The End of Berlin

"The Wall" ... An item that kept families, friends, and ideas separated for so long.  After seeing the wall in person it's hard to believe that something as frail, thin, and at maybe fourteen feet tall kept people apart for so long.  I guess it's more of what it stood for and it's strength was more in the people who built it then in the physical representation of the wall.  It's odd since as a child i remember the stories and the pictures having this enormous stone structure that looked impenetrable.  I remember in grade school hearing stories about the people and life on the other side and all of the celebrations, even in the states, when the wall came down in '89. 

As a kid i always imagined bulldozers running the length of the wall destroying all of it in one swift action.  In reality the wall came down in pieces.  Sections of the wall were moved to museums and another small section was left where it was and murals were painted on it...well not anymore.  I had read that the East Side Gallery, the wall where the murals and tagging were, was under going "renovation".  This was translated incorrectly as what's really happened is they painted over everything in white.  The whole wall was white except for a few new painted areas that people were working on.  I didn't see plans from the previous murals anywhere and the people painting didn't appear to be working from anything.  It's sad if the Germans truly lost the art that was created in such close emotion with the fall of the wall to replace it with artwork from a time where most working on the painting are too young to even remember it.  I get that the country needs to move on, but it feels like it has become more of something to bring in cash from the tourists then a memorial to the thoughts, ideas, and feelings that came from the end of the wall.

After the stroll along the East Side Gallery i headed over to the Museum complex Museumsinsel.  One museum had caught my eye, all Egyptian artifacts...Altes Museum.  I had a fantastic afternoon browsing the different finds from digs in the 1800's.  The Bust of Cleopatra is amazing in person.  I don't know how much restoration has been done, but the color is stunning and the piece truly shows off how beautiful of a woman and queen she was.  The entire museum complex is under going renovations and it appeared that they were building new buildings for some of them, Museum Island as they refer to it.

Afterwards a brief nap on the grass in front of the Berliner Dom i decided i was done walking and wanted something else to give me a tour.  I decided on a really long boat tour to end the afternoon as the day was in the mid 70's and the water looked fantastic.  We went up and down the River Spree which gave me another view of the Wall from the water and a tour of the water lining sites of Berlin.  It's interesting how old buildings have been renovated and re-purposed for things like a TV Station for Comedy Central.  A working power plant in the middle of the city seemed odd to me...but i guess if you don't have a lot of space, and maybe didn't know how dangerous they were, you'd put it in the midle of the city center. A nice end to the day.

One of the sites on the boat tour was the Markisches Museum, Museum of Berlin essentially.  After putting everything back into the backpack i headed over to the museum for a few hours before my train.  Awesome things, and ok for pictures!  Lots of photos from the late 180's and items from the entire history of Berlin going back to 1200's.  There was a stereongraph from a worlds fair (i think that's what the sign said) that was showing stereo photos in a round booth with different viewing portals all around.  There were 40 different images in all from 1895 - 1910~ish.  Fantastic images of real people in the city of Berlin, oh the hats!  Nice end to my stay in the city of Berlin.

Here is a Link to the Set of Berlin photo's i took on my Flickr Page, enjoy : )

Now to Prague!

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