Day 17: Topology of Terror, Beer Garden Fail and Deutsches Technikmuseum.

We were keen to build on the successes that we had the day before, not wanting to let the momentum we had recovered pass us by. That didn’t stop us from ignoring our alarms however, only rousing from our slumber by nearly 10AM. Since our hotel would stop serving breakfast at that time it was something of an issue, until my wife pointed out it was the weekend and thus breakfast would be served until later. I’ve long since passed the point where I’m able to track days well, something which I think is both a luxury and a curse when it comes to long duration travel.


Since our tour guide advised us to go to the Topology of Terror rather than any of the other World War II museums we decided that would be our first stop. The exhibition hugs one of the last few remaining sections of the Berlin wall which itself is across from the former Nazi Ministry of Ministries. It’s part open air exhibit and indoor information center and covers nearly all aspects of the Nazi regime. Walking from one of the wall to the other you can trace the history of the movement and what led to Hitler’s rise to power. It’s both a mournful and infuriating experience, the things we can see in hindsight seeming so obvious now. I cannot honestly say if our world is better prepared to face something of that nature again, especially with the roots of similar movements appearing all over the world.

We didn’t spend as much time inside the exhibit however as there’s really only so much horror you can endure in a single day.

Our tour guide from yesterday had mentioned that Prater Beer Garden was worth visiting so we decided to head up there for lunch before deciding what to do with our afternoon. When we arrived however we found out that we were either too late for the lunch time crowd or too early for the nightly punters. The garden was basically deserted with just a handful of families sitting at a few of the tables. That combined with the fact that the food didn’t seem too appetizing we decided to leave in favor of an Italian restaurant that had tempted us on the way over. It was there we had a very reasonably priced lunch washed down with some great local dunkel lager.

We had a few options for how to spend the remainder of the day and eventually settled on visiting the Deutsches Technikmuseum. Now I know this is somewhat contrary to my previous advice from the day before however I thought the technology museum might house some peculiar German technological curiosities. For the most part it was alright (the cut open steam engine pictured above being the highlight) but I found myself disappointed upon leaving, mostly because their space exhibit was just a couple of rocket engines. I think that’s cemented my opinion on museums for a while now.

Afterwards we headed back home for a little bit of rest before we headed out again. Even late into the night I wasn’t feeling particularly hungry and floated the notion we simply grab a few things from a local supermarket. My wife had wanted to get a curry wurst before we left Berlin since they seemed to be everywhere. So we walked down to a local curry wurst place to check it out but my wife lost interest when she couldn’t see anyone else ordering one. Instead we walked into the supermarket next door and procured us a very healthy dinner of cheese, 1L of beer, crackers and some curry sausages which satisfied my wife’s cravings.

Tomorrow we make a beeline out of Berlin for Zurich in Switzerland the only European country I have visited before. I don’t have very fond memories of the place, thanks to the dengue fever I contracted in Singapore  unleashing it’s fury on me whilst I was there, however I’m determined not to make a repeat performance. As with Berlin we’ll only be there for a couple days before departing again but I’m sure we’ll find enough to occupy us between the town itself and the mountains that surround it.

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