qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Schindler's Lifts (3/3)

The final train journey took us from Dresden to Berlin. I found the EC service rather cramped (it was a corridor coach, of Czech origin judging by the lack of vowels in the labelling, with very little luggage space) and will make a note of this for future reference that EC is not the same as ICE when consulting the Deutsche Bahn timetables. It was also running late, but we arrived and found ourselves in the rather (s)wanky art'otel, with (you've guessed it) another lift by Schindler. Room numbers projected down onto the carpet from the ceiling (except ours didn't work); some fittings were absurdly pretentious; at last we had air conditioning (only to find the outdoor temperature dropping by nearly 10°C all by itself).

We'd managed on foot for Munich and Dresden (except for out-of-town trips, of course), but Berlin is much bigger, and we made extensive use of the S- and U-Bahn. As we'd been to Berlin before (in 2002), we already had something of a feel for the place, and also wanted to see how it had changed in the last six years. The Brandenburg Gate had been cleaned, and the major works around the Parisier Platz end of Unter den Linden had long gone; the Bode-Museum had re-opened; the Neues Museum was still closed, but looked in a much better state and seemed to be on schedule for its reopening in 2009. There's still a discernable transition from West to East, but probably only outside of the central areas. As we'd seen the Pergamonmuseum on our last trip, we skipped it: there seemed to be interminable queues there for a temporary exhibition on Babylon.

We parted company on a few occasions in order to see more things in a constrained amount of time: I ventured off in particular to see the Musical Instrument Museum, the Wall, and the Soviet War Memorial. On the final morning we ventured off to see the Oberbaumbrücke before I went for a final spin round the Altes Nationalgalerie, one of the smaller collections we've seen on our travels, and perhaps a bit provincial, but one of my favourites. We ate German, Cambodian and Russian cuisine.

By Sunday afternoon our holiday was over, and we waited patiently at the less-than-ideal Tegel Airport for the return flight. I still think there's more to see in Berlin, but not for a few years yet. I have enough holiday photos to keep qatsiphotos refreshed with regular updates for a few months.
Tags: europe, places, travel
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