Sunday, 4 October 2015

Berlin Wrap Up

Part of the Kent AC team who ran in Berlin
After the Berlin marathon I headed back to the apartment for a shower and stretch before heading back into town to the Georgbraeu brew house which had been nominated as the post race venue. It was a pub that I'd visited three years ago when I was in Berlin with my uni friends.

We spent a pleasant couple of hours chatting about our races in the late afternoon sunshine over a couple of beers. Even though we were genuinely all on our best behaviour and no one was drunk told us it was last orders and stopped serving us even as they continued to serve nearby tables. We'd obviously done something to offend and running up a 300 EUR tab obviously wasn't good enough business for them!

Swiss Miss from Zsa Zsa Burger
I surprisingly wasn't that hungry after the marathon but decided that I'd better go out for dinner so headed to Zsa Zsa Burger which was close to the apartment and recommended by the person we'd rented it from.

I decided to wear my medal to the restaurant, hoping it would be a conversation start so I could tell someone about my epic 2:49 or perhaps even a free drink. I noticed a few other runners in the restaurant from the blue wrist bands and none of them were wearing their medals. Deciding it perhaps wasn't the coolest thing after all I tucked my medal inside my jumper.

The burger was pretty good. In London the trend is very much for decadent US style burgers and I'd assumed it would probably be the same here, but it was more a Berlin take on a burger. The coleslaw had a sauerkraut edge and the cheese was a punchy raclette rather than the mild American style cheese.

Half way through the burger I thought my stomach had finally come back to life and I was going to have to order a second, but I was forcing it down by the end and decided not to have dessert.

Inside the Pergamon Museum
My flight back to the UK wasn't until 6pm on the Monday and I'd bought a museum pass so that I could check out a few of the exhibitions on Museum Island before I left the city.

My first stop was the Pergamon Museum. It's currently undergoing a huge renovation project and two of the three wings are currently closed, including the Pergamon Alter that I was hoping to see.

However, the wing which was open was still pretty impressive. Most of the exhibits were on an epic scale like the theatre entrance you can see above. The website describes some of the exhibits as architectural superstructures from Greek and Roman antiquity and I think that is a pretty fair description.

I couldn't help thinking whether they get in any bother for having these superstructures in Berlin like we do for having the Elgin Marbles in London?

After an hour looking round the Pergamon my legs weren't thanking me for so much time standing up.
Neues Museum
My next stop was the next door Neues (New) Museum. I'd read a review that morning saying to go for the architecture of the building if nothing else and it certainly was a beautiful building.

I haven't looked into the history of the building so I don't know how much of it was there pre-war, how extensive the repairs were post war and what type of state it was in at re-unification. However, the latest renovation is a thing of beauty. The different eras of the building have been moulded together brilliantly with a simple palate of materials. It no doubt cost a fortune.

I spent another hour wandering around the Neues museum and my legs certainly weren't thanking me by this stage so I decided to make my way back to the apartment.
East Berlin's TV tower / observation deck
On my way back I walked past the Altes (Old) Museum . The pass I'd bought entitled me to free entry to this museum as well, but I secretly thankfully it was close on Monday's as it gave my legs a break.

Back near the apartment I had some lunch and an ice cream, before buying a couple of gifts for Becks, putting my feet up for an hour and then heading out to the airport.

The plane on the way home was definitely the 'marathon express' with quite a few people wearing their medals and lots of others sporting the distinctive blue wrist bands. After looking distinctly un-cool the night before, my medal was firmly in my bag and I'd cut my wrist band off. Was I the quickest runner on the flight? I'd like to think so.
Altes Museum

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