Since it was the last full day, I had some ambitious plans. Unfortunately, I woke up feeling awful. At breakfast Tony gave me some “DayNurse,” which bears a striking resemblance to the cocktail of medications my mom prescribes at home. Pseudophederine, paracetamol, and something else.
I had to go lie down for a bit. The early morning I had been hoping for was shot, but at least I was able to move. The other girls in my room were leaving at the same time, so I didn’t feel too badly about it.
My first stop was the Jewish Museum. It was very interesting, especially the architecture and artifacts. The Jewish history I had already learned about extensively in my History of Antisemitism class, so the exhibits were a little redundant. The building itself was probably the most interesting part. It was a jagged metal building with lots of slit windows, but none of the windows showed sky or the horizon. You looked out into the world only to see the dismal steel side of the same building.
After this uplifting experience, I headed to the Berlinische Museum. It was just right around the corner. This was a gallery of work created in and about Berlin that progressed chronologically. I found this pretty interesting. You got to see how culture changed through the changes in the work. I was a little disappointed that it skipped over the WWII era. I know that it was an art museum, not a history museum, and there wasn’t much art from this time… But Jewish art from that time is especially interesting, and I was looking forward to seeing it.
From there, I headed to the Kaiser Wilhelm I memorial. The subway let out right next to it, but I couldn’t figure out where it was at first. As it turns out, it was completely encased in a temporary building shell of aluminum and plexiglass. The memorial itself is a church that was hit by bombs during WWII and left in a dilapidated state as a memorial, so it was disappointing not to be able to see the exterior.
The new chapels built around it were gorgeous. They were all blue stained glass, and very reminiscent of the colors of the Saint Chappelle in Paris. The interior of the old church, or what was left of it, was equally impressive. It was mosaicked in the Byzantine style, so it was interesting to see after my recent trip to Istanbul.
I caught a train from there to Museum Island. I had to make about three transfers, so it wasn’t the easiest journey, but I made it. The Berlin Cathredral was my first stop. That was pretty incredibly. The dome was amazing. I walked up 267 steps to the very top, but it was sad because the views were pretty restricted. The Dome also housed a museum about how it was made, and below it all… A crypt. The crypt was straight out of Dracula. The weirdest part were all the baby coffins. It’s one of those places you just have to see.
I tried to head to some of the museums after this but they were all closing. The architecture of museums is interesting in itself, but I might go back tomorrow to see the art. It’s between that and the Stasi Museum, but they’re in opposite directions so I probably won’t have time for both.
Since the museums were closed, I went back to the hostel to see what the rest of the group was up to. I wrote some postcards, then ran into Lily. She, James, Tony, Chris and I went to dinner at the same Vietnamese place that Lily and I had found on Monday. It was just so delicious, so legit and so cheap.
Since I’m under the weather, I just went back and went to bed. I think it was a pretty successful day, especially considering how badly I felt before I took that medicine.