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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday in Berlin

First, I bought four transit tickets at the slightly-discounted per-ticket price, with plans to use three today and one for my trip to the airport. With plans to follow a few Sunday traditions, I took the M1 tram to the Prenzlauer Berg area for Sunday brunch, at the guidebook-recommended place Restauration 1900. I sat outside and had two visits to the bountiful brunch buffet: one with carb-loaded eggs and spaetzle, then interesting vegetable dishes and cheesecake.

I walked the neighborhood a little before getting to the recommended Mauerpark, a park where the wall ran through, where there's a full flea market on Sunday. There was plenty of interest in looking around there, including observing the people. I couldn't resist the chance to stop at a crepe stand, and also have a try of the Berliner Weisse beer, which one takes with red or green syrup and drinks with a straw.

When I had my fill there, I went to Museum Island to see the Altes Museum, which is architecturally dramatic as it faces the open space of the Lustgarten, and has Greek, Etruscan, and Roman antiquities.

Then a somber time; the transit ticket I'd taken there was still within its two hours of validity; with the bus detoured past the Brandenburg Gate stop, I went to the Reichstag, then back to the Memorial to Murdered Jews. The guide a few days prior had urged us to go back and look at the free exhibit underneath. This had displays on the history and focused on individual victims' stories. I find it hard to consider Holocaust matters without being very prepared for it in advance, so it was difficult to take time there.

Then I used my third ticket for the 2-stop S-Bahn ride back to my apartment. I'd gotten through security at the Memorial, but I had in mind to divest myself of metal before going to the sight closest to my aparrtment, the New Synagogue, also with full security. This is a museum rather than a functioning synagogue; only the front part was rebuilt from its damage, which was mostly from wartime; the police precinct captain had prevented much damage during Kristallnacht. Rebuilding began in 1988, a year before the fall of the Wall. There was an interesting display on the history of the Jewish community before its persecution. Tomorrow I'm planning to pull a lot of this together by visiting the Jewish Museum.

On Sunday I look for a pasta dinner; with a short walk I found the Ristorante Al Dente, and had the mushroom-and-truffle-sauce Tagliatelle alla Boscaiola. There were sprinkles as I walked home, and I didn't have my usual waterproof jacket. There was a great rainbow as I got home; I went into the apartment to get my camera, went back out, and the rainbow was gone.

I have much in mind for my last day tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Berlin is beautiful but it can be very sobering, too. The atrocities of the Second World War, and the post-war nightmares as well are very real and present.