Berliner Weekend

DAY 1

Last weekend, I flew to Berlin. We got in around mid morning and just walked around the city for a bit, not looking for anything in particular. We spend some rime in Alexander Platz. There was a festival going on with food and beer stands. I packed a sandwich but my friends got potato latkes, curry wurst, and schnitzel so I just bummed food off of them. There was a beer stand selling banana hefferwisen and Ned went over to order one. The vendors were chucking as they poured the drink and laughed out loud as Ned walked away. The same thing happened when Ben. He decided to go back and ask what was so funny, and apparently he told Ben that it’s a ‘girly’ drink. I thought it tasted gross. But I think all beer is gross. It was hot and muggy and I wished I had shorts on instead of jeans. After sightseeing, we took the train to our lovely Air BnB, settled in, then walked to the Rewe for groceries. Dinner was a feast of baked chicken, rice, and vegetables with cake for dessert. (Thank you to our head chef and sous chef, Logan and Ben respectively).

DAY 2

The next day, we headed out after a delicious breakfast to the center of Berlin. First we stopped at the Petersburg Gate, crossing over in to western Germany.

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Then we walked along an allee to a sculpture. I don’t know what it was called.

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We went to a design exhibit about the future of food which had a mix of real projects and satirical future solutions that mocked the current state of the food industry. Particularly funny was a theoretical project proposing VR (virtual reality) glasses for chickens so it looks to them like they are free range when they actually packed together in a dark warehouse.

After lunch. Well, I think we had lunch. We went to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Experiencing this memorial was surreal because we discussed this memorial a lot in class (the design intentions and such) so it was interesting to see how successful the memorial was. It is supposed to be an immersive, isolating, and somber experience. Unfortunately, the memorial – to those who are unaware – looks like a very fun places to play and run around.

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DAY 3

Our plane didn’t leave until 9:25 PM on Sunday so we had plenty of time to see more things. We started with some Berlin Wall exhibits.

The East-Side Gallery
We walked down a portion of the wall that had murals done by artists after the wall had fallen.

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The Berlin Wall Museum
I honestly knew relatively little about the Berlin Wall and there was a lot of interesting information about the history here. There was  a portion of the wall sectioned off to show what it originally looked like with the inner and outer wall and the death strip in between.

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After learning all the depressing stuff about the Berlin Wall, we went to an exhibit called “The Topography of Terror” which detailed the events of World War II and Hitler’s rise to power because we wanted to be even more depressed. But honestly, it was quite interesting, although hard to swallow.

After being sad all day, we got dinner at an Irish Pub, then headed to the airport. Check in was a breeze and we set up camp at a little table near our gate. We played the card game Saboteur for a while and waited for the information for our gate. Finally, we got our gate and had to run all the way down the terminal to get to it. But right as we arrived, they announced that our gate changed to one that all the way back where we had just been sitting. Then our plane got delayed. And delayed again. We didn’t end up boarding until 11:30 pm.

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