During the beginning half of the week I was still in Berlin with Kacper and his family. Monday morning and afternoon were dedicated to work, but we took a break to have a Döner lunch. Berlin’s Döner have been hyped up to be much better than Munich’s and from my limited subject pool, I would have to agree. Rumor has it that Berlin has more Döner shops than Istanbul. In the evening we went to a dock on the Müggelsee where we enjoyed some strawberries and played volleyball in the water.
The weather was perfect for playing volleyball in the Müggelsee Monday evening.
On summer evenings, the beaches on the lakes are quite popular in the summer!
During my day in Berlin’s city center, I got to see some major monuments. Here is the “Neptunbunnen,” or “Neptune Fountain,” with St. Marienkirche in the background.
The iconic Berlin TV tower dominates the city skyline.
I spent some time sketching and taking measurements and photos of the Altes Museum for a comparative study I am creating.
The “Berliner Dom,” or “Berlin Cathedral,” looks over the “Lustgarten,” or “Pleasure Garden.” The Altes Museum and “Berliner Schloss,” or “Berlin Palace,” also border the Lustgarten.
Having origins dating back to 1443, the Berliner Schloss was reconstructed over the past few years after suffering severe damage during WWII and being demolished by the East German government in 1950.
The Berliner Schloss now houses a museum called the Humboldt Forum. This picture shows the reconstructed Schülterhof.
Much like the US Capitol, the “Reichstag,” houses Germany’s federal government. The building has a truly fascinating history, and I was able to tour it a few years ago. If you’re interested in learning more, check out my old post where I talk about it and include some specific photos!
The Reichstag looms over the “Memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe Murdered Under National Socialism.” You can see the silhouette of the circular reflecting pond in the right half of this picture.
The “Memorial for Homosexuals Persecuted under National Socialism” is also near the Reichstag, reinforcing the German notion of “Vergangenheitsbewältigung,” or “coming to terms with the past.”
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a somber area with rectangular blocks rising from an undulating ground.
Participants are encouraged to reflect on the past while becoming immersed in the memorial.
Of course I had to stop by the “Brandenburger Tor,” or “Brandenburg Gate!”
Having studied architecture, I’m always examining the built environment. I really enjoyed the brickwork in this “S-Bahn,” or “street car,” stop.
The “U-Bahn,” or “subway,” near the doctors’ office where I got my vaccination was painted in a vibrant rainbow!
I was thrilled to get ice cream and give a tour to two Fulbrighters who were visiting from the city of “Köln,” or “Cologne.”
Since Tuesday was our last day in Berlin and Kacper had to work, I took the opportunity to head into the city center. I started at the Altes Museum on Museum Island where I took some photographs and measurements to help me with a comparative study I am creating for my research. Afterward I met a fellow Fulbrighter based in Berlin, who became a friend through our weekly remote yoga sessions. We grabbed ice cream and chatted at the base of the “Berliner Dom,” or “Berlin Cathedral.”
Once we said our goodbyes, I took a quick trip to see the outside of the Reichstag, which is the heart of Germany’s Federal Government (basically their Capitol Building). I toured the interior when I was in Berlin a few years ago, and it is a truly historic building, which puts new meaning to the saying, “if walls could talk.” Check out that post here. I also was able to see a few of the monuments dedicated to groups persecuted during the Holocaust, including for those for the Jewish, homosexual, and Roma and Sinti victims. Lastly I saw the iconic “Brandenburger Tor,” or “Brandenburg Gate,” before I headed back to meet Kacper for dinner. We stayed at his brother’s apartment Tuesday night in order for it to be easier to catch our 6:30 train back to Munich the following morning.
We arrived in Munich around 11:00 A.M., leaving me time to unpack, clean, and go grocery shopping before my afternoon appointment to get the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. I felt alright the rest of the day, and in the evening I watched the Germany vs. Hungary soccer game with my floormates. The night was rough due to vaccination side effects, but I was feeling well enough to make my archive appointment the following afternoon and to do yoga in the evening. Friday was a work day, but Kacper, his brother, and I got hamburgers for dinner before hanging out in the dorm with the rest of our floormates.
On Saturday I was lucky enough that more Fulbright friends from out of town were visiting Munich, so I got to show them around and enjoy some ice cream with them. In the evening some friends and I had a cook-out at Kacper’s brother’s apartment where we also watched two soccer games since the elimination stage of the European Championship is now beginning. I used Sunday as a much needed rest day to recuperate after an action packed week.