By this time, it was late afternoon and we still needed to go to the Pergamon Museum so we headed back towards the central part of East Berlin
. When we got there, we found out that it admission was free after 6pm (it was only 5:15) and waited with some coffee until it was time. We had read that this was one of the premier museums in Europe but we definitely did not expect the size and rarity of the artifacts it held. There was the massive Pergamum Altar, the beautiful blue Ishtar Gate, several Greek temple fronts in their entirety, Islamic carpets with very intricate weavings, and countless pieces from the Babylonian, Turkish, Iranian, and Ottoman empires. One very cool exhibit was "Gods in Color", which displayed several Greek statues in their supposed original colors. Yes, those magnificent statues of antiquity were actually painted in very bright and rather gaudy colors, and were not just white marble. The Pergamon was a truly great museum for ancient history lovers.
Next, we headed out to find some food since it was dinnertime. We wandered down a small side street filled with restaurants and cafes, and discovered a cute place called Cafe C. It had a bunch of paintings by Chagall on the ceiling! Anyways, our last stop of the day was actually back to the Holocaust Memorial since we wanted to see it at night. The memorial was rather dark and pretty eerie but made for some interesting photos. Sadly, the underground museum had closed at 6pm, which made us three hours too late.
Now we are back at our hostel packing and getting ready for our train ride to Prague tomorrow. We are pretty exhausted as we walked 23300 steps, which is approximately 6-7 miles, phew! Guten nacht!!
Alright, so after the exhibit we made our way to the Death Strip, or officially the Berlin Wall Memorial. It is a section of the walls and the land in between that has been preserved in order to show the sad and scary conditions that Berliners lived with. They preserved portions of the wall and set up groups of informational towers along the strip. The towers mostly talked about the building of that section of the wall (which bordered and eventually took over a cemetery) and how it affected the community. There were even pictured of the people who had died trying to escape through the wall. The most interesting part was the section of the Berlin Wall and Death Strip that was completely preserved with its two exterior walls, barbed wire, asphalt path, sand traps and guard tower. You could really feel the brutality and separation in the atmosphere.