Saturday, 8 December 2012

Berlin Day 3: Museum Island and the Great Kindle Theft

Atlas Museum

Ed was up and to the airport early for his flight home to London. The rest of us had the day to enjoy in Berlin and decided to check out Museum Island that we had walked past the night before.

The island had a series of large classical buildings that escaped damage during the war (or have been rebuilt expertly). We had a drift round the island not really committing to going into any of the museums. Reading the guide book I was put off the Pergamon Museum. I'd prefer to be learning something about Berlin rather than ancient Greece or Islamic Art.

We popped into the foyer for a quick warm and to use the bathrooms. Glimpsing the Pergamon Alter through the entrance made me regret my decision. It looked awesome and I'll definitely put it on my to do list for next time I'm in Berlin. I wonder if the Germans are under pressure to give the later back as we are the Elgin Marbles?

Posters outside the Post Office

The main synagogue in Berlin is just round the corner from Museum Island and we thought we'd go for a quick look and saw the nearby Post Office building which looked pretty impressive. As we approached the post office we realised that it is now a photography gallery.

We stepped inside and viewed the small exhibition on the history of the Post Office (it was original built with stables for the stagecoaches) and noticed that they had a retro 1950s photo booth. We couldn't resist taking some photos.

On top of the Cathedral Dome

After the Post Office we headed back towards the Protestant Cathedral which opens to visitors at midday after the Sunday services. The Domed church is on a smaller scale than the churches and mosques in Istanbul's Old Town, but it's ornate painted dome reminded me of the roof of the Blue Mosque.

One of the attractions of the Dome is that you can climb up onto the roof for a great view of the city.  I'd definitely recommend visiting the church and climbing the Dome if you are in Berlin.

A few from the Dome to Museum Island

After the church we headed back to Ostkreuz for lunch before collecting our bags from the hostel. One of the bridges near the station was filled with cool posters. After taking a few photos I was chased down the street by someone wanting to know if I'd taken there photo.

This was the first time anything like that has happened to me while taking photos. I suspected what was going on so quickly deleted the picture from my camera (it was a bad photo anyway!) and then showed her I didn't have any images of her on my memory card. I haven't been able to find any decent articles on the web, but my quick search did suggest that Germany's privacy laws are very strict, although most people don't know their rights and they are rarely enforced (in relation to photography).

After a hearty German lunch and my final Berlin beer we headed back to the hostel to collect our bags. When we went to the luggage room Debs and Vix noticed that their bags had been moved and the zips were open. I didn't think my bag had been disturbed, but checking through it my Kindle had gone. The scoundrel didn't seem to have gone through our bags, but had opened them and seen if anything was lying on top. Luckily I was the only person to loose anything. Worse than losing my Kindle was having my mum's homemade cover stolen. Boo. There was no time to report the theft as we had to get to the airport for our flight home.

A slightly sour end to a great weekend in Berlin. I really enjoyed my first visit to Germany. Here's to our next weekend away!

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