PLENTY OF FUN, CULTURE AND HISTORY!
17.12.2015 - 23.12.2015
© The Wind Riders. All rights reserved.
Our first day in Berlin is cold, wet and windy. We wander around the famous Brandenburg Gate and make half-hearted smiles at the camera. But that is the only bad news. After we stop moping about the weather and start cheering up, I decide that we actually made an excellent decision to come here. The valiant greyish-blue horses seem to spring off their pedestal in the very act of charging and the whole sculpture seems to tower over the buildings around it.
Finally, satisfied with one good photo, we start to wander around the back streets to find a place to eat as our tummies are rumbling quite loudly. After a long search, we finally find an excellent meal at an Italian restaurant, the most affordable in this expensive touristic area.
After lunch, we take a long look at the map and decide to check out the 'Charlie Checkpoint'. We ask some people for direction but end up going into a car show just because it is free. We marvel at the likes of 7 exhaust pipes and 10 cylinders but agree to keep these fancy gadgets at a safe distance. On German freeways, there are often no speed limits so people from neighbouring countries come to test the speed of their extravagant toys!
Tip: People are very helpful in Berlin. An elderly lady who doesn't speak English helps us buy tram tickets at a vending machine and with hand gestures shows us the long way up and down tunnels to the right tram. (Actually, it is the Underground that sometimes runs above ground!)
We spend a good part of one day at the Museum of Natural History. It is overwhelming with 25 sections but we only have time to see 5. I can easily spend a whole week there.
The Museum Of Natural History
Once upon a time,
There was a big big man,
And he came and shot at a big
Once came a man,
And he sold his prize,
to a big museum
For a very BIG price!
Blue is the color of water.
Green is the color of grass.
Red is the color of the thick dark blood
That stains the eland's breast.
Staring at him
Through a glass,
He is only a specimen
His stony eyes frozen
in a cold and fearless gaze.
Later I discovered
The truth behind that gaze,
The collection of painted marble eyes
that they put on each creature's face.
over seeing our ancestors,
Their skeletons shining a horrible white
Meet the Neanderthal.
Long, huge shadow behind the wall?
A metre-long insect
Friends with the dinosaurs.
Giant and spooky, perched on a branch,
He gives me the shivers that a ghost should do!
See this T-Rex with the funny face
He got sent off in a big disgrace!
Out from his clan and into the woods
Where he contracted brain cancer!
At the Neues Museum, there is an fascinating exhibition of Egyptian mythology and mummifying process. There was, for example, a ritual for the opening of the mouth and a special tool was inserted into the nostril to take out the brain. The heart was the only organ left in the body so that it could be weighed in the underworld. The sarcophagi (stone coffins) for the kings and queens are gigantic, but there are smaller coffins for royal babies and pets (with mummified cats, lizards and baby crocs).
At the Berlin Wall, there are meaningful artworks by different artists about the fall of the wall and about saving our environment. Unfortunately, some silly people try to destroy them with graffiti so the authority has had to put up fences to protect the artworks.
We finally get to ‘Charlie Checkpoint’ on our last day in Berlin and I learn a bit about the Cold War. This place that symbolises the devision of East and West, and the surrounding areas, are now full of tourists doing touristy things.
In Berlin, I am also invited to a public school with the daughter of our Servas host (Servas promotes peace and understanding through travel and hosting) to see what a German public school is like, join in some activities and examine how the kids behave in the classroom. I'll say this, they are noisy, but so far my 6R is the noisiest class I have ever been to! Nobody believes me when I tell them I am used to the noise! Ha Ha!
German School Poem
Round and round
Laughter like little bubbles.
Say goodbye to your ear drums,
They'll be drowned in a wave
How boys play,
Their wrestling grip,
Voices girls could never command.
All giggling like geese
Girls may be serious
All sober like swans.
Papers all in a flurry.
Writing all in a hurry.
That's all for now. Thank you for reading!
Poems and text by Suni on behalf of The Wind Riders
(edited by Daddy)