We steered away from the typical tourist trip to Berlin since both Alex and I have visited this lovely city before. At some point we decided to embark on an intense historical discovery trip, sucking up every juicy historical fact this country would let us have. We were surprised to realise how much of the German big picture we had either forgotten about or over-looked.
|Looking like a bit of a tourist at Checkpoint Charlie|
An interesting side fact: Checkpoint Charlie got its name because along the American sector there were checkpoints 'A', 'B' and 'C'. When the military referred to these they used 'alpha', 'bravo', and 'charlie'.
As our time in Berlin is now drawing to a close, I believe I should do a quick wrap up of our highlights from the last 5 weeks (I'll leave the art experiences to our professional on tour artist). So, we have..........
We saw Queen Nefertiti's bust in the Neues Museum. She's from about 1340 B.C. from Amarna, Egypt, and wow she is beautiful. I was driven to visit this museum because I had been before as a child. My mum was really excited to see the bust and paid a ridiculously high entrance fee for her, me and my brother to go. But due to our immaturity my brother and I wanted to touch everything in the museum which led my poor mother with no other option but to basically run through the museum, past the bust and straight out the back door before she was billed millions of dollars for a broken ancient artifact. So because I had been there but never really seen the bust I had to go back and see what my mum made all the fuss about, and I'm glad I did.
|Ishtar Gate of ancient Babylon|
The Processional Way and the Ishtar Gate are the most famous buildings of Babylon. The city was confined by walls and these buildings paved the entrance way. The glazed coloured bricks of the walls of the Processional Way, about 250 m long, and the gate depicted two rows of striding lions (symbols of the goddess Ishtar), dragons and bulls (symbols of the gods Marduk and Adad). Quite a site, and a warning, for anyone entering the city.
|Totally obsessed with Ritter Sport|
We have been lucky enough to see two free lunch concerts by the Philharmonie. They have this fantastic program where ever Tuesday lunch time they have a short free concert in their foyer so that people who can't afford to see their shows can still experience their talent. We saw one show with opera singers from the Philharmoniker academy and one show by a professional strings quartet. Of course watching these pros makes you feel like you should totally learn to play an instrument again...it looks so easy...right?!
|Street art in Berlin's clubs|
|Wind surfing on the old Tempelhof runway.|
We got the best view of Berlin twice, once from the top of the Siegessäule (or Victory Column, symbol of Prussian military victory from the 19th century and also the place where Obama made his US Presidential candidate speech to 200,000 Berliners on July 24, 2008 ) and the Reichstag (parliament). For any of you who are familiar with Berlin, the Siegessäule was originally located in front of the Reichstag but was relocated to the Tiergarten in 1938 by the Nazi's because it got in their way when they redesigned the city.
|You can see all of Berlin from the glass dome on top of the Reichstag|
|From the Siegessäule you can see straight to the Brandenburg Gate|