Berlin: Day One

Source:  Berlin: Day One    Tag:  albino island
Berlin. When you think of Germany, that’s usually the first city that crosses one’s mind. Everyone I talked to about Germany, said “make sure you go to Berlin.” Berlin, being an art hub, quickly moved to the top of my list of cities that I had to go to while in Germany.
So, we went to Berlin for two days. It was not enough. I was so tempted to buy another train ticket and stay there longer, even if it was only a couple more hours. If I could go back, I would go back.
We got there late Friday night, exhausted and starving. Berlin is a contender for best kebab in the world, and conveniently, there was a dönera place right next to our hostel. So after checking into our hostel, we got döner kebabs – delicious döner kebabs. They were, hands down, better than any döner kebab I’ve had in Würzburg. In our two days in Berlin, we went there at least three times. With the intentions of starting our Saturday early, we called it a night.
Good food, good company
Good food, good company
For the eight of us, we had booked an 8 person room. However, there were ten beds. It’s not something we paid attention to. We just thought, “oh hey, we have two extra beds.” We woke up fairly early the next morning and while we were getting ready, two French guys walked in our room. They were confused about why we were up at 6 in the morning getting ready in their room. We were confused about why there were walking into our room at 6 in the morning. Turns out, we didn’t have two extra beds. They belonged to the French guys who came back after a long hard night of partying. They went to sleep. We went to explore.
Our first stop was the Berliner MauerbIch bin ein Berliner!c
Next on our list? Museumsinseld. There were two museums in the Museum Island that had been on my “Berlin list” for the longest time – Pergamon Museum and Neues Museum. We first went to the Pergamon Museum, which is subdivided into three collections: Antikensammlunge, Museum für Islamische Kunstf, and Vorderasiatisches Museumg. Having learned about many of the pieces and the museum displays in the Pergamon Museum in my Art History classes, seeing them person single handedly made the entire Berlin trip worth it. Along with the Antiquity Collection (my favorites being: The Pergamon Altar, Ishtar Gate and the Processional Way, Babylon, and Market Gate of Miletus), I was just as excited about the Islamic Art Museum (main displays: Mshatta Facade, and Aleppo Room). This past semester, I took a class on Islamic Art and the Pergamon Museum contained many of the pieces and displays we had spent days discussing. I was one happy camper.
Ishtar Gate
Ishtar Gate
Market Gate of Miletus
Market Gate of Miletus
The Pergamon Altar
The Pergamon Altar
 Mshatta facade
Mshatta facade
Aleppo Room
After lunch, the group split up. While at the Museum Island, I realized that Berlin had a Salvador Dalí Museum. I love Dalí. I had to go. So I did. Alex and I headed to the Salvador Dalí Museum. The exhibition was titled “Come Into My Brain,” and indeed, it was quite an insight into the surrealist mind of the artist himself. The exhibition included his sketchbooks, illustrated books, sculptures, coins, and three-dimensional installations. It was incredible. I repeat: It. Was. Incredible.
"The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad." - Salvador Dali
“The only difference between me and a madman is that I’m not mad.” – Salvador Dali
We then headed to the Berlinische Galerie – the museum of modern art, architecture, and photography. It was, however, a slight disappointment on the account of all the exhibits being under construction. So we wandered around the city a bit, and met up with everyone else at the Brandenburger Torh.
Brandenburger Tor
Brandenburger Tor
This was followed by döners over football. It does not matter where you are – when it’s time for football, it is time for football. Two relatively intense games later, we walked around Open-Air Gas Lantern Museum. We ended the night at Berlin’s Tiergarteni, lying in the grass and gazing at the stars/The Victory Column. It was a pretty perfect moment.
The Victory Column in Berlin's Tiergarten
The Victory Column in Berlin’s Tiergarten

Translation of German words and/or notes:
a. Döner kebab is a Turkish dish made of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie. The dish is also widely known by its Arabic name “shawarma” or the Greek name “gyros”.b. Berlin Wall
c. I am a Berliner
d. Museum Island
e. Antiquity Collection
f. Islamic Art Museum
g. The Middle East Museum
h. Brandenburger Gate
i. Berlin’s largest and most popular inner-city park

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