog is the best souvenir for you and gift to us.

  4. Writing these blog entries is really good typing practice.
    If only Ill remember to read it.
    Its so much to type, I cant imagine having to read it.
    My thanks to everyone who reads!