Central Europe for Sexagenarians – Day 1

Posted by admin on June 29th, 2013 filed in batman, language, travel

Ok, so Mom isn’t 60 yet, but this trip is in honor of her upcoming birthday.

Thursday, June 27th, 2013
Donnerstag, 27. Juni 2013

We begin in Berlin (after a layover in JFK and Heathrow – see pictures from previous post).

Fighting jet lag over a six-hour time difference, we didn’t stay intend to stay out late, but since the sun sets after nine here, we didn’t get back to the hotel until well after dark. But we got a lot of exercise and had a great time strolling around Mitte Berlin – Alexanderplatz, the museum island area, Unter den Liden and the Tiergarten.

We intended to see the museums since several of them are free to the public on Thursdays, but we arrived too late and so settled for walking around the Fernsehturm and Neptunbrunnen, the Berliner Dom, the Atlas and Egyptian museums (where we stopped to dance to some lovely piano playing by a lady on a portable keyboard), the buildings and monuments along Unter den Liden, culminating in the Brandenburger Tor where we saw a lady walking a very cute, very ugly brindle boxer!

Rather than catch a cab back to the hotel, we decided to walk back, but had to go around the border of the Tiergarten because I was too creeped out to walk through it in the dark and the rain.

But just outside the Brandenburger gate, there is a Holocaust Memorial, which is a unique, unmatched experience in itself. It appears to be a simple array of unmarked concrete slabs on flat ground, but as you enter it the floor descends and undulates through the orderly-but-disorienting arrangement. It’s just a grid of blocks, but you still get the lost-in-a-labyrinth feel of panic rising the deeper and deeper you go. That an installation of such simple materials and concept can evoke such unsuspected emotional responses is a credit to the designer. Pictures don’t do it justice.

Apparently it tends to drizzle and mist quite a bit on Berlin evenings in the summer, but we did get several hours of beautiful walking (and picture-taking) weather:

Next: Schloss Charlottenberg and swing dancing!

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