Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday - Another Great Day in Berlin

Sunday 09/25 – Berlin

Today we decided to do a little more exploring. We discovered by looking at the larger transportation map that there is an S-Bahn line that makes a loop or ring around the entire city of Berlin. This line was outside the main part of downtown, going through the bergs that used to surround Berlin, but have now grown into it. Since we were taking the S-Bahn, it was almost always above ground, so we could see where we were going.

We started our journey by going across town, over toward Alexander Platz in former East Berlin. It was a good way to see Berlin in the early morning, and Linda wanted to get some pastry that looks like doughnut hole – we call them AlexanderPlatz Balls, but I think the locals have another name for them. The shop selling Alexander Balls wasn't open, but we did find something almost as good. There was an organized event with thousands of runners. We saw fans waving flags from several different countries. We talked a couple of ladies with violent red hair in the midst of a bunch of Swiss flags into letting us get close to take a couple of pictures. It was an impressive sight, but we couldn't help but think that my little sister could show these folks a thing or two about running!

Swiss race fans

Marathon Runners

After bidding the Swiss good bye, we hiked back to the S-Bhan and continued our journey. We made our way around the ring and got off at Templehof. We walked a couple of blocks to the old airfield that has now been made into a park. The Templehof air terminal is the largest building in all Europe. It was built to demonstrate the superiority of the Third Riech. After the war Templehof was the landing sight for the Candy Bombers, the American and British airplanes that flew the "Aire Bridge" to bring supplies into West Berlin after the routes through East Germany were closed in 1948. According to the signs at the memorial, the Candy Bombers landed every 90 seconds with supplies, and continued to bring in supplies until the routes through East Germany were opened. One of the signs at the park explained how the name Candy Bombers came about. Apparently one of the American crews came up with an idea to tie candy to little parachutes and toss it out the window of the plane as they were coming in for a landing. The idea was a hit and it became a tradition.

Candy Bomber

Templehof Airport
After we finished at Templehof we were into the afternoon. We made our way over to U-Bahn over by where the Turkish Market had been held in Kreuzberg, and rode it up the the main train station, the Hauptbahnhof. From there it was a short journey to our destination, the old Hamburg Bahnhof (train station) which had been turned into a Modern Art Museum – the Museum Fur Gegenwart. It turned out this museum was a bit more new and sophisticated than we were used to. Several of the displays were more than we could process. (Stephen is being diplomatic. Let's just say they stunk. - Linda)

Found the Alexander Platz Balls

Hamburg Bahnhof
There were few displays that we could relate to. There was a large collection of Andy Warhol's work, but I think they put that in mostly to placate the old farts that wander in. There were some others that we could instantly relate to, one looked like an abstract representation of two dogs sniffing each other. The special exhibit was also very good, it was a huge area with a lot of cables and clear plastic balls, some you could even go inside. It was a very interesting display.
Warhol - Paint by Numbers

View of the Bahnhof Display

Horst's Project

There were a few displays that went completely over our heads. One called "A Secret Universe" was a collection of thousands of polaroid photos by Horst Ademelt. Horst took thousands of photos and wrote all sorts of notes in the margins of the polaroids that you would need a magnifying glass to read (A magnifying glass? You would need the Hubble - Linda.) When we looked at the photos, we began to question whether Horst was firing on all eight cylinders. (We suspect that Horst could be a candidate for the tin foil hat society – Linda) Some of his "photos" were from bad packs of film that produced no image, others were of things like spiders on the wall, and aspects of daily life that few of us would choose to document on film. Horst was not a good candidate for nude self portraits (Words fail me - Linda). Let's face it. Nudes? Horst? It just doesn't work. The biography mentions a "stay in the hospital", it does not mention what kind of hospital or if Horst went in of his own volition. We have our own theory on this. We believe that the family must be in complete amazement that Uncle Horst's "project" wound up in the national museum. We certainly were. In the end though, Horst did make me feel a whole lot better about every bad picture I have ever taken. I am wondering if I had saved them and done a few nude self portraits, if I might have an exhibition in a national gallery.

We hope you are doing well.

Here is a link to more pictures onPicasa

Stephen and Linda

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