Berlin: Day Three
Well, it's about time.
We woke up bright and early that day and (if I remember correctly) walked past bustling roads and street corners to what we could distinguish as a German Ziggurat. Throngs of people gathered outside in the sweltering heat, all but to look at the spectacle called the Reichstag. The building is home to the national parliament and is one of the most important structures in Berlin. A site with a dominant historical background, the public is permitted throughout the day to tour the building…after lining up for perhaps an hour or two. Having arrived at the Reichstag by foot, seeing the long queues among tourist-heavy crowds was like being splashed in the face with hot coffee on an already-boiling day. Thankfully, though, a quick mention of reserving a seat at the indoor restaurant had us being motioned in by a security guard. We gave our names and passports to a man with a checklist, who might I add, was awfully, awfully nice. (May many happy things bechance you, sir!)
We waited at the gate for about five to ten minutes before being led in by whom I could discern as interns. We entered and proceeded to take an elevator to the roof, where a small restaurant was stationed. Once again, we gave our names and were seated at a table indoors. Despite being part of a considerably large group of tourists, only a few actually decided to have breakfast at the Reichstag's rooftop restaurant like we did. After us, there was only one other family and a couple of girls, who, astonishingly, sat outside under the warm sun. The inside was much cooler and closer to the bathrooms and service area. One red-haired waitress went around the bar and gave us our menus. What they offered was very select; only three types of breakfast sets were printed on the fine paper. We eventually ordered two types, and all because one included Nutella.
After breakfast, we headed to the world-famous dome. Climbing the spiralling ramp gives guests a panoramic view of the city. Down below, the Reichstag's history is presented in a display that goes around whatever that mirror thing is called. Empty as the place may look, the dome was actually packed with people going up and down the ramps and buying ice cream from the indoor vendor. We took our time here and downstairs, where we had the most gorgeous central view of the building.
The Reichstag was only a few minutes away from the Brandenburger Tor, so we decided to go by foot and take in the sights along the way.
At the Tor, we were greeted by many street buskers and charities. The slight echo of xylophone notes reached us from the other side. We crossed and saw a gloriously face-tattooed man in an old-timey plaid vest, matching flat cap, and giant red bowtie, cranking a wooden machine where the music had been coming from. His audience was massive for a street busker, and his other hat was full to the brim with euros. Children danced happily in front and adults took photographs to show their loved ones. We continued down Unter den Linden, Berlin's most famous boulevard.
The walk down Unter den Linden was as delightful as cold ice cream on a warm day. The sidewalk was lined with shops both luxurious and quaint, and the streets boasted an overhead meadow of luscious green. After stopping for a quick lunch, we continued our walk and decided to head to the Museumsinsel. There, we found a wide array of elaborate buildings including the Berlin Cathedral and the Alte Nationalgalerie.
The queue at the Alte Nationalgalerie (like all other tourist attractions in Berlin) was incredibly long. Though my intial wanting to see the museum almost urged me to line up as well, I realised I would miss so much of Berlin if I had decided to wait in line instead of explore. So explore, I did; and I did along the Spree.
Of course even after seeing beatufiul historical bridge after beautiful historical bridge, I could not help but be saddened by passing the central train station, in which I would depart in two days time.
Berlin: Day Four coming soon.
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