All the stores are closed – as are the banks, the post office, most offices – and I’m guessing government buildings. Good news for the tourists – at least most restaurants are open – and museums normally open on Monday are open today too. Whew – for a minute I thought I was back in Bali celebrating Nyepi – only with less preperation!
We’d planned to do the Berlin Basics today – Check-point Charlie and the Topography of Terror Exhibit being first and foremost on our list. Check-point Charlie is silly – 2 guys dressed up as soliders – posing with any tourist willing to tip them. I guess the good news is they are being nice about it – smiling or being serious as the tourist requests. But it’s really silly stuff.
More interesting – and well worth reading – are all the official signs talking about where the wall was – and tracing the route down Zimmerstrasse thru the carefully placed cobble stones. We walk the Wall to the Topography of Terror – a free exhibit that traces the history of Hilter and the SS from 1933 till the end of the war. Stunning, informative, horrifying, intriging, alarming – and unforgetable. The mood in the large space is somber – as befits the topic – and the timeline starts off like Hilter did – slow and careful – picking up speed and horror as time moved on. A must see exhibit.
We leave there to check out the Gropius House – but the special exhibits on this month don’t appeal to us. Next stop – a quick peak into Potsdammer Plaza – and then a stroll towards Brandenburg Gate.
A wildly unique building attracts our eyes – that plus a sign that says free Science Museum. Even better – it’s open. So we stroll on in. It’s a display put together by Otto Bock Inc. – famous for prosthetics. And it’s all about the human body and how our brain controls our legs and hands. It’s fascinating. I particularly found the beam walk simulaton intriguing. It’s really easy to walk a beam that appears to be flat on the ground – another story altogether to walk that beam when the visual tells you that you are high above a city scape.
Walking on – we admire the Brandenburg gate – and the crowds of tourists admiring the gate. Been there – seen it. We move on.
Our next stop is a fabulous mini art museum – The Guggeneim – Deuche Bank Museum. It’s a modern art exhibit space – free on Monday’s – that this time is featuring an artist who asks questions and then attempts to get the audience involved in his answers via video footage.
One stunner – he goes to a flea market and displays a collection of palm tree branches for sale. Full sized palm tree fronds. Eventually – after a lot of curious looks from the passers by – the organizers ask him nicely to leave. Granted the palm tree branches are used – but hardly the stuff of yard sales. He morfs this experience into a discussion on group definitions. What is – and What isn’t – a flea market appropriate item.
Another challenge has 5 people trying to play one piano at the same time. In another video – 4 potters try to make a single pot together – with strange results. I’m not going to describe the rest of his work – but you get the idea. Challenging questions – with probably no really good answers.
Moving on – we opt to collapse into “The Digital Eatery”, which kindly gives us hot water for free to go with our slice of cake. They have a virtual reality simulator – which of course I must try! The first program is a jet fighter in outerspace – Once I put on the glasses – I can see my body wearing a space suit, my arms manipulating the controls of the space ship – and of course my surroundings – a meteor shower with targets to hit.
I loved it – even if I couldn’t actually hit any of the targets – in fact – I never even found them! But it was still very very cool.
We continue our walk – ending the day at the Haut Banholf – and eat a surprising great dinner at the Tex-Mex Cantina. 6.90 Euro (about $8 Canadian) for a fried chicken dinner large enough to feed 2. But we didn’t know that – so I ordered Pork Chops – same price – same huge size. Well – it’s going to be left overs for dinner tomorrow.
We drag out tired bodies back to the metro and head home to the Cat’s Pajama’s. Tea, Blog and Bed for Bozo….
Signing off – The Soup Lady and the Intrepid Traveler