Thursday, November 01, 2007

More Berlin

Yesterday we visited the Museum fur Verkehr und Technik. It's an
excellent museum and great for children with a wealth of hands on
displays ranging from flight to trains to shipping. If you go there
make sure to visit the outside platform on Level 3 where you can see a
DC3 and get a nice view of Berlin. The adjacent Museum park is very
good too - its the old land of the Anhalter railway station and there
are walks through the tracks with windmills there to view. The
Turntables are also worth a look.

Part of the museum, but in a separate building, is Spectrum which is 4
floors of hands-on science for children. They can make noise, see
music, play with electricity (and see great arcing and sparking),
learn about optics and of course observe Foucault's Pendulum. All in
all a great sport for children.

One thing about both places is that they were damn hot. The German's
seem to have a thing about heating up vast buildings when its cold
outside. The places were warm enough to go around in a t-shirt.

Afterwards we hit KaDeWe and a few other places. Prices in KaDeWe
aren't bad and the boys loved the toy area (I'm partial to the food
floor myself) and I noticed that they do have a lot more handmade toys
than we have at home probably because they have a tradition of
woodcarving down in Bavaria.

After breakfast today it was off to Schonefeld for the plane home.
This has to rate as one of the most cramped airports with everything
seeming to be confined to a long corridor - it makes it feel crowded.
Security is tight - they scan your hold baggage as well as everything
else. For some reason the guy on the security desk seemed to be fazed
by our five boarding passes and the fact that there were five of us.
There wasn't anyone else around but he counted us and the cards twice.
The X-ray stations were staffed by a few bruisers some of whom
insisted on everything being emptied out of pockets even plain paper
and some of whom didn't care. It too is a cramped area with no real
space to gather your belongings. Still it will all change when the new
airport is built and I'm sure the staff can't wait either.

EL AL fly from there and whilst they are on the ground there are a
couple of armoured cars around and armed Polizei guard the plane. When
taxiing the plane is escorted by an armoured car as well.. This sort
of security must cost a fortune.

Flight home was fine - arrived in early, no passport control but
plenty of customs guys prowling around (all the opposite of the

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