Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Epic one day trip in Berlin

It was only a few weeks left of my research internship in Germany, and I wanted to do something cool before I returned to Canada. Over the years I've come across with the design term "Bauhaus" and have always wanted to know more about it. Turned out there was a Bauhaus museum in Berlin so I decided to go there and learn something about the exhibitions.

A few spots I stopped by in Berlin: Bauhaus-Archive Museum, and Berlin Hauptbahnhof.
During my stay I realized that taking a train is pretty fun and lay-back, as long as it doesn't get delayed. With a regular ticket you can get on any train of the same route and type throughout the day, and can drop off at any station the train stops at. This is what happened on my way to the Bauhaus museum.

Originally I planned to get off at the famous Berlin Hauptbahnhof. But it's not that close to the museum, and I had to take 2 subways to get there. Turned out that the train was going to stop at a zoo before it gets to Berlin Hauptbahnhof, which was much closer to the museum. And I decided to get off there instead. It was a good decision except that I almost got lost while trying to walk to the museum. Fortunately my Nokia Drive app saved me again.

The Bauhaus museum was actually a pretty small exhibition of various things designed with the Bauhaus concept, which focused on the nature of the object and used simple geometric shapes to create practical and economical things. The size of the showroom was no bigger than a football field. Even after listening to almost all the audio guide it took me only 2 hours to finish with all the exhibits.

After that I took the subway and headed towards the Berlin Hauptbahnhof. My friend Melissa and her family was there not so long ago and told me that it was great -- and they were absolutely correct. It's a complex infrastructure made of concrete, steel and lots of glasses. It also had a lower ground inside. It didn't seem to be the biggest main station I've seen in Germany but was the most modern one. I spent about 40mins just walking inside and marveled at the architectural design of it.

Just like any other main stations there was a souvenir shop. I was hoping to look for something very German but small so it won't occupy much space. I ended up buying myself a "Ampelmann" keychain. It's pretty nice except for the price: 4.95euro for a plastic keychain. I'm pretty sure the cost of making one of these might be less than 5cents, such a rip off. Nevertheless, it's a nice token of my Berlin trip (and Germany as well), so I'm happy with what I have.

If I am asked to use one word to describe Berlin, I'd say it's chaotic. The buildings felt like they were randomly placed, and some looked really under-maintained. Having old and new buildings side by side is not uncommon in Germany, and they usually are equally treated. But in Berlin, the old stuff is filled with an old and decaying vibe, which nobody cares.

And this concludes my awesome trips within Germany. It was fun and I enjoyed all of them, except perhaps the long train rides. 

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