Monday, March 16, 2009

Museums Galore

As Adelia once explained to Rowan "Galore means lots and lots!" That would be a very accurate description of my tour of Berlin Museums. With the help of Sarah, I discovered that Berlin has a special Museum pass that allows one to get into about 70 different museums for the cost of only 19 Euros. So by the time I visited three museums I had more than paid for the ticket. Unfortunately, a couple of the places I really wanted to go weren't on the pass, and even sadder was the fact that the display I most wanted to see, which the pass did cover, wasn't open :( So there was no Nefertiti for me. It really was quite tragic as this was one of the things I was most looking forward to seeing in Berlin. But such is life. So there are still reasons to visit this incredible city again in the future.
And I still managed to see a ton of stuff.
After buying my ticket down near the Brandenburg Tor, I hurried along Unter den Linden to Museum Island, a small island in the middle of the Spree River which is home to four, soon to be five, very impressive museums. Along the way I took some pictures of things like this amazing library, and the massive statue of Friedrich II the great King of Prussia.

Upon reaching Museum Island I was in awe of all the amazing buildings that housed ancient works of arts. I started with the Bode-Museum. Most of the works here were from around Europe. There were lots of sculptures and different paintings and such. I was mostly impressed by the building itself. I really kind of enjoyed being able to do these museums on my own because it meant I didn't have to worry about other people and what they were interested in. I truly am a rather selfish beast. It's the truth. So I scurried about, often laughing at my own private jokes. For instance, when I went into this little dark area and found the remains of a death shroud, now only a disembodied head, suspended over a table in the darkness, I was totally creeped out and couldn't stop laughing. Few people would really have been able to make sense of my hilarity, and on this day I just shared it with myself.

So these pictures were of me in front of the Museum, as well as photos of the outside and inside of the great dome. It was a pretty cool place.
Next I hurried along to the Pergamom. This museum houses a lot of really ancient things. There was the facade of a building from ancient Babylon, and a rather large collection of Babylonian art, as well as things from other Middle Eastern countries, and a large display of statues of Greek Gods. In this museum I wasn't allowed to use the flash on my camera, and seeing as how I don't have any sort of tripod, and I tend to move altogether too much to make a picture that needs flash look any good, I'm not going to add any of the photos I took there.
The next museum I went into was a gallery. Ben and Sarah had informed me about some of the pieces here, and I shared a good laugh with them as I came across the "painting of the artist's foot." Since feet pretty much gross me out to begin with, it was extra laughable to think about this artist being so engrossed with his own foot. We were all hoping that it was just a joke.
I liked the impressionist paintings here the best. They had some nice Monet's, Manet's Degas', and the like. I took pictures of some of my favorites here. They are naturally too shaky to be any good, but you can get a little idea. These were the places I took the most time to pause. I bought post cards of a few of them as well.

I also got a really big kick out of this next painting. I looked at it a moment and felt that it was a very familiar scene, and upon closer inspection, my feelings were confirmed to be fact. There in Berlin, I found a painting of the death of Waldstein (of Valdstejn) which took place right here in Cheb. There he was in the very bedroom I visited in our Museum, wearing his bloody nightgown :)

By the time I'd finished up there I was getting rather famished, so I scurried about and found a Subway nearby. I scarfed down my six inch turkey on wheat (with lots of veggies of course!) and then made my way back to the final museum of the day: the Altes Museum, home to Nefertiti. On the way there I did manage to get in a quick picture of my first Buddy Bear of the trip, as well as this charming little Ampfelmann.

I wasn't overly thrilled by the display in this museum, and being sad as I was about not getting to go to the Egyptian exhibit, I hurried through this one and headed outside to enjoy the last light of the day.
It turned out to be a rather nice day out, and I got some pretty incredible pictures like this one as I headed off the island and back to the "main land."

In this next picture you can see behind me two very famous sights. Poking out on the left hand side of the photo is the Berliner Dom again, and on the right the Fehrnseher Turm, or TV tower. This tower was built by the Soviets in order to show their technological prowess. Ironically, when the light passes through it reflects the shadow of a large cross...Don't you know they weren't too pleased when the discovered that, but try as they might, the cross remained.

Seeing as how the sun was still shining, and it wasn't yet very late in the day, I decided to try to get to the Siegesaule in time to climb up the massive Victory tower while the view was still nice. Along the way I paused periodically (it was a pretty serious walk let me just say) for some beautiful photo ops.

Unfortunately, by the time I arrived the tower was closed. I was still able to take some nice photos, which was good because I didn't see sun again the rest of the trip. Or at least not enough to speak of. Sadly, I never did get a chance to climb up the tower, but as I said before, that just means there are still some things for me to do if I ever have the chance to go back :)

I headed back for the main part of town by walking through the Tier Garten. It wasn't the best time of year for seeing beauty in a park, but it was mostly a nice walk anyway. By this point I'd been walking a lot and decided it was time to head back home. Once again, I spent a lovely evening just relaxing and hanging out with Ben and Sarah. Day two happily completed.

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