Kebabs and the Berlin Wall
Berlin Travel Blog› entry 16 of 16 › view all entries
We got an earlier start...grabbed some breakfast and then went to Viktoriapark in the Kreuzberg area of East Berlin. It's a monument on a hill - one of the few in Berlin, so you get a nice 360 view of the city. As we were going to our next site, we walked by Curry 36 where we had our currywurst the day before and noticed that the line at the Mustapha Kebab place was really small. Darja said she never saw it that small. It was still too early for lunch, and none of us were particularly hunger, but Morgan ran off to jump in line so we could try it. It was only about a 10 minute wait, and the kebabs truly were fantastic. We got 2 and split them - they're huge. And only 3 Euros. I loved the potatoes at the bottom.
We walked across the Oberbaum Bridge, which has a cool art installation on it - 2 neon hands, one on either side of the bridge, and it's timed to go on and off as a random rock-paper-scissors game. We walked over to the East Side Gallery, which is the largest section of the Berlin Wall that is still standing, and now is a huge canvas for political and memorial art. It goes on for a long way, and you can see the "death zone" - the area between the Berlin Wall and the 2nd wall that people would get trapped in if they jumped over.
Morgan noticed that some of the paintings that had bananas in it.
I was really amazed that there wasn't a big difference between East and West Berlin. I was expecting the architecture and the feel to still be distinctly different. But the government put a lot of money into East Berlin...until West Berlin began to suffer, so now it's about even. I honestly couldn't tell when we were in one part or the other.
The last thing on our must-see list was the Pergomon Museum, to see the Ishtar Gate. Great museum of Greek and Islamic Art, and I loved the way it was laid out. You enter into an entire Greek temple...you are completely surrounded by the sculptures and friezes. I was making jokes about the German government stealing entire buildings from Greece, but apparently they had an agreement with Greece for doing the excavation and preservation of all this stuff. I mean, this is some huge STUFF. (Stuff has become a bit of a joke with Morgan and me at these large museums...neither of us can do more than a few hours...and you realize that you're walking by all these beautiful and important works of art, but after a while you're just numb to it...so when it gets to that point we'd just say, "Yeah - more stuff here.
The Ishtar Gate alone is worth the price of admission. I play a silly object-finding game on Facebook called Gardens of Time, and one of the objects you earn is the Ishtar Gate...which I didn't know anything about before the game...and here it is in real life. But it's HUGE and fantastic. I love Islamic art for the most part (Moroccan stuff especially), and this was just immense...and very very blue. Amazing amounts of blue tile and reliefs of lions. But it's just cool the way they set it up in the museum...you walk through it (as you should, it's a gate), and the walls surrounding it are set into the walls of the museum. The museum rooms are built to fit this stuff exactly.
We went back to Darja and Tobias' place and finished up the raclette and veggies and meats, and went to bed early so we could get some sleep before our early flight.
Darja and Tobias got up early with us, threw some sandwiches in a bag for us and took us to the U-bahn station to see us off. We were a little pressed for time, and it takes about an hour to get to Schonefeld Airport. We transferred to the bus, although there was a 10-minute wait for the X-7 bus (I'm assuming the X is for express to the airport), but there was another bus going to the airport which was right there, so we just jumped on. It made a few extra stops, but we got there in time. (Of course, SleazyJet was late, so that helped.) Goodbye to Berlin, and to our little tour of Europe, and on to the next part of our trip - my gig in Lausanne, Switzerland. But that's a tale for another blog...