Berlin, Day 2

Berlin Travel Blog

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Rainbow Tie Bear

Gray skies and drizzle greeted me this morning, but it was not too bad at first so I grabbed my travel umbrella and headed toward the Zoo to try and see Knut, the world famous orphan polar bear cub.  I ran into my second Art Bear behind the Hotel -- one with a Rainbow Tie.

Knut had been born earlier in the year, and it's mother abandoned the cub.  The zoo keepers decided to raise Knut by hand, and created a bit of an uproar from some that said the zoo should let nature take it's course.  That created a huge uproar -- by those who wanted to see Knut saved from "nature" -- and he instantly became news world wide.  Attendance at the Berlin Zoo skyrocketed with this newly-minted star attraction.

Knut, the orphaned polar bear cub at the Berlin Zoo
  By the time I got to the Zoo, it was pouring rain, so I opted for a stop at a local coffee shop for some coffee and a roll to wait out the rain.  By the time the rain calmed a bit, Knut was out of the exhibit, so I opted to skip the Zoo for now.

My next stop was to see the bombed out remains of Kaiser Wilhelm's Church (dubbed the "hollow tooth" by the locals due to the cavity like appearance the bombed out tower has).  It is an amazing sight -- all that remains is part of a tower and the copper roof spire has a huge opening at the top.  A new modern tower has been erected immediately adjacent to the ruins.  It has huge blue stained glass windows and a large Jesus in gold with a cross against the field of blue.  It is really beautiful.

Bombed out remains of Kaiser Wilhelm Church
  Across the street from Hollow Tooth, is a modern art sculpture that is a Berlin landmark.   I had to stop and get a couple of pictures here too.

I continued walking down the Ku'damm, which is the major shopping street in Berlin.  I stopped in at the Hard Rock, Berlin for a beer and t-shirts for my sons and a few extras for friends.  Just another one of those obligatory stops.

I also visited a rather unique museum in Berlin today -- the Erotik Museum!  It's a very interesting museum, well outside the norm!  It has a huge collection of erotic art from all over the world.  The bottom floor is a shop where various items can be purchased (videos, toys, etc, ha ha), and the museum is above the shop.  You take an elevator to the top floor, and work your way down, back to the shop.

Modern Art Sculpture with view of the Kaiser Wilhelm Church
  When I had finished the tour, I was on my way to the exit when a fight broke out between patrons.  Not sure what it was all about, but it certainly added an air of excitement to the visit!

My next stop was across town to Museum Island and the Pergamon Museum.  This museum has the full altar and many statues from Pergamon, an ancient city from Asia Minor (now Turkey) that at one time tried to rival Athens.  The altar is fully restored, and you can climb the steps and explore.  The museum also houses the Gates of Ishtar, the main gate into Babylon from the time of Nebuchadnezzar II, about 600 BC.  The gates retained the vibrant colors of the time, greens, blues, oranges.  They are decorated with huge lions, deer and other animals.

Pergamon Altar at Pergamon Museum
  It is quite impressive and massive!  The museum also houses a huge collection of Islamic art, items from Iran, Syria, Turkey, Samarkand, and all over the Middle East.  I spent about two hours just exploring all of the interesting exhibits.

I walked back down the Unter den Linden past the other museums of "Museum Island" -- named that because this area houses most of the important museums of Berlin, and is surrounded by the river.  It is pretty close to the East Berlin TV Tower, probably the most famous erection left by the Soviets from the time of their domination of East Berlin (that or the ugly block housing evident in East Berlin).  I also saw the Berliner Dom (cathedral), the Monument to the Martyrs, and the huge Russian Embassy.

Gates of Ishtar at Pergamon Museum
  It really is a great place to walk and see the sights and people!

I headed back to the Hotel and decided just to eat there, as my friends were tied up with the convention tonight.  I met another one of the convention workers, a local temporary hired to help out, and he joined me for dinner.  His name was Robert, was born in East Berlin before reunification and was 3 when the Wall came down.  His had spent time in Boston, England for school on an exchange program, so we had a lot to talk about -- travel, school, Germany, the Wall, his family living in East Germany, etc.  It was nice to have a meal and conversation with a local!

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Rainbow Tie Bear
Rainbow Tie Bear
Knut, the orphaned polar bear cub …
Knut, the orphaned polar bear cub…
Bombed out remains of Kaiser Wilhe…
Bombed out remains of Kaiser Wilh…
Modern Art Sculpture with view of …
Modern Art Sculpture with view of…
Pergamon Altar at Pergamon Museum
Pergamon Altar at Pergamon Museum
Gates of Ishtar at Pergamon Museum
Gates of Ishtar at Pergamon Museum
Shell of Church
Shell of Church
Hollow Tooth and new church tower
Hollow Tooth and new church tower
East Berlin TV Tower
East Berlin TV Tower
Berliner Dom
Berliner Dom
Museum
Museum
Pergamon Museum
Pergamon Museum
On top of Berliner Dom
On top of Berliner Dom
Berliner Dom Dome
Berliner Dom Dome
Museum
Museum
Cross from Berliner Dom taken down…
Cross from Berliner Dom taken dow…
Another view of the Berliner Dom
Another view of the Berliner Dom
Memorial to Martyrs
Memorial to Martyrs
Modern Art Sculpture near Kaiser W…
Modern Art Sculpture near Kaiser …
Museum Island
Museum Island
Museum Island
Museum Island
Kaiser Wilhelm
Kaiser Wilhelm
Russian Embassy
Russian Embassy
Another view of the Berlin TV Tower
Another view of the Berlin TV Tower
Museum Island and Berlin TV Tower
Museum Island and Berlin TV Tower
Kaiser Wilhelm Church, in sunshine
Kaiser Wilhelm Church, in sunshine
Kaiser Wilhelm Church, called the …
Kaiser Wilhelm Church, called the…
Berlin
photo by: CFD