Thursday, August 12, 2004

11/8/2004 Berlin, The Technical Museum

I catch an underground tram (U6). Once again, only a two minute wait for the train. Somewhere I saw a sign that states a maximum waiting time of 5 minutes, I can well believe it. It is a bit warm and muggy down in the tunnels but as the train moves the breeze blasts through and is quite pleasant. A door or vent must be open. Next stop the Berlin technical museum. After I get off the train (at the wrong station) a nice chap offers to tell me the way. He has got cropped hair, orange glasses and a singlet and his directions lead me the long way round, but I eventually get there.
The Berlin Technical Museum is undergoing extensions so the upper galleries with the aircraft are not open yet. Still, there is a good selection of boats and trains and some other very interesting stuff. Including, in an out of the way cul de sac, an original example of an Enigma machine. In the train shed I also find an early example of a German ground level transfomer used in their distribution system. It makes a lot of sense to me now. Nearby the technical museum is a collection of old cars, but they are packed into a long narrow storage building and not shown off to their best. I also slip into the German equivalent of the Australian “Science Investigator Centre” (I have a complementary ticket from the tech museum. It has very similar displays to the one in Australia. I wander out to a little café/hotel type arrangement at the front of the technical museum and have a nice “Berliner Kartoffelcremesuppe”. I am pretty safe with that one because I like spuds. The waitress speaks English but I persist in using Germalian and seem to get by. I wonder what I really said. I have some more time to kill so I go to Checkpoint Charlie. This is also an interesting place to visit, but it is a real tourist trap and has a very artificial and rundown feel.
Finally, back to Freiderichstrasse to get my luggage (it was in a locker there) and try to get a ticket to Gifhorn.

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