“Today, I want to get out of this tourist trap, Stadtmitte, where we see tourists everywhere. I want to see other parts of Berlin and see how the local live.” I clearly gave out my needs for today.
JJ might think that I started it again. I remembered he asked me sometimes if I forgot to take medicine or not 😀
In fact, I woke up quite early that morning and thought about why I wanted to travel, what I should have in my photos. Then, it was Dad who gave me answers. If it was him, he would want to see how’s the city like. The city as it is, not just those sightseeing spots. A question is how I can tell that in my pictures to people who are not there with me.
I read information about an area called Prenzlauer Berg, located in the northeast of Stadtmitte. As soon as we got off the train, we could tell that this was where we could find the local. On the train, there were lots of young who on the way to picnic, somes had a bicycle with them. “This is it. This is it. I’m out of Stadtmitte and those tourist traps.”
This area has experienced migration within a population called gentrification. In a community undergoing gentrification, the average income increases and average family size decreases.
We didn’t know that lots of places, restaurants, shops, even KaDeWe closed on Sunday in Berlin. The streets that we passed must be busy other days other time.
Then, we took S train to see around Berlin (U=underground, which runs through the city. S=train which is more suitable if you want to get around Berlin). We stopped in one station to see East Side Gallery on Mühlenstraße. It says that it’s a collection of artwork of artists around the world to paint on the Berlin Wall. To me, it looks like an area I will avoid after dark.
“Bayerische Leberknödel” – herzhafter Leberknödel mit Rinderkraftbrühe, clear beef soup with liver dumpling (lower left)
“Löwenbräu Schlachteplatte” – mit Scheiben von Spreewaldsülze, Landjäger, Griebenschmalz, handgesalzenem Landschinken, Hausmacherleberwurst, dazu Landbrot und Fassbutter, cold butcher plate with lard and farmhouse Bread (upper left)
Ganze Schweinshaxe vom “Brandenburger Landschwein” – mit Bratenjus, deftigem Specksauerkraut und Reiberknödel (halb und halb), roasted knuckle of pork with dumpling and sauerkraut (lower right)
Riesenbreznbröselschweineschnitzel “Wiener Art” – mit Pommes Frites und kleinem bunten Salatteller, schnitzel vienna style with fries and a small mixed salad (upper right)
I didn’t believe it myself that we spent this much time in museums and started to complain that I hadn’t seen Berlin much, even though, an idea to visit museums was mine.
Here comes a moment when any guy would get confused with complexity of women’s emotions. As soon as we’d finished with the museums, I said now we had to see something else and made it sounded like it was not my idea to go to the museums from the beginning.
You might be able to guess. Usually guys don’t bother much with this kind of behavior of women and they just get along to keep us happy and make a good couple 🙂
But, as soon as we had time to sit down and JJ had time to drink beer, I started to complicate the situation.
“I start to lose interest in traveling lately, it’s not as enthusiastic as before. what did you do when you’re on a trip?” blah blah blah.
You know, just babble like many girls usually do and JJ just let me continue because he knows this is the only way to make girls stop. 😀
So, we’re at Berlin Central Station (Berlin Hauptbahnhof)
After that complicated conversation, I realized that I got lots of influence from Dad. A train station? See how it looks like and take a picture of a train station? This is not originally my thing. It’s Dad. He often asked when I traveled before how train stations looked like, its building, trains, architecture.
Then, we walked around, passed the Hotel Adlon and Reichstag then brought ourselves to Potsdamer Platz. JJ asked what to see here. I said LEGO LAND and Sony Center 😀 and JJ was -_-!
I saw this creative activity that everyone had to (should) bike to get it going, at the same time, everyone was drinking beer. I was unsure if they would get fit or drunk by doing it. But it looks fun.
My feet started to kill me (it also says that I’m getting old) so we took U to Checkpoint Charlie. The name gets famous because it was mentioned in many Hollywood movies, but I had no idea about it until I decided to go to Berlin). There are other checkpoint, too, such as Checkpoint Alpha, Checkpoint Bravo. Alpha, Bravo and Charlie are NATO phonetics for A, B and C, respectively. Okay, historical information about Checkpoint Charlie is it was a crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War.
That’s day 2. We were on foot back to the hotel and dipped ourselves in the pool at the hotel.
Yesterday we were behind a building, from its shape I would say it’s a church. I asked JJ if he wanted to go in since he liked to visit churches but he said no. Today, we were at the front door of the same building, a sign said Schinkel-Museum, Friedrichswerdersche Kirche. A museum? Schinkel the architect and the one who designed the Altes Museum? So, we went in and we would be fool to skip it.
We were distracted already by visiting Schinkel’s museum, the plan was to take ourselves directly the Pergamon and the Ishtar Gate. All great name museums have one thing in common, they all have a long ticket queue. But it always has a short cut, with a museum card we had a prompt access to the museum.
The main entrance, behind it is the Pergamon Altar
Museum’s visitors in the middle of Gods’ wars. On the background, it’s a scene of Zeus (the King of Gods) on the left defeats three giants and Athena (Zeus’s daughter and the Goddess of wisdom and war) on the right
The Market Gate of Miletus
Voila, the Ishtar Gate, the eight gate to the inner city of Babylon. The gate was constructed in about 575 BC and renowned for its double structure (you can’t see on the real gate, but in the model below). It also has a replica in Iraq after the original one was moved to Berlin.
Lions who protect the gate and the city.
The guy is pointing at the location of the Babylon City
It has been some time that I didn’t update my blog because I was busy with a new job. It’s also a reason why I took only two days of this summer. With those two days we had four full days in Berlin.
We tried a new budget airline, Norwegian Air but it didn’t give good impression about flying budget. The flight was delayed for an hour and the plane didn’t have wifi. Not a big deal because then I could sleep for two hours and a half.
It might be a bad day for the captain, I could feel when the plane touched the ground it had too high speed. We arrived at Schönfeld airport late and I was tired and when I’m tired my mood is unstable. JJ said it would be fun if we got ourselves to a TV program where a couple competes with other couples in traveling. We will be fun to watch.
We stayed at Hilton. The hotel has very good location. An entrance to Stadtmitte station on U2 is just right in front of the hotel and across the street is Deutscher Dom.
Walking in Berlin is like walking in a 3D museum but with a 1:1 scale since lots of important building were rebuilt after WWII. I was lost in an ancient city, Pergamon at a temporary exhibition at the Pergamon Museum. The Pergamon model showed in the museum just showed how a heaven on earth looked like.
Day 1, we lose ourselves in museums on the Museum Island, climbed up the Berliner Dom, drank Berliner Pilsner and ate some Berlin food.