So, Berlin, then. Photos are all on the old book of Face, if you want a squiz. It was a busy holiday, because the weather was appalling, so any ideas I had of sitting in the sun sipping a Pilsner and reading a book were out (I think I managed that once, on Friday lunchtime). That meant lots of walking round museums and thus very sore feet and a very tired lady.
The museums are good, though, I won’t dispute that. Some of the main ones I visited included the Jewish Museum, a really unique building designed by Daniel Liebskind, that looks at the Jewish community in Germany; the museum for the murdered Jews of Europe (under a memorial of a couple of thousand slabs of stone) which is a touching legacy to the 6 million (I think?) Jews who were killed in WW2; the Pergamon Museum, which houses all kinds of amazing stuff, including the Ishtar Gate from Babylon, which is pretty breathtaking; and the DDR museum, which looks at life in East Berlin and is all very Goodbye Lenin (one of my fave films, which I am very much looking forward to re-watching after visiting the city).
I also took in a spot of Berlin Wall tourism, at the East Side Gallery (a huge stretch of wall covered in art – which is decaying somewhat and will undergo restoration next year for the 20th anniversary of the Wall (mostly) falling) and a couple of other spots. It’s quite astonishing just how huge the thing was, just how much of the city was covered by it – and also by how well the city has reintegrated. The only real differences are the fonts used in some of the U-Bahn (tube) stations and the traffic light men in East and West, and even they aren’t consistent (there are lots of West-style traffic lights in the East, for example).
I saw the Brandenburg Gate (lovely), the Reichstag, the very funky chancellor’s house and various other monuments and bits and pieces.
Oh, and the food was VILE. I also spent the night in Stansted airport, due to not having a car, which at least has loads of stuff open through the night, so would be a step up on many, but is still not something I would call fun.
All in all, it was an interesting trip, and I’m glad I went (I even got to speak pidjin German most of the time, and be understood, which was a result), but I am kind of sick of holidays where I get soaking wet and my feet ache like hell now – I think a sitting on a beach reading and doing not much else is in order for 2009, if I can persuade any of my mates to join me…