Berlin, Kassel, & Home Again

Sorry this post is a week late. I was super tired after my trip and then I started work which basically consists of staring at a computer for 10 hours a day. The last thing I wanted to do when I cam home was stare at a screen to write a post.


Museums

After taking it easy last week, I decided that I would do some more sightseeing in Berlin. I visited the DDR museum which is probably one of my favorites in the whole city. I also decided to finally break down and visit the Pergamon Museum even though it has been under heavy construction and will continue to be for at least the next decade. Ironically enough, I was happened upon a giant sphinx that will return to the Pergamon Museum once construction is finished while I was in Dussmann, a giant multicultural bookstore.

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Tiles on the Ishtar Gates at the Pergamon museum.

Kassel Day Trip

On Wednesday I finally began my journey home to Frankfurt. It just so happened that one of the cheapest train tickets out of Berlin was to Kassel which is in the “county” that my student ID covers for free public transportation. A quick search in Google informed me of all sorts of neat attractions and I knew that I would want to stop in the city for the day before hopping on a free train the rest of the way home.

I woke up early and took two surprisingly comfortable trains from Berlin to Kassel. When I got there I checked my luggage into a locker at the train station, fueled up on a large order of fries at McDonalds and headed for Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe.

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The castle in Kassel.

The park is the second largest mountainside park in the world and is absolutely stunning. The park is full of water features that originate from a giant Hercules statue atop a pillar at the top of the mountain. I really enjoyed my time there despite getting lost and walking over  7 miles (almost 12 km) through the forest in a snow/wind storm. It was very peaceful in the middle of the woods and I got a hell of a workout walking uphill through the snow for a couple hours.

Once I got to the top (word to advice: see the park starting from the top of the mountain and walking downhill) I took a bus back down and hopped on a tram that took me to the city center. I wanted to see the Brothers Grimm museum but it had apparently changed buildings from what was listed on Google and I didn’t want to go searching through the storm for it. Instead I opted for the Orangerie which houses a small astronomy and physics museum. I wouldn’t recommend the museum unless you can read pretty good German because only about a third of the museum has English translations and the vocabulary for the untranslated exhibits was too technical for me to make much sense of.

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The Hercules statue atop the mountain, through the snow storm.

After that I went back to the station and caught the next train back to Frankfurt. I got home late, exhausted and sore. The city of Kassel was beautiful and charming. I will undoubtedly be returning in the spring/summer when all of the water features are running and the flowers are in bloom.


The rest of the week was spent unpacking, running errands and getting ready to start my job the next week (so. much. paperwork.). I think I have a fair bit to talk about next week and the week after that is my birthday which I will be spending in Italy. However, I can see the month of February potentially being boring. Fingers crossed that I can get some more fun in before school starts again in March.


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