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By this Author: The Wind Riders

Berlin Excitements

PLENTY OF FUN, CULTURE AND HISTORY!


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Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate


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.

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An enormous car engine.

An enormous car engine.


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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!)

French Dome.

French Dome.


A bit of history at the French Dome: I learn that lots of thing were destroyed during the Second World War and wonder how people survived at all.

A bit of history at the French Dome: I learn that lots of thing were destroyed during the Second World War and wonder how people survived at all.


Berlin gets dark at 4pm in the winter but we love the pretty lights.

Berlin gets dark at 4pm in the winter but we love the pretty lights.


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.

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Some insects were gigantic during dinosaur time.

Some insects were gigantic during dinosaur time.


Giant panda.

Giant panda.


The Museum Of Natural History

Once upon a time,
There was a big big man,
And he came and shot at a big
- eland!

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,
Horrible fascination.
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.

Recollections
Ecstasies
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!

With exctint ‘Dodo’.

With exctint ‘Dodo’.


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Most of the taxidermic animals in this museum died naturally but this eland (on the left) was shot by someone on his holiday. What macabre pleasure!

Most of the taxidermic animals in this museum died naturally but this eland (on the left) was shot by someone on his holiday. What macabre pleasure!


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Purple quartz.

Purple quartz.


After studying the thickening on his skull and the fossilised bacteria in his lung, scientists decided that this T-Rex died either from a brain cancer or a lung infection.

After studying the thickening on his skull and the fossilised bacteria in his lung, scientists decided that this T-Rex died either from a brain cancer or a lung infection.


With Komodo dragon.

With Komodo dragon.


Stegosaurus.

Stegosaurus.


At the Bode Museum on Museum Island (many great museums at one convenient location).

At the Bode Museum on Museum Island (many great museums at one convenient location).


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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).

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Hatshepsut was the only female pharaoh, here with a traditional false beard to imitate the Egyptian image of god.

Hatshepsut was the only female pharaoh, here with a traditional false beard to imitate the Egyptian image of god.


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At the National Gallery.

At the National Gallery.


With the 'Angel of Victory'.

With the 'Angel of Victory'.


With Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’.

With Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’.


With a Renoir painting.

With a Renoir painting.


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.

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The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also called the Holocaust Memorial.

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also called the Holocaust Memorial.


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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.

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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
Children go,
Laughter like little bubbles.

Say goodbye to your ear drums,
They'll be drowned in a wave
Of sound.

Rough
‌How boys play,

Their wrestling grip,
Harsh
Voices girls could never command.

How
Chickens gossip,
All giggling like geese
Girls may be serious
All sober like swans.

Ink,
Pens.
Papers all in a flurry.
Writing all in a hurry.

Heads
Bent.
Studying, studying.

That's all for now. Thank you for reading!

Poems and text by Suni on behalf of The Wind Riders
(edited by Daddy)

Posted by The Wind Riders 11:47 Archived in Germany Tagged road_trip germany berlin europe holocaust_memorial brandenburg travel_photography berlin_wall family_travel museum_of_natural_history long-term-travel charlie_checkpoint bode_museum museum_island neues_museum french_dome egyptian_mythology Comments (14)

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