Saturday, June 03, 2006

Berlin

Actually I wanted to do the Berlin entry after my friend did his, but he just haven't done it yet and I might be going on another trip, so before I let my travelogs pile up, I think I should just blog about something first. After all, it's less than seven days down to the first match.

Actually, I've made another online travel journal, but it's mainly for photos and a bit of description, but I'm still making it look somewhat decent so I've only opened that journal up to eight selected friends. Wait a little while longer and I'd put up the link over here and hopefully that will be a blast~ Must go there and visit hor, after I put up the link! And see all the photos I've taken. I've painfully resized them all, so it's a lot of hardwork.

Speaking of photos, yesterday as I was tinkering with my documents and saving my resized photos, I had this little warning balloon pop up. It said that I'm running out of hard disk space on my C drive. This C drive is one month old plus, how can I run out of space so quickly??? I didn't even bother transferring data from my external hard disk to my C drive because there's just too much to do. I only transferred my pictures file over because my friend asked me what would I do if my external hard disk dieded on me and I lose all my photos. I needed to back up all those photos in my laptop. And so I ran a check in My Documents folder, it's 12gig, with 10gig coming from My Pictures. Want to know how I managed to chalk up this many photos?

I took more than 470 photos in Berlin over a period of two days with two hours spare to go watch a movie. My 1gig memory card was can let me take up to 501 photos. So, rounding up each trip costs me 1gig of photos, it's no wonder I managed to max out my C drive so quickly. bah~ Anyway, I've transferred my old pictures, those I copied over from my external hard disk over to my D drive, so I can free up some space in my C drive for my next couple of trips. The friend who went to Berlin with me went with a 128mb card and took about a third of the number of pictures I took.

The amazing thing about NUS would be this situation. Two NUS FASS year two students meeting for the very first time about 6000miles away from Singapore in the city of Berlin. I have never met in along the corridors of NUS Arts Fac, and I was to meet him in Berlin. Oh well... The effects of globalisation.

These pictures are when we first reached Berlin. Okay, when we first reached Berlin, we actually had to find a hostel and check in and drop our stuff. More on the hostel later, I've got pics, but now I'll show what we did in the morning of our arrival.

first-morning-of-berlin

1. My first view of Berlin city. The sight that greeted me as I hopped of the train and haven't met the thing that dampen my spirits.
2. Some people don't understand why some people take pictures of bahnhof signs, well, doesn't this prove that I'm in Berlin and not some other city. At least to me, this makes sure that I alighted at the right station, doesn't it?
3. The famed Checkpoint Charlie. I thought this placed seemed more like a tourist area, like you know a theme park or something, especially with that huge poster of that army guy.
4. The famed American sign. I'm sure all of us have seen parodies of this at some point in our life.
5. Our breakfast cum lunch, a quick and cheap meal in Checkpoint Charlie's vicinity. The food looks good, the taste is normal. Chicken Schnitzel with pomme frites. We both had that.
6. Calamaris. It sucked. Okay, it's better than the ones at Nordsee. I guess this is what it means to NOT eat seafood in a landlocked city.
7. Have you ever wondered why his blog entries are always so long? Okay, mine's long too, but mine's rambles, his is long and filled with content. This is because he takes notes as he walks!!! kaoz... His papers were filled with pages of notes written in very small and almost illegible font. Joan will never be able to do that, she's too lazy, and she know that will make her blog entries even more longer than they already are. wahahah~
8. Gedachtnis Church. Built by Kaiser Wilhelm, the guy who started the First World War. Bombed in the Second World War. Left in it's unrepaired state to remind Germany not to start anymore World Wars.
9. A pissior. For guys to piss. It looks so weird standing in the middle of nowhere. Want to know what's like inside? Ask the guy in photo number 7.
10. The interiors of a Church. Can't remember what church it was, perhaps it was the Gedachtnis Church. I like the blues~ nice...

In the afternoon, we went on this Insiders Tour. It's called the famous walk tour which brings us on a foot tour of everywhere important we needed to see in Berlin. It costs only 10€ for students and 9€ for those with ISIC cards. And the best thing? It's in English!!! wahaha~ I love those globalising Americans, they own the world and they speak English~ ANyway, this tour basically brought me everywhere I wanted to see in Berlin and allowed me ample time to take pictures, and if there's not enough time, at least I knew where the place was and can come back another time to take more pictures.

I'm only show a selection of pictures, wait till I post my travel journal up then you can see all the pictures I took. I'll try to be as brief as I can, I realised that there are 20 photos in this series.

famous-walk-tour

1. Our guide for the day. Joe from London.
2. Me waiting for the tour to start. My friend wanted to help me take the picture, but I prefer my own phototaking skills.
3. The very new Berlin Hauptbahnhof. It reminds me of Frankfurt am Main Airport, with the glass curved shaped ceilings. Why did the only glass curved shaped ceilings of an architecture piece in Singapore turned out to be so ugly when these Germans can make it look so beautiful?
4. The new Reichtag, I think. I saw so many buildings that I can't remember which are which. Go look at the other person's blog if you want exact details, he wrote everything down. bah~
5. Dom, I think.
6. A river with a bridge.
7. River with bridge with S Bahn.
8. It's an island with a few museums on it. That is the modern art museum.
9. The used to be the Kaiser Church, then the State Church, then now dunno what Church. i think the bodies of the Hollenzollens are kept there.
10. The ancient history museum. I think he went in there, my attention span is too short to view a museum. Actually I wanted to visit the German Historical Museum, but it was down for renovations. damn... The only museum I want to go and I can't go. Okay, I went to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, but but but, it's still not the German Historical Museum!!!
11. Fernsehturm. The Eastern Germans structured that to show off to the Western Europeans, but God's revenge on it. hehehe~ The Swedes made it, and made it in such a way that when sun shines on it, the ball would reflect light and that structure would look like a cross. So much for anarchical Communism.
12. Stadt Oprea House.
13. Some memorial building. There's like a whole lot of memorial buildings in german remembering a whole lot of things from war to dunno-whats.
14. Humbold University, and a memorial for German thinkings and ideology. That stack of book there are named after various German writers from Marx, Goethe, Kant to Schiller to name some.
15. This is to remember people like Bach and Beethoven, the German musicians. The Germans are really promoting their country until it's becoming a bit OTT. All this for the World Cup.
16. Some important building that I can't remember what's it.
17. Me taking a lunch break. I finally let him take a picture of me, don't think I look terribly nice in it, but at least it shows me in proper clothes. Four layers of jackets that make me fat is not proper clothes. Yes, I was in four layers. That tee, my black pullover, my pink jacket, and my red windbreaker cum raincoat. It was so bloody cold and wet in Berlin. It's actually not much better here in Freiburg. 8°C in summer. When Gabriel came over Freiburg and went to Titisee-Neustadt he actually saw snow, in end May. Goodness~
18. What is seeing berlin if you don't see the Berlin Wall?
19. Another memorial, this time for the dead Jews from the Holocaust.
20. The thing I wanted to see when I'm in Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate. It was pretty disappointing. It didn't wow me as much as I wanted to wow. I think it's beause of all the people and all the obstructive stuff that minimised the grandeur of the gate. kanasai...

Dinner time. Being Joan, there'd naturally be lots of photos of food. Especially if she goes to a decent enough eatery with very nice aesthetics.

Joe's Löwenbräu, or something along those lines.
joe's-loewen-brauhaus

1. Welcome~
2. The exterior, I like those lights~
3. The interior, I like those lights~
4. The menu~
5. Being in a nice place what else can Joan do? Camwhore!!!
6. This is a digitally brightened up picture. I like that feel though~
7. I like mirrors~ I tried to do another double Joan image because someone said I looked fat in my double Joan image in my header. This was also digitally brightened up, but I like that feel!!!
8. Double Joan, not taken by me, not digitally done up, totally original. I like how I look without the ugly fat clothes man...
9. erm... By now I guess half the blogosphere have seen this pic on his blog. I TOOK IT!!! bah~ But this is digitally brightened up. I like the colours, I like the lights. His face looks so guniang under the lights and with his prized (only by him) hair.
10. Stuffed cabbage, his food. The mash potato was nice though~
11. The stuffings inside that stuffed cabbage. At first thought of hearing something called stuffed cabbage, I thought it was like some poultry with cabbage stuffed up their ass, like you know, turkey, but this was the other way round. I'm not a cabbage person as you can tell.
12. My Schnitzel with potato salad. The salad was cold, but the Schintzel was good. The prices were less than 10€, so I think it was a pretty good eat. Berlin is cheap.
13. Goodbye~

The next day I spilt with him and went on another Insiders Tour, the Third Reich Tour. yea... How can I pass up that chance? He went to view museums, bah~

third-reich-tour

1. The demography of this tour and that yesterday was quite a bit different, the median age was higher. Tour guide Kenny from Ireland, if I remember correctly.
2. A bridge, some military came over across that bridge during World War II.
3. Some important building that the Nazis used. I've the video recordings of the details, but too lazy to do that now, I've already spent like 3 hours on this blog post and I've still a lot more to do.
4. Another important nazi building that was rebuilt.
5. Soviet soldiers took 13 days, or some number similar I can't really remember, to pass through that patch of grass. 27 000 or even more of them died there, and I haven't included the number of German soldiers who lost their lives.
6. The Reichstag. Stalin could have just bombed it and save the lives of those 27 000 soldiers, but he wanted that intact so that he can take a picture of him standing there triumphantly and make a statement.
7. Another memorial, this time to the Soviet soldiers who lost their lives taking Berlin.
8. Where is the Brandenburg Gate? bah~ I hate!!! I hate all those disgusting things covering up the grandeur of the gate. Note that huge gigantic football behind the gate? Everything's like bigger than the gate now. yucks~
9. A lot more soldiers died there.
10. A nicer picture of the Jewish memorial thingie.
11. This is the deathbed of Adolf Hitler. No memorial, no nothing. A memorial cannot be built there, or even a signpost because of fears of it becoming a neo-Nazi shrine.
12. A building used by the Nazis, then the Soviets, now the Finance Ministry. Traces of Nazism and Sovietism can be found on that building.
13. Berlin Wall
14. Topography of Terror, a memorial, another memorial. I went in there and bought four books, and took a whole lot of photographs.

This tour is very depressing.

This tour actually reminded me of a year ago, when I was doing Singapore Military History, Farrell brought us on a field trip. The way the tour guide told us details about the Third Reich, the analysis he gave of the reasons for the rise and fall of the Third Reich, and the battles and the Soviets, were all so Farrell-like. I remember that time we went to several WWII sites and Farrell also told us details, gave us analysis and brought us about the sites. Imagine Farrell to conduct a tour like that in Singapore. hahaha~ It was already so weird that a Caucasian tall big man was guiding a group of young Singaporean boys and girls and telling them what happened in Singapore. We had a few weird stares from the other tourists because most tourists would be guided by a Singaporean, and them being Caucasians.

Anyway, I thought of a lot after this tour. Looking at Germany now, it's hard to believe that it has been through so much, especially Berlin, it went through really a lot a lot over the past century. From the glory of the Kaiser, just look at the Gedachtnis Church, the symbol of power and glory to the king, and the military might, the Gedachtnis Church has military structures all over. And them going through the defeat of WWI, hyperinflation, the Great Depression, and super-hyperinflation, the Nazis, the WWII defeat, the Cold War, when it stood on the very front line, and reunification, and the rise of Germany as a strong power again, with high standards of livings. Even Japan didn't go through this much to achieve its present position.

It's less than two decades from the fall of the Berlin War, from the divided Germany, but you can't really tell all this just from looking at Berlin. You can feel it though, the sadness when you get just looking at the city. Too bad I didn't have the time to take the Insiders Tour Behind the Iron Curtain.

After that tour, I was supposed to meet my friend again, but I got lost, so we decided to each do our own stuff. He went to more museums, I went to take more photos and to roam the city, all by myself. Warning, really a lot of photos...

alone-in-berlin

1. I got lost. This is a school I saw along the way.
2. And a memorial like thingie. I asked for directions when I got lost. The guy told me to "immer gerade aus", I aksed him how long would it take, he said "ein stunde". In the end, I took a bus that I saw to go to a U Bahn station, and used the U Bahn to get to the place I wanted, and included changing of Bahn, about 15min.
3. The Modern Art Musuem
4. An SLK
5. Grass, Arendt, Heine, Luther, Kant, Seghers, Hegel, Gebrüder Grimm, Marx, Böll, Schiller, Lessing, Hesse, Fontane, Mann, Brecht, Goethe, Germany the Land of Ideas Campaign. Remember the musical notes, Germany the Land of Ideas.
6. Some building
7. More building
8. Only the first column on the left hand side is real, the rest is a canvas painting. cool~
9. Another building
10. An empty platz with pink buildings
11. Buildings by the river. There's something different about these with the others we seen in other European cities.
12. I thought trishaws are only found in Asian countries, but wahaha, in Germany!!! I saw this trishaw went by, I wanted to take a picture of it, but it went by. I walked further up, I saw it. I took out my camera and wanted to take picture when I noticed something wrong, there was nobody in it. I looked left looked right, I saw that trishaw man pissing by a tree. erm... I didn't dare take picture and quickly walked past trying to see nothing. Then he finished and got on the trishaw and drove by me again, then I dare take picture. wahahaha~
13. Some sculpture
14. Some church
15. I finally went back to meet Gabriel. He sat by the steps resting. I wanted him to help me take picture, but I is a considerate girl, so I call him to continue sitting there and use the zoom on the camera to zoom in to me. This is a big bowl outside the Ancient History Museum. Schinkel, the architect who designed the museum during the Kaiser's time planned to put the bowl in the main hall, but he built the pillars before he brought the bowl in and the bowl ended up not being about to pass through the pillars. He left the big bowl outside, in front of the museum for more than two hundred years.
16. E=mcSquare. Being the nice considerate girl, I told him that he can continue sitting there even though that was the back view of the equation, I told him "don't worry, I'll just use photoshop to flip the picture over so that the equation is in the right direction. The only problem is that the background~ hehehe...
17. Me and fountain
18. Some statue in the middle of nowhere
19. My dinner, currywurst mit pommes and of course coke.
20. After dinner I parted with him again. He want go watch concert, me went to watch MI3~~~ wahahaha~~~ Then I went back to my hostel at midnight, and went back to the train station, all alone. I is a big girl in a big city and not scared of being alone, and not scared of dark. This is a train set in the train station. ICEs, freight trains, bahnhof, regional trains, even bridges. You can put in money to see the trains move. kawaii ne~

Being alone for almost the whole day in Berlin, I surprised myself by my independence and my mental strength, even when I was lost and that guy told me I needed to walk for an hour. Even when I went to the cinema and bought a ticket for one and watch Tom Cruise speaking in German and me not knowing much. I'm also surprised that I managed to complete seeing Berlin in two days with two hours to spare. I have short attention span and I think this trip fits me just very well.

Now, a little treat for all those people await the World Cup before I go to sleep...

world-cup-berlin

1. Berlin World Cup 2006 banner. Doesn't that reminds you of those festival banners in Singapore, hung on street lamps? bah~
2. An adidas gate
3. adidas banner. Although adidas doesn't sponsor kits to as many countries as Nike and Puma, adidas will still win the advertising war because of the sheer number of adidas stuff being marketed around and displayed prominently. After all, it's the World Cup Sponsor.
4. Huge gigantic inflatable football.
5. Remember the SLK from above, this the adidas boots version.
6. Stadium banner
7. Party area. This is the area for fans to watch football and drink beer and party the whole night~
8. The stadium, of course with lots of adidas banners around. The +10 series~ I like~~~

I have spent 4 hours on this post. It reads 12.32am on the post, that's when I started writing it. It's now 4.38am. Good luck to me~

2 comments:

cindy said...

the angmo in the pic is so shuai! :)

cindy said...

oh, can send me the foto? haha..