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Not Wasting A Minute In the Autumn of 2014 I decided to not go to school, not get a job, and not renew an apartment lease. Crazy? Fun? Scary? Yes, yes and yes. But it's time to take a bite out of the world before it chews me up and spits me out like a bad taste

School on Vacation?

GERMANY | Tuesday, 16 September 2014 | Views [355]

By the East Side Gallery

By the East Side Gallery

Today I woke up and went to class with Matt. He is in a biology master’s program in Berlin and I thought it would be interesting to see differences between US and European universities. They are very different and I prefer American Universities. However, Matt’s program is a little unusual since there is a new professor approximately every week. Since there only 20 students in the program, I had already met about 25% of them earlier in the week. Lecture on Tuesday is only for 1 hour and 30 minutes. We learned about the heart and different ways it can be destroyed by plaque. I’m still glad I’m an engineer.

After class Matt, Sungsoo and I went to the cafeteria for lunch (surprisingly decent). Tuesdays is also time for the students to do lab work. I walked with Matt over to his lab building (which is still spattered with bullet holes from the Russians in WWII) and set off toward the U-bahn.

I started my tourist activities off for the day by visiting Checkpoint Charlie. I had anticipated it being a quick stop with only the remnants of the full checkpoint remaining, but I was partially wrong. There was only a little traffic island of a checkpoint remaining, but across the intersection was an information site for the checkpoint. It was an open air museum explaining the wall and how Checkpoint Charlie came into existence. It was complete with a small section of the outermost wall. It was much more informative than I had guessed. I left and wandered around the city for an hour or two.

I ended up in front of the Berliner Dom (Berlin Dome). It is a large cathedral by the river Spree. During WW II it had been damaged and remained aesthetically crippled until after the fall of the Soviet Union. It was located in East Germany and only structural renovations were completed. In the early 90’s more aesthetic repairs were completed to restore the building to a better state. I paid a few euro and climbed to the top of the dome. It provided a great view of the city. The crypt was also included in the admission ticket. The crypt holds the remains of almost every notable German King since the 1500’s. It was interesting, but I didn’t stay long.

I walked to the East Side Gallery. It is about 1 km of wall that is still standing. It is covered with permanent works of street art from different artists. There is also a small section off the gallery which is open to alteration and is next to additional green space by the river. I thought the areas open to alteration were more interesting because of all the layers of street art and how the artists used preexisting works in their new work. The rest of the gallery hasn’t been changed much since it was painted.

Later I met Matt back at his apartment and we got some dinner before he went to German language class. While he was gone, I walked around a huge electronics store called Saturn and started to prepare some plans for the evening. A few of the people from class earlier in the day came over to the apartment and we all hung out for most of the night (and part of the morning).

Tags: berlin, berlin mauer, berliner dom, charite university, checkpoint charlie, east side gallery, germany, history


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