Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Walking a half marathon in Berlin

We have walked 28 kms over two days of adventuring in Berlin!

Yesterday we spent the day checking the area near a portion of the Berlin Wall called Eastside Gallery, which is a 1.3km international memorial to freedom. We plan on renting bikes and checking out more of the wall later on. Near this portion of the wall we checked out the fantastic vegan grocer, Veganz, the adjacent vegan cafe, Goodies, and the upstairs vegan shoe shop, Avesu, and finally the upscale vegan restaurant Mio Matto. What a day in vegan paradise!

We also spent quite a bit of time in this large abandoned/repurposed warehouse complex. Some portions are empty while others have breathed new life with coffee shops, a skate park and a crossfit studio. It's interesting to see a few businesses sprinkled among abandoned buildings, squalor, broken glass, and extensive graffiti. I have mixed feelings of the epidemic of graffiti in Berlin. I enjoy photographing the very well done pieces, but do not agree with the vandalism. It is particularly sad to see sculptures, murals, and heritage buildings vandalized, and generally done so by "taggers" with no aesthetic appeal.

Today started the morning with breakfast of tofu quiche and bagel at the vegan cafe No Milk Today. We also purchased one week metro passes, which cost about $28 euros each, and explored further afield. We went to the Hamburger Bahnhof Contemporary Art Museum. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and perhaps I've been spoiled by so many other fantastic museums, but I was not moved by much of the exhibits. I did enjoy the Marx collection which included some Andy Warhol pieces as well as the sound installation by Susan Phillipz.

Ah if we could only spend everyday strolling, viewing art and enjoying wonderful food...

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