Sunday, September 9, 2012

DBSB '12: Last Day in Berlin

On our last day, after a breakfast of the most delicious bagel I've ever had in my life...

...we made our way over to the Holocaust Memorial.

The memorial covers an area of 19,000 sq feet and is made up of 2,711 concrete stelae, which vary in height from 8 inches to almost 16 feet.

There is an information center beneath the memorial which serves to tell the stories of families and individuals lost during the Holocaust. They had photographs, testimonies, and pieces of correspondence. It's always overwhelming for me to attempt to process all that took place during the Holocaust, and visiting the information center was a very emotional experience. The organization of the exhibition was excellent and the stories very touching.

After this, we spent the afternoon walking the area where the Berlin Wall once stood.

This boy, besides being adorable, gave us a passport page stamped with all the different seals one would need in order to cross the West-East Berlin border. Like so:

If you visit and happen to have your passport on you, he can stamp that, instead. Pretty cool, huh?

Checkpoint Charlie (or Checkpoint C) was the best-known crossing point between East & West Germany during the Cold War. It is now a museum and one of Berlin's primary tourist attractions.

Just, you know, bits and pieces of the Berlin wall. Did you know you can purchase bits of the Berlin Wall? Well, you can. They sell them in keychains, necklaces, little plastic bubbles, etc. (Also, they're cheaper at the airport.)

Then, lunch!

It looks delicious, doesn't it? It was.

We visited the Jewish Museum, which was a nice break after all the art we'd been seeing nonstop for the past week. (The art historian in me weeps at my having just said that.)

The structure of the building allows for "voids," which represent the space left by all those lives lost during the Holocaust. One such void held an installation by Israeli artist Menashe Kadishman titled Shalekhet, or Fallen Leaves.
From the Jewish Museum website:
Kadishman's installation, on loan from Dieter and Si Rosenkranz, powerfully compliments the spatial feel of the Voids. While these serve as an architectural expression of the irretrievable loss of the Jews murdered in Europe, Menashe Kadishman's sculptures filling them evoke painful recollections of the innocent victims of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

A wishing tree. You wrote your wish on a pomegranate-shaped piece of paper and then hung it up on one of the branches.

After this, we hopped on the metro and rode all the way to East Side Gallery.

ESG is a 1.3 kilometer-long section of the East-side Berlin Wall which was covered with 106 paintings by different artists in 1990, making it one of the largest open air galleries in the world.


The whole time we were in Berlin, we'd been looking for this beer Susan had told us about. It's called Berliner Kindl, and no matter how many places we asked at, they never had it. Until we finally found it on our last night, when we ate at Cafe Leon.

Yes, it's pink. And let me tell you, it is the most delicious alcoholic drink I've ever had in my life. You don't understand. I hate beer. I hate beer. I love Berliner Kindl. I dream about it sometimes, knowing that one day I shall have to return in order to taste it once again (they only serve it in Berlin, unfortunately). But hey, I guess this means now I have an excuse to go back (as if I need an excuse), no? Is beer not enough? Maybe. But Berliner Kindl? That's a different story entirely.

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