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A full day in Berlin.

Day 41 Planned:

Sightseeing in Berlin, this will probably include the Wall (or what’s left of it).

Day 41 Actual:

Breakfast and farewell to Todd who is departing today for home via Frankfurt. I shall utter the obligatory Monty Python joke: SPLITTER!

Seriously though, fare thee well and safe travels, it’s been great traveling with you.

As of breakfast my plans were unclear so I met with Julian, Fran and the concierge around 9ish to work out what would come next.

At that point I asked for directions the Technology and Aerospace museums, both recommended by friends. The concierge provided clear directions for both.

So far so good.

Technology Museum and Adventures in Public Transport

The first place I wanted to visit was Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin, partly because a friend at home had recommended it for the Z1 computer (scroll down to the Computers section in the Wikipedia page).

The directions to get there from Alexanderplatz were fairly straightforward. And, hey, Germany uses the same alphabet so that makes things easier. Some of the signs in the stations are even partially translated.

Partially? Oh yes, like the one saying that the U2 line was out of service for improvement works, and providing partial English instructions for alternative buses to Spittemark.

Except of course that the trains were running as normal, so I suspect that the out of service is late night/early morning and that that bit wasn’t translated. Still I managed to catch the train to Gleisdreieck station.

Along the way I spotted this impressive but questionable street art on the side of a Mercure Hotel:

Appropriation Much?

OK. The walking route from Gleisdreieck station to the museum was well sign posted.

The museum that was closed on Mondays. You may remember my previous luck (or lack thereof) with the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and the Aurora. 0 for 3.

I did get some nice photos of the area that the museum is in, but that was it. As an aside the bins in Berlin have interesting text on them, this one in particular is next to the museum and amused me greatly:

Chortle

Oh, and the museum does have one of the Berlin Airlift planes on the roof above the entrance:

From the Berlin Airlift (Presumably).

The nearby canal is quite pretty too:

Canal near the Technology Musuem

Never mind, on to the next planned item!

Aerospace? I thought you said Espionage

At least that’s what I think happened. The concierge gave me directions to Potzdamer Platz which has a prominent Espionage Museum right outside the station. It’s essentially part of the Berlin Wall precinct, and well sited within that context.

But it wasn’t what I was looking for, or in the mood for. I retreated to the “Mall of Berlin” and accessed the free wi-fi. It seems that the museum I thought a friend had visited in Berlin had actually been visited from Berlin and is a significant distance away.

FEH.

0 for 4.

At that point I decided to hook back up with Julian, Ben, and Fran who were using a hop-on/hop-off bus to get to the Natural History museum.

Wandering Around

From Potzdamer Platz I wandered up to the Brandenburg Gate and caught the same bus Julian et al were using. Along the way I passed by the 2,711 stelae of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe:

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Speaking of the Brandenburg Gate, here it is:

The Brandenburg Gate

However, although it’s a loop route as such usually are, it was heading away from them. Checking the map provided revealed an option to cut that short.

So I jumped off at the Victory Column (not sure which victory), and started walking through Tiergarten Park.

Tiergarten Park 1

This park is really pretty. It has a sort of river/canal system running through it and I was getting lovely reflection shots on the water. Not to mention some fairly colourful ducks:

Ducks in Tiergarten

The panorama function on the camera even behaved itself occasionally:

Tiergarten Park 2

This wasn’t in any way shape or form what I planned to do today, but it really was lovely to stroll through.

Tiergarten Park 3

Tiergarten Park 4

I did get a bit lost though, but there’s maps at the exits that I was able to re-orient with and head more in the direction of where the others were. Once you do get oriented, the major paths in the Tiergarten are not exactly… subtle

Paths in the Tiergarten

I eventually got back to Potzdamer Platz just as the others were entering the Espionage Museum.

Another Piece of the Wall

As I mentioned above I just wasn’t in the mood for that today, although all three report that it’s excellent, so I went back to the Mall for lunch and some shopping.

I did manage to find a USB hub with travel adaptors (well, excluding Australia but I can live with that), and the food hall baguette was decent.

From there I headed to a coffee shop for a hot chocolate and missed the others exiting the Museum.

Checkpoint Charlie and Catching Up

So I headed straight to Checkpoint Charlie, got there first, and then worked out which route they’d gone on to find their lunch spot. Along the way I passed over this almost archaeologically preserved section of the Berlin Wall – I think it’s a memorial or museum of some sort but didn’t stop:

Preserved section of the Berlin Wall

What I haven’t mentioned is the constant exchange of SMSs betweeen me and Julian as to movements. None of which really helped until the end – this was very much another comedy of errors on my part.

That said I did enjoy my various perambulations so I have no regrets for today.

Well. Maybe Checkpoint Charlie is a regret.

I passed a number of interesting sites on the way but Checkpoint Charlie itself is crass touristy shite at its worst. Julian shared that thought and didn’t take any photos there at all (neither did I for that matter).

From there we wandered back to the hotel. The sky on the way back did have some lovely colours in it:

Dusk Sky over Canal

Although this one was even better:

Sunset over Canal

And as the night started to settle in, and I started playing with the sunsets feature on the camera, I picked this one up:

Glorious Colours

One curiosity of the day was this optical illusion of the hotel that makes it look like several of the windows are broken (they’re not, really not, but that’s what it looked like):

Optical Illusion

My laundry was back so I re packed, put devices on charge, and prepared for dinner.

Photos

Here are the photos for Day 41. These include a couple of “easily amused” screenshots from email and the NetBank app. 😄 Speaking of which:

Really? I wonder why that might be?

Also competing in the accurate but useless category

Thank you NetBank. Thank you so very little.