My time in Berlin was very intense and shaped my outlook on the world. While I want to write about my time in Berlin in a schedule format to show that it is possible to see a ton in just 2 days, I also want to present my thoughts on Berlin in the most cohesive way possible. This post is the last in my three-post series “2 Days in Berlin”. If you haven’t already, please check out my other two posts on my time in Berlin, “A Stroll through Großer Tiergarten” and “Lessons From Berlin: Always Potential for Peace and Violence”, especially the latter, which details my reflections on my visit to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and my tour of the city.
Day 1 was history day, Day 2 was museum day. I’ve always loved art, and I can lose myself in a museum. Although it’s a blessing, this love for museums can be a bit of a challenge when I’m trying to see as much as possible in a short time. All five major museums of Berlin are located on museum island, and the museum offers students the option to purchase a ticket to all five museums for only 12 euros (I can’t find the receipt, so don’t quote me on that).
9:30 am I headed out from my hostel,stopping once again to admire the Berlin Cathedral before reaching the museums.
10:00 am First up was the Bode Museum, which houses art from just about everywhere. The exterior of the building is jaw-dropping, and once you go inside the entrance hall doesn’t fall short of expectations. One of my favorite pieces was Edmé Bouchardon’s Genius of Abundance.
1:00 pm Before heading to the next museum, I grabbed an authentic German pretzel for lunch because I’m great about nutritional balance. It had a slight ginger twang to it that reminded me of a cookie old people would like. Still decent, but not NYC fluffy. German monks may have invented pretzels, but those little tweeks to the recipe that made them oh-so-perfect clearly happened elsewhere.
1:20 pm Next I headed to the Alte Nationalgalerie, which houses Neoclassical, Romantic, Biedermeier, and early Modernist work, nearly all of which is European. The museum heavily featured the works of Adolph Menzel, whose paintings of landscapes particularly spoke to me.
4:30 pm I checked out the Neue Museum, which exhibits Prehistoric and Early Historic artifacts. This museum was destroyed during the allied bombings that ended WWII, and finally reopened in 2009.
6:00 pm I was a bit hungry, so I figured I would grab a quick snack before heading to the memorials to the homosexuals, Roma, and socialists killed in the holocaust.
Before landing in Germany, I had done a bit of research and made a list of all the German foods I wanted to try. I couldn’t find most of them, and I was thrilled to finally find a Berliner, one of the options on my list (in Germany’s defense my list was essentially “chicken version of [insert red meat German delicacy here]” over and over again, and it turns out that Germany doesn’t really do substitutes). The cake of the doughnut was stale and rough, and the jelly tasted like artificial food dye mixed with children’s cough syrup. After tasting this famous desert I understood why Germans have a much lower rate of obesity that of Americans.
6:30 pm As I hadn’t eaten much of the Berliner, I decided I would just eat dinner, so I headed to a nicer looking restaurant and ordered a lox/lachs/smoked salmon sandwich.I forgot to ask for whole wheat bread, and the stale white bread they gave me could have led even the most die-hard wonderbread fan to come to share my affinity for multigrain products. This sandwich tasted like it was angry at me. Too much dill. Too much mayo. Not enough love. I decided I would rather be grumbly for the next hour or two than eat this. I am deeply grateful that I don’t have to worry about when I’m getting my next meal, and that I was able to walk away from this abysmal sandwich.
7:00 pm I headed towards Brandenburg Gate with plans to see the memorials. However, I soon realized that Berlin gets MUCH colder in April after the sun sets and I wasn’t dressed for the weather. I headed back to my hostel, and vowed to see the remaining memorials the next time I was in Berlin.
9:00 pm On the way back to my hostel, I realized there was an ice cream place nearby, so I grabbed my coat and ordered this quirky dish where they make ice cream look like spaghetti. Perfect end to my time in Berlin.