You Are Now Leaving The American Sector
August 31, 2009
We have finally arrived in Berlin after a 3 hour verspätung (delay). The weather is great and the hotel is cleaner then any I’ve ever been in. If we wake up early enough, maybe we’ll see the city during the day. Abends! (goodnight)
Checkpoint Charlie was the old DMZ security gate that led from Soviet contolled East Berlin to American controlled West Berlin. The wall that was erected shortly after WWII was made to halt the flow of western news and knowledge. It was a symbol of a split world… Two superpowers competing for world fame and ranking.
On Unter den Linden sits one of Europe’s most recognizable landmarks. The Brandenburger Tür was one of the original gates leading to the Prussian controlled city. It was commisioned by Frederick II and completed in 1791. The gates have hosted many of history’s poliical celebrities; Napolean, John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and of course, Adolf Hitler. We wanted to visit the new dome on top of the Reichstag but it was closed due to a daring Greenpeace protest. 4 repellers got on the roof, waited for a crowd to show, and let a banner saying “eine Ankunft, ohne Atomkraft” – “an arrival, without nuclear missiles” – hang over the famous Dem Deutsche Volke (the German People).
From there we took the U-bahn (subway) to Friedrichstraße and connected to Alexanderplatz. We stumbled upon the beautiful Bode Museum, a collection of Deutsch und Französische Kunst (German and French art) from the early Christian to Byzantium period. The Bode is part of a super complex of 5 museums called the Insel (Island).
The Pergamon is next door and houses gigantic works of art from all over the ancient East world. It is overwhelming in it’s splendor and the first item in the museum is a full size Roman temple. In 2010, two new exhibition halls, Götter und Dionysos (Gods and Dionysus), will open to the public. Other things among the collection is Sumarian inscribed tablets, Priam’s treasure, and early Persian teppich (tapestries).
Behind the Pergamon is the Old National Gallery. This building and the artwork inside it are a tribute to the golden age of Prussia, the Holy Roman Empire, and everyday life within them. The paintings by Menzel stood out the most because, instead of viewing Prussian life as stylized and simplistic, he captures the true emotions of the people in real-time; for example: Breaking their backs in an Iron Casting factory.
After the Insel, we walked aimlessly around, admiring the local way-of-life and finding small, interesting stores.
In Germany, one would find health products not in a supermarket, but in independent medicine stores called Apotheke (pharmacy).
Berliner Pilsner – good and light. Berlin’s budweiser.
Erdinger – a weißbier (wheat beer) made in Bavaria. Tasty and delicious.
Radelberger Heffe Weiß – by far the best beer so far. Only could find it at the jazz club.
David und Goliathe
Original Gregorian Chant Manuscripts
Zero to Hero
The Bode Museum Dome
The Bode Museum
Jack Daniels/Jim Beam and Cola already made!
Greenpeace protest on the Reichstag. “eine Zukunft, ohne Atomkraft” – a future, without Nuclear missles
Circle of Passports
Checkpoint Charlie Gaurd Gate
Early Sumarian Statue
King of Prussia
Ich bin Blau