After sleeping in a little, I woke up still sick and headed to Schloss Charlottenburg. When I saw the outside, I wasn’t overly impressed and wondered if I even wanted to go in. There was some sort of side building that had the ubiquitous dome on top, which I thought was pretty.
The main palace was under construction though! This became a major theme during my time in Berlin – it is very much a city still recovering from major damage from the war and the issues that followed with the division of the city. I tried to strategically photograph it so the construction isn’t as noticeable.
Have I mentioned the weather was perfect? I thought I’d at least look at the large park area and found the colors in the simple front gardens to be quite stunning.
I finally decided that, even if I’d seen plenty of chateaus, I hadn’t seen a Prussian palace yet and knew virtually nothing about the history of Prussia, so I went in. Frederick the Great was actually Frederick the 2nd. The oldest parts of the palace are largely closed, but the wing of Frederick II was open. This place at least discounted the ticket due to the partial closure! As soon as I entered the second room I knew I’d be seeing a much different style!
The metal decoration was certainly a big theme here, although it continued in silver in other rooms. This clock could be in my dream house too.
There were some later chambers decorated by the King’s mistress, Countess von Lichtenau, which were much more similar in style to 18th Century French rooms – this room’s claim to fame is that Napoleon apparently stayed in it at one time.
After wandering the grounds and resting a bit, it was time for lunch and to find Internet as Tina’s English test was possibly ending soon. I hadn’t seen the Zoolischer Garden area yet and headed in that direction. I found a great lunch where they called sandwiches “bags” and I could see the Gedächtniskirche or Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which is kept as a reminder of the war. It did get a little difficult over the course of my time in the city to absorb the extent of the destruction. In WWII, bombings clearly weren’t limited to military sites, although you never really get the feeling they’re blaming the Allied troops. The signs seem to be more of a statement to the Germans about what declaring war a couple of times really cost them as a country.
Tina was done with her English test, so she met me at the restaurant, then we headed for Museum Island. I took this photo that is very representative of Berlin – beautiful, but a city under construction.
The Prussian influence is really noticeable everywhere, even in the design of the main Cathedral, the Berliner Dom. I really enjoyed seeing the different influence here and the contrast to the style of the Franks of France.
While German bears much more resemblance to English, with having many recognizable words, the meaning of some have changed, for example, while this means “pleasure garden” in English, I’m assuming the Germans don’t intend you to use the garden for the types of activities that the name implies in modern English.
The background left is the Altes (old) Museum, which I may see tomorrow. I’ve been told the Pergamon & Neues museums are “must see” places though. Since Tina is recovering from a bug and I’m still sick, we were dragging by this point and decided the ultra-touristy river boat was a good idea! It was good for some stunning photos of a brick facade, Berliner Dom, Reichstag, Bode Museum and another of Berliner Dom – I loved the look of this place, if you can’t tell!
After having a lovely Italian dinner in honor of our meeting in Rome, we were both ready to call it a night! Special thanks to Tina for meeting up with me to hang out in Berlin! The timing of my visit ended up being perfect as she has her own exciting adventure starting in 3 weeks when she heads to Australia to teach!
By the way, I don’t think I emphasized enough the “no credit card” thing. Bag Yard, where we had lunch took them. That is the only place I’ve come across in two days.