Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Natur Kunde Museum & Opera Cafe

It was Thursday again. Happens too often here where we need to clear out so that the housekeeper can inspect the place change the linens and clean. Without exception, rain is predicted every Thursday. If the housekeeper were coming on Tuesdays it would rain on Tuesdays. This week I decided to take kids to see the natural history museum. Getting four kids across town turned out to be a chore since I didn't have enough transportation cards and I didn't have any cash. I was in a foul humor by the time we got onto the train.
However the kids were good sports. We got in, checked our coats and said hello to the dinosaurs. After having a membership to the Thanksgiving Point dinosaur museum, Joss thinks that you should be able to find them all over. He was so happy to see their monstrous skeletons and felt like he'd come home. He watched these screens over and over and over -- they put the guts and muscles and skin on the dinosaurs and then animated them. He shouted every single time. "Look, Mama, LOOK!"
When we finally tore him away, he went running hither and yon. He'd stop for a moment at anything down at his level.
We checked out the mineral exhibits and the boys had to find their birthstones. It has become a tradition since Will fell in love with the topaz in Vienna.
Joss had chosen to leave the stroller at home and take only Elobie on this trip. He had walked several city blocks by the time we got to the museum but that didn't slow him down. "Zebras! No birdies! Ladybugs! Nooooooo I don't wannnnnuuuuuu! I so fursty! I wannn waterrrrrrr!" He made quite a splash on a leash. No one has seen one before and there were several mothers and guards who pointed or commented -- mostly favorably. Not always the case in the U.S.
There was an entire room devoted to feathers and their properties.
The other three kids were super patient with me, trying to corral Joss and not lose them. I finally called Rob from the diorama room and had a classic meltdown: "Why do they have to keep it so blasted hot in museums here?!?!? It's tropical in here! It can't matter what the temperature is; everything is already dead!" He smiled and nodded -- I could hear him even over the phone -- and invited us to eat cocoa and cake downtown. I told him to go soak his head.
Then we found this room which was mercifully air conditioned and really creepy. It reminded us of the end of Harry Potter V when they're running through those aisles of prophecies. Only these were aisles of pickled fishes and eels and rays.
Running from the death eaters.
We came back out and I was almost feeling human again. The kids loved putting this fossil back together with some skin.
And then Will told me he was hungry. I called Rob back and told him that we would come join him after all and he graciously said he'd find us a table. It was another exciting trip to leave the museum, take the U-bahn, orient ourselves and walk the 450 meters to the opera (by which time Joss wanted to be carried in my arms in the rain). But I was pleased to see that we were at least as organized as anyone else running around Berlin in the rain.
The Opera Cafe was so good to us! We had soup and bread in lovely little tureens.
And we all eyed the magnificent cakes in the dessert display.
Sitting in a room with a potted palm on a rainy day makes you feel very civilized. So we stayed a little longer and had cocoa and cake.
And we all took pictures a la Curtis: mine was yogurt lemon cake
Maddie with Herrenkuchen
Sebi got blueberry tart
Will had scottish chocolate torte
Joss also had the blueberry tart
And Rob had the mozartkuchen. They were scrumptious and we were warm and full and happy.
We thought about going somewhere else, but it was raining pretty hard by then and Joss was pretty tired. We stopped by to see this monument. It is a small room lined with empty bookshelves to memorialize the nazi book burning that happened on this square in 1933. Will said "Yeah, I know all about it. I saw it in Indiana Jones." Thank you Harrison Ford for the history lesson.
It has a quote on the plaque nearby from Heinrich Heine in 1820: "Whenever they burn books, they will also, in the end, burn human beings." Eerily prophetic words.

1 comment:

ashley said...

What a splendid outing! I hope Joss took a nice nap when he got home! Leashes are great. I am seriously considering getting one for Mia since I lost her at the zoo recently- only for a few minutes, but I can't take my heart pounding that hard, even for a few minutes! It has been such fun having a virtual vacation through your posts. Thank you!