Travel isn’t just about Museums – sometimes you must do Laundry

It’s our last full day in Berlin – and there is a ton of things still on our list to see and do. Unfortunately – one of them is Laundry. Can’t get away from the fact that eventually either you wash clothes or people start to move away from you in the Metro. Which, on consideration – might not be the worst idea.

Anyway – laundry. While it’s awesome that the Cat’s PJ’s has machines – and they aren’t $$ (just 4 euro’s for the load – wash and dry) – they are slow. Really slow. So it’s a relaxing morning – I get some blogging done, The Intrepid Traveler reads – and eventually the laundry is hanging in our room. We just couldn’t wait for the dryer to dry everything completely.

It’s almost lunch time before we leave the hostel – and our first stop is the Karstat Department store. It’s right across the street from the hostel – and it’s huge. And amazing. I love the houseware department – German and Italian plastic ware are so cool. There’s the complete selection of all the top designers – and we spend a good 30 minutes just handling all the beautiful things. Eventually – big shoppers that we are – we pick out a 1 euro knife to have on hand for cutting fruit. Then it’s on to the Museum of European Cluture.

Never heard of it? Not a surprise! It’s not really a museum – it’s 4 rooms in a larger museum dedicated to Ethnocology – and there’s a gigantic exhibit on Canadian First Nations! We quickly walk thru – admiring their considerable collection – and thinking – what must the Germans think of Canada – Land of Indians? Do they think we still have cowboys? Oh well – I guess our efforts at explaining the issues related to East and West Germany are probably even less informative.

The display related to European Culture is fairly interesting – lots of stuff I really didn’t know – including the fact that Doner’s were invented in Berlin. Yes – Doner. Those omnipresent huge meat things that stand vertically in a rotisserie in Turkish Fast Food restaurants. Who knew it was a Turk living in Berlin who invented that? I have to say they have been yummy eating here.

There is also a very interesting exhibit on WWI – everything is made of grey felt and chicken wire – definitely inspires respect and remorse in the heads of the viewer.

Our next stop is the National Art and Decoration Museum, which has a huge section on Fashion. Unfortunately – we’re going so slowly that we arrive with under an hour before it closes. We zip quickly into the Regency section – I snap a picture of dancing shoes – I hear tell of an amazing ball being held in Brussels in just a few weeks – I really could use some new shoes.

Just across the mall from the Art and Decor Museum is the ‘Old Master’s’ Museum of Berlin. And it is a stunner. And open an hour longer than the Art and Decor Museum. So we zip in there – and hit the highlights. I’m a huge fan of their Venus – and there are some Rembrants and Rubens that you just don’t want to miss. We also spend a good 15 minutes enjoying the Proverb painting by Brueghel the younger. So good. And they also have a Hermonious Boch. Sigh.

Dinner is at the Tex-Mex (yes – again) – this time we are meeting up with a friend from Montreal – and it’s the one place I know for sure is good, not expensive – and I can find! Dinner is great – The Intrepid Traveller and I split a single meal – the portions are that big.

Home – Bed – early up for our flight to St. Petersburg, which goes swimmingly. No problems – even though we’re flying Areoflot – and I admit to a bit of concern about using a Russian Airlines. Turns out I should not have been worried.

We are standing at Baggage Claim when my female friend from Africa – Mr. Piatgorsky – sneaks up behind us to give us a hug, and a high 5 welcome to St. Petes!

Why Mr. Piatgorsky? Turns out she’s travelling with a huge – really huge – suitcase. And Mr. Piatgorsky loved to travel with his cello – to the point where he’d buy the seat on the airplane next to him for his cello. Needing a name for the reservation – and not being married – he would reserve his seat for Mrs. Piatgorsky! I’m going to call her MP for short!

Anyway – we’d planned to met up – MP is spending 10 days with the IT and myself in St. Petes. We’ve already made our reserations at the MIR youth hostel – 1 private room with bath for the IT and myself to share – MP is getting 2 beds – one for herself, one for her suitcase.

Ah – if only things worked out as planned…

But you will have to wait till tomorrow to hear how things go down in St. Petes!

Signing off – The Soup Lady – and her travel buddies – The Intrepid Traveller and Mr. Piatgorsky!

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