I thought the Ballinstadt Museum of Emigration in Hamburg was amazing. Listening, reading and viewing the stories of some of the 33 Million Europeans fleeing or emigrating to the “New Land” was powerful. I didn’t know that the Jews were already persecuted in the late 1800’s in Russia and left for a new land of hope. My mother had also used this shipping company to travel to the USA at the age of 19. She was going to visit her brother who had moved to Michigan with the promise of finding employment and did. He was homesick. She never did return to Germany as a resident after that voyage. Now that we are ready to leave Berlin, I am truly in awe at all the history we have experienced here with the wealth of artifacts and quality museums that survived multiple conflicts. Amazing!
• First of all, using an efficient Subway system built in the early 1900’s.
• Walking through ancient history at the Pergamon Museum and Neues Museum and walking on a lifesize reconstructed alter of an ancient Greek city that honoured all the Greek gods and goddesses.
• Walking through the gates of the City of Babylon built in selected pure blue bricks by King Nebuchadnezzar II in 600 BC
• Touching a 700 BC palace wall that was destroyed by an earthquake south of Amman, Jordan
• Viewing the original burial bust of Queen Nefentiti from Egypt
• Checkpoint Charles Museum highlighting stories of brave individuals that reversed the East and West segregation
• Walking through 2711 concrete stelaes monument built on the `death strip` of the fallen Berlin Wall Security area as a Memorial to the Murdered European Jews
• Open air – free- Topagraphy of Terror- Gestoppo, Nazi and Reicht Propoganda Display 1933-1945
• Having German Kaffee and Torte in the most beautiful McDonalds I have ever been in (see picts on Facebook)
• Eating pizza at the 12 Apostles Pizzeria – recommended by the Lonely Planet Guidebook series. We enjoyed the Paulo and Magdelene pizza mit Rocket (that means lettuce!) Unfortunately drinks are almost as expensive as the food, beer being the cheapest. Ordering tap water isn`t very acceptable!
As for the family, today was not one of our best family days. We were rather dysfunctional: poor communication, `are you really catching my point` intense conversations, opinions shared, poor choices made, TO… taking a REALLY long time to get out of the apartment! Frustrations from all angles! I realize this could potentially happen since being together for 24-7 could bring all of that on and it did today. The thought of quitting the trip early definitely crossed my mind. BUT, pressing forward is the only and best solution. Take a deep breath and go back to what the agenda was going to be for the now, shortened day and do it anyway! Conclusion: we operate much better when we are out and about and NOT `hanging` around our apartment too long. There is too much chance to opening up never-ending issues due to idle time. Distractions are good and have a place. As difficult as it is in the thick of it, it does get better once the scenery is changed and the hope for a better tomorrow is always there! Ha.. same as it is at home!
Tomorrow we will make an early start (we better this time) and jump on a train to Prague. Next SS treasure is the Museum of Communism.
PS Thanks for all your encouraging emails and comments on facebook. It sure allows our `real` life not feel so far away! A good thing.