Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Berlin Day Two

I slept in today. What can I say? My bed was so warm and soft, and it stayed up watching news and raiding the mini-bar (it too, is ridiculously cheap—well, for a mini-bar) until around 2:30 a.m. I headed to the tourism office from the day before (next to the Christmas market where I had another type of sausage hot dog and a hollow ball of fried dough powdered with sugar) and bought a Welcome Pass to Berlin. It offers discounts on most of the sights, and free passage on all city transportation. 2 days cost 16.99 euros. Learning from my experience in Dublin, I planned to milk out every savings possible, and make the most of the pass. I started with the zoo and aquarium across the street. With my discount, I paid 13 euro for admission into both. I had fun, but both proved to be rather unremarkable, but not without anecdotes:

1) while watching the North American brown bears frolick in their enclosures, a tubby short one was attempting to climb over an enormous log. He got one leg over, and was trying his hardest to get the other. Or so I thought. Actually, he was just humping the shit out of it.
2) While watching the hippos frolick about in their enclosure, one swam by the window, releasing a stream of diarrhea. Following swiftly behind? A family of ducks greedily dining on hippo poo.
3) The big cats in the Big Cat exhibit were all inside for the day, it was cold and rainy, and cats big or small just can’t be bothered with either. The lion and lioness were incredible. I’ve seen tigers and pumas—and up close, but never before a live lion. They were magnificent; their paws were bigger than my head, and his mane… his mane was unbelievable. I could’ve sat for hours just watching them, bored out of their minds, yawning at on-lookers. Their muscles, their teeth! How was man ever able to kill them before the advantage of firearms? Amazing. Serena. Speechless.
The zoo was like any other zoo I’d ever been too, but not nearly as nice. There were no maps available to guests, all of the animal houses smelled awful-- overwhelming awful, and very few of the sights were kid friendly.
Leaving the Zoo, I headed back to Postdammer Platz and the Sony Center. The Berlin Film Museum is there. It is my new favorite place on earth. It is a cross between a business park and commercial center, with a couple cinemas (all VO* all the time), the museum, restaurants, bars, and the like. It, too, has a Christmas market with a sheet of ice for hurling in the center of it.
The Film Museum was awesome. The building in super modern and the interior inspired. The exhibits take guests through the history of film, German film, it’s place in history, actors, actresses, etc. I am torn between the Marlene Dietrich exhibit and the Ray Harryhausen display. They had some of her most famous costumes, photos, letters, luggage, knick knacks. They had some of his models from the “Clash of the Titans” and “Jason and the Argonauts.”
The exhibits are in English and German, and audio guides are available for a refundable 10 euros deposit.
If you ever make it—and I recommend that even the most film-illiterate of travelers do, look for me in the guestbook.
Next stop: shoe shopping. The boots were not in my size (two big [!] or too small), but I did pick up three pairs of shoes that aren’t tennis shoes. In lieu of a food court, the mall had two different grocery stores. One of them had a deli/bakery-type place where I dined on a sesame seed rye bagel sandwich with cream cheese, fresh sprouts, tomatoes, pastrami (oh, patrami, how I’ve missed you), and a bottle of orange juice. The best meal I’ve had in a long time. You see, my adoring fans, that is the closest thing I’ve had since my arrival in May to what I generally eat at home.
I then headed back to the Sony Center where I watched “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “Serenity”—both of which I was eagerly anticipating. I wasn’t disappointed with Narnia like I was with Harry Potter (I am still to angry to post about it), but I wasn’t enraptured. Joss Whedon, on the other hand, really came through. I was not disappointed in the least.

Unfortunately, “Serenity” ended after the Underground closed and I had to take a cab. Equally unfortunate, I forgot the name of my hotel (I’m an ass. I make no apologies), and my cabbie didn’t speak English—I’m not entirely sure he spoke German. I did make it back to the Adrema for less than 10 euros, and stayed up even later watching CNN and The BBC World.


Blogger Serena said...

AArrgghhhh! Blogger isn't letting me post any of my photos! Serena. Angry.

7:10 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

Photos are up now it seems.
Sounds like a great vacation!

5:01 PM  

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