Friday, July 20, 2012

Museums and Buses and More

Berlin has some seriously good antiquities museums. We started out the day by visiting the Pergammon Museum, that has an entire temple from Greece! It was gigantic and filled several rooms. It was an amazing display and would have been even better if Russia hadn't run off with all the gold and valuables after WWII. Although they've given back a lot of artifacts to Germany, they've decided the treasures of Troy were too good to return. It makes one wonder if the German government ever got it back if Turkey, in it's turn, would say, "Wait a minute! It was ours first!"

My favorite in the Pergammon museum, however, was the Ishtar gate from the city of Babylon. It was blue and gold and beautiful and huge! Again, you have to wonder how Iraq feels about it being in Germany!
We also visited the Bode Museum, which had the nicest bathrooms, and no lines! In the Neues Museum we were able to see the famous 3,300 year old bust of Nefertiti, the Egyptian queen. She was so valuable we couldn't take pictures of her, but I downloaded this picture from the internet to show you how beautiful she was!

Again, they had major parts of an Egyptian pyramid in the Neues Museum! At first I felt sad that they didn't leave any plundering for the rest of the world. Then, I remembered Mexico, and all the Mayan and Aztec artifacts spread around the USA. I guess we got into the act before it was too late!

We had purchased Berlin Welcome Cards at the airport for 34 Euros each. It included all the museums on museum island, as well as all the buses or trains you can take in 72 hours. It turns out you can take about 9 rides in just one day! We really got our money's worth out of it! The transportation was great, and between Ed and Amanda keeping on top of which bus to get on, Crystal and I could just enjoy the ride!

We stopped by Bellevue Schloss, where the president of Germany lives. I read so much about it in Der Spiegel last year, as they had a big scandal and booted out the old president.

 Berlin has a beautiful city park called the Tiergarten. We loved the victory statue in the middle of it. President Obama drew a crowd of 200,000 to hear him speak there in 2008! Who wouldn't want to hear the winner of the Nobel peace prize speak?

We would have enjoyed our lovely stroll through the Tiergarten more if Ed and Crystal hadn't been acting like children and pushing and shoving one another! Amanda and I tried to steer clear from them!

We decided it would be more fun to see the East Side Gallery than have dinner today. It is a section of wall that has murals by different artists. It also has a significant amount of graffiti, but we did enjoy seeing the tribute to the reunification of Germany. The entire city has bricks in the road to show where the wall used to be. It interesting to note that the wall intersects what is now the Marriott hotel. We could have eaten dinner in the hotel with one foot in the east and the other in the west.

We capped off our marathon day of public transportation by a last transfer in the Berlin main rail station--the mother of all train stations. It had so many levels, and so many trains and subways going all directions! It was also beautiful and very modern. Sadly, if I hadn't been had help I'd be wandering around aimlessly even now. It was not for the faint of heart!

We had tickets for a 6:30 p.m. tour of the Reichtag, the seat of German government. This was a great tour, and we loved it. The tour guide was Polish, but spoke perfect English. Parliament wasn't in session, but apparently was here yesterday to pass the Spain bailout money into law.

We got to climb to the top of the glass dome for great views of the city. It was really an amazingly beautiful structure. They even had the coolest audio tapes in the dome that turned on automatically as you passed important landmarks while circling the dome on your ascent! Even better, it was all compliments of the state of Germany!

We took time to rest up a little and have a late dinner before walking back to see the Brandenburg gate lit up at night. It was so beautiful, well worth sacrificing a little more sleep. After all, we leave Berlin tomorrow and this was our last chance to see their most famous landmark! But this is the last time on this trip that you're going to find me blogging at midnight!


  1. Lovely pictures Family Bush! Looking forward to meeting you all next week. Vanessa xx

  2. Wow, busy day:) Love the Egyptian princess, I'm glad you included her::) Seems odd that she is in Germany.