We planned our travel so meticulously that an observer would have assumed we were German. At 6am we got out of bed and started getting ready. The first snag occurred when I went to put on my gothy foundation. During the early part of the trip I had gotten too much sun. So instead of being maybe a shade lighter than my normal skin tone, the foundation looked like clown makeup! I had to wash it off which wasn't easy because it was quite fancy foundation that really didn't want to wash away. Then I had to redo my makeup entirely.
Still, we got to the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (central train station) with plenty of time to spare. We got some euro from a geldautomat, grabbed a beverage, and located our track. But then I got a text on my phone from Deutsche Bahn. Our train was going to be 15 minutes late. No biggie. That would give us time for one more quick bathroom break. We got back to our platform and suddenly the displays now showed an entirely different time. We were quite confused. Eventually we were able to ask someone and discovered that our train had come and gone!
Next we tried to see if we could at least get a refund on the return trip ticket. But my the German transit employees were disinterested in us. Slowly we began to learn that our train hadn't been 15 minutes late. It had been 3 minutes late. And there had been announcements about it moving to another track. So we were on the platform but thought it was a different train. More frustrating conversations where German transit transit acted like we were morons who didn't understand trains got us nowhere. So we decided to cut our losses and just spend the day in Berlin.
|Tiny me with a rather large windmill blade.|
|And possibly the inspiration for the Planet Express building.|
Upstairs were hundreds or possibly thousands of ship models. There was an entire floor of the museum dedicated to them. As you continued up flights of stairs the transportation technology grew more complex as you rose. It went from wooden sailing ships to steam ships, then eventually to balloons, bi-planes, and eventually WWII planes, and jets.
|I really liked this conceptual model of an 18th Century air city.|
Out on the rooftop, Kath found her airplane. IT was a real American DC3. It was neat but the view of Berlin from the top of the museum was the real star. But, just as we reached the roof, they announced the museum would be closing. We felt like we had gotten a good gander of the industrial history of German though.
|I love this warning sign in the beer garden.|
Instead of Kreuzberg, we wandered around our hotel's neighborhood and found a good spot to sit and drink more beers. Okay, Kath and I were on vacation! We don't normally drink this much. But we do love German beer. I love Kristallweiss, which is nearly impossible to find in the US. Kath loves her Hefeweizen, which is easier to find in the US but still not exactly abundant. After drinks we wandered a little bit and then grabbed some Halloumi at a doner kebab place. I don't know why I never tried Halloumi before. It's like delicious grilled cheese in a pita with fun sauces and veggies on top. It was perfect.
Near Ernst-Ruter-Platz we saw a van from the Church of Scientology. For those of you who don't know, Scientology really doesn't like psychiatry or psychology. Actually they kind of lump those two together. Scientology considers them both evil. And they operate museums about how evil psychiatry is. They call them "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death." Well, we found the van that apparently drives around Berlin advertising for this. Kath has worked in this field for twenty years so she is an SP (a supressive person) and she also finds the entire thing hilarious.
We also found the Berlin Scientology Kirche. While we were getting photos out in front, an actual German Scientologist came out and offered to take a pic of us. We declined. Kath wouldn't let me go into the Kirche though. She fears that the Scientologists will convert me. I keep telling her that I grew up Evanglical and got out of that so Scientology is nothing. She seriously underestimates my dislike of joining groups.
Remember when I said we screwed up our last visit to Charlottenberg? Well, we screwed that up by trying to walk there from the East Berlin neighborhood of Prenzlaur Berg. It's too far to walk. But this time we screwed up by going on Whit Monday. What's Whit Monday you ask? I have no idea. Something Catholic. Maybe it's Cathol's birthday. But it does mean that quite a bunch of stuff was closed. So we sort of screwed up our second visit to Charlottenberg as well. Though we still had fun. We just didn't shop.
We rode back through the Tiergarten, Berlin's giant park. There's a wide road that cuts through it. It's essentially Unter der Linden, but when it's in the park it's called Bundestrasse 2. We stopped to look at a statue of Otto von Bismark. As we walked up to it I saw something scurry over a fence. It looked like a cat but not a cat. It definitely wasn't a dog either. It was a dog cat of some sort. Actually it came out again and turned out to be a fox. It was rather cool.
We climbed up an artificial hill in the park and found a bench overlooking the neighborhood. The sun was starting to set. So we sat there drinking our bottled beers and watching the city. The view was amazing and the moment was perfect.