Day 8 – Farewell Berlin, hello Kensington

  

Well our last day in Berlin. A 3/4 day at least. We had struggled the day before with trying to get into the Pergamon and after some thought between the three of us that morning we decided we might be wasting our time. Instead we decided to head to the Hanburger Bahndorf which is the home of the contemporary art museum. 

Before that though I had to go grab my last German coffee of our week long stay in the German capital. Our usual coffee shop, strangely called Lunch Time was closed. Being Sunday in Berlin poses all kinds of problems. The largest being very few shops are open. I found one a few hundred metres away called the Einstein cafe and as per the rest of Berlin, the assistant spoke fairly good English. This fact has surprised me all week, we never truly experienced any language difficulties at all. Through either pointing or speaking English everyone understood. It certainly makes for a good travel experience.

Three coffees delivered home and we were ready leave our abode and head out. Our first job was to drop off our bags at the local train station which has retained it giant lockers for travellers from a bygone era. Whether it was cheap or not 6 euros not to have to carry our suitcases around all day. In fact to say just the lockers were left over from a bygone era is probably wrong, the whole train station seems to be. But it has a charm in itself. 
To digress for just a second, when we came back later for our bags the supermarket there has a policy of only letting so many people in at once on a Sunday, I guess because of staffing. But it’s strange to see a security guard outside waving people in and out.
Our trip out to the contemporary art gallery was a nice walk along mainly the back streets of Berlin and we arrived at a very impressive building to be met with a medium queue. For all the stereotypes of German efficiency, this wasn’t very efficient with only one person serving a growing queue of people. 

The gallery itself was nice although we just popped in to a special exhibit by a Turkish artist depicting her time in Turkey, her repression and images of everyday life. I enjoyed it. 
With the third member of our party having to leave a few hours before us we headed to a cafe she’d been recommended called Mogg. Mogg was run by a couple of Americans and supposedly has one of the best Reuben sandwiches in Berlin. For those that don’t know a Reuben sandwich had layers and layers of Pastrami. I myself was starting to go easy on myself for the flight and had a pulled pork one instead but very delicious. I as I have everywhere had a beer in my attempt to find new ones. I reckon I’ve tried a new beer every time we’ve gone out which is pretty easy to do when your in a foreign country. 

Lunch over we headed to the train station to say farewell and then decided on our next course of action.

I knew how much Claire had wanted to see the Pergamon so I suggested that maybe we have a look at the queue and if it was good whiz round it in an hour. To our surprise there was no queue and we took the opportunity to have a quick look round. And we were glad we did. The museum, a bit like the Neues museum had built rooms to replicate ancient structures. In this one they had replicated the Ishtar gate and a gate from Ancient Greece. Both amazingly ornate and the Ishtar one in particular had such vivid colours it was a very good way on imagining what it might have been like. 

After our visit, we raced back to the railway station and caught a train/bus combo out to Tegel airport for our departing flight home. Me being the conservative I am at times pushed to make sure we got there early and of course we got there mega early. It highlights a bit of a difference in style between us and I think Claire would have liked to get there a little later.
Tegel like the railway station is another building that is quite outdated with tiny check in areas and security checks. It’s nice to know they are working on a new airport soon. The trip to Abu Dhabi was surprisingly quick but it definitely helped having a travel partner with me this time to entertain me.

Our three hours went relatively quick and then we hopped onto our next plane to Melbourne, knowing what laid in store. Moving to a new suburb on the day we returned. 

IJS

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