Tourist check marks

There is a list of standard places to see in Berlin. And as diligent tourists we had to check off at least a few major ones.

Brandenburg Gates look a lot more impressive on someone else’s photographs.

There was a temporary art installation in front of the gate. It was in reference to the events in Aleppo when residents built a simialr barricade to protect themselves.

A few hundred feet away there is Holocaust memorial. We didn’t get inside the exhibition as it was closed that day. But the outdoor part is always open. It’d be helpful to know the idea behind it…

To lighten up our spirits (or just my spirit ’cause Matt dislikes stores like that for some reason), we stopped by a chocolate store. It wasn’t on my list of places to visit, but its window displays looked so inviting.

The next checkmark stop was Checkpoint Charlie, which used to be one of the major points to cross the border between East and West.

Despite my disappointment with contemporary art a day earlier, I suggested for us to visit Martin-Gropius-Bau gallery in the neighboring area. I found multiple references to it in different sources (Lonely Planet, the Internet), and I was willing to give art another chance to strike a cord inside me (so poetic).

Among different exhibits, we picked Wenzel Hablik – Expressionist Utopias. The decision was almost random because we had never heard about him before. Though our other option was some “art” about old food… Matt and I agreed after the fact that it was the best art exhibit we had seen so far in Berlin (but not that we had seen much…).

We also visited Topography of Terror museum that details major Nazi policies and activities. However, the grounds were closed for the evening, and the indoor exhibit was very hard to follow, but not because it was poorly organized. We were very tired by that point, so walking around and reading dense text for a couple of hours didn’t seem exciting (I was actually falling asleep while standing). Hence, we didn’t stay long.

The rest of the night was dedicated to more joyous activities.

Drinking cocktails at a roof top bar (Solar)

Having schnitzels at a German pub Stadtklause (recommended by a friend).

FYI, I ordered the soup and one schnitzel. Matt ordered two schnitzels. The waiter was in such disbelief about Matt’s ability to eat two schnitzels that he reached and grabbed Matt’s stomach to check its size… Yep… Not weird at all.

On the way back to the hotel, Matt checked another “to do” list item: drinking beer on the street. He doesn’t need much to feel happy…


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