Night Location: Berlin, Germany
Song of the Day: Fader - The Temper Trap
Mumisode of the Day: "I really am leaning a bit to the side", after visiting the Garden of Exile in the Jewish Museum, Berlin.
Today we woke up in our new apartment and the sky was a brilliant blue, the sun was shining with no clouds anywhere, and there was a lot of noise in the courtyard below as it was bin day. Funny the things that you realize you are missing when you are on holidays for so long.
Gemma and Amber had an early adventure today to the central rail station after a lot of research done the night before. We have decided to invest in the Berlin Welcome Card, a card that allows unlimited free public transport, access to all the museums on Museum Island and multiple discounts to other museums and attractions. We were a little foolish as we set off on the Berlin Metro without any map and had to rely on maps that we could find posted around various stations. On the return journey we had the genius Red Book that came with the Berlin Card and so the trip was very relaxed! Importantly, we have also found the simplest route to avoid stairs for the return journey with the mound of luggage.
The five of us set off today for the Jewish Museum complete with Berlin Cards. We walked from our apartment at Checkpoint Charlie along the site where the wall once stood. The wall has been replaced with a row of double bricks, and I don't know how many times we have crossed this wall already. It is so hard to imagine a city that was so divided when really everything crosses this line.
The Jewish Museum is a brilliantly constructed building. It was designed in the '90s and forms the shape of two lightning strikes, called 'the blitz'. The exhibit starts down in the basement of the building where three axes take you on the journey the Jews experienced during WWII: the Axis of the Holocaust, the Axis of Exile and the Axis of Continuity. The Axis of the Holocaust leads you into a large metal tower that is completely black except for a slit of light coming in from high above, and just out of reach there is a ladder leading up to a blackened ceiling. It conjures all sorts of images, and you are freezing cold. There are strange noises and it is almost frightening. The Axis of Exile leads you outdoors into a courtyard complete with 49 large pillars that slope slightly to the side. Olive trees are growing out of the top of them and the ground beneath is uneven. When you walk through the pillars while looking up at the sky you can't help but feel dizzy and somewhat disorientated. Mum felt this the most acutely and had to sit down as she stated, "I really am leaning to the side."
The remainder of the museum takes you on a journey through the history of Judiasm. WWII was not the first time that the Jews were targeted. It was really quite sad. We had to spend a long time recovering in the cafe at the end where our handy Berlin Cards got us another discount.
We spent the rest of the day wandering the Unter den Linden. We saw the Brandenberg Gate and were quite confused by entry to the Reichstag. Turns out you have to make a booking to enter the parliament building here. These Germans are really quite complicated with their ticketing systems.
Dad, David, Amber and Gemma all set off for an evening adventure at the 'Yellow Sunshine', Berlin's vegetarian burger restaurant. It was quite the experience getting there as we were catching the Metro fairly late in the evening on Halloween. Felt somewhat out of place as none of us had any fake blood or green masks to blend in. The burgers were fantastic. Why can't we have a bit more of this at home? SO much food that none of us could finish it. The dogs running loose on the floor were a little concerning.
Tomorrow even more museums to explore. Amber can't wait!