Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 14 : 18th May 09

Alternative Berlin...

Since we missed Reichstag yesterday, we decided to go early to beat the crowd. Ummm...guess we were very much beaten by these people!

The Reichstag only accomodate a handful of visitors at one time. It's like sitting in the doctor's waiting room. You get excited after reaching the stairs of Reichtag. Then you get more excited as you are standing in front of the automatic glass door of Reichtag. You get even more excited when you wait to get into the scanner (like those airport) & have your bag checked. Finally, you will get the utmost, ultimate excitement while waiting in line to take the lift up.

Did you know, some of the Holocaust pictures I posted earlier were taken today?
Su and I actually made our way to Holocaust and come back while TH waited in line....and still we had to continue waiting when we returned.

While waiting, came this entertainer...

I would say he's pretty limber as he summersaulted around and got on top of this woman's head.

Finally. We were inside!

Notice people were looking down trying to get a glimpse of politicians working underneath this glass dome. It is said that the Reichstag is built with glass to embrace a sense of transparency.

One interesting quote I heard was...
"In a midst of a tough decision, the politicians look up through the glass dome. The decision is for them. Yes, their people - looking down on them"

Someone cracked a joke. "The people" was mostly tourists from all over the world.

Walk up this spiraling path and get a fantastic view of Berlin.

The balcony gave a bird's eye view of Berlin and the exterior of the magnificient dome.

We made our way to the alternative Berlin tour where we were exposed to the street art of East Berlin.

Natasha was our guide again. Here telling us about stencil art. This artist loves drawing models and leaves his/her initial - xoxo

We entered a run down squatter. The entire interior of the building was covered with graffiti and there was a stench lingering around.

The artists were constantly challenged with the modernization party. Sadly, squatters like this could be torn down anytime. The motive of street art? Many. In the iron curtain days, artists used street art to express their otherwise muffled political views.

Introducing Little Lucy. She's famous in Berlin where she was seen killing cats. Here, you see her decapitating a cat.

Another of Little Lucy's cat cooked in a microwave.

The artist caught inside the land of his imagination. He wasn't even distracted a bit with the noise our group made.

The place looked seedy and it doesn't help with all the graffiti on the walls. However, the artists were friendly. Smiling to us genuinely and welcoming us. They were seen sweeping floors to keep the place accessible to visitors.

With all due respect to the artists, we abstained from taking pictures of their arts. Hey, they need to earn a living!

I like the message of this painting.

The squatter's garden.

This person made it very clear that he doesn't expect any visitors!

In fact, he is a famous figure in Berlin's artsy world. He employs famous artists and it is believed that inside this house was a mini art museum.

We walked further down and came to another squatter. This is the narrow entrance with a feast of street art on both side of the walls.

Come join me in exploring the graffiti filled interior. (Or right click here)

Little Lucy was here! I bought the Limited Edition of Little Lucy from a shop selling the artist's wares. As this is a street art, the artist's face was covered in the book.

Even bricks like these wasn't left alone for some artistic makeover. Seen here was this "9" artist
His art signature was number 9.

Guess who killed the cat again?

Remember this artist who loves painting models and leaving his signature - xoxo ?

Street arts are deemed illegal. However, you can see stuff like these in the midst of Berlin's modern landscape. Annually, Berlin cashed out thousands of dollars cleaning up street art. Unfortunately or fortunately, artists can only be captured if they were caught red-handed while performing their arts.

So, apart from making their street arts, they also have to be fast and discreet. Stencil arts and poster arts are becoming famous in the world of street art because of the speed the methods provide.

The higher the art goes, the higher rank the artist gets.

This is what I call, our field trip! Hehe...

In stark contrast of Berlin's modern buildings, squatters were also scattered around. This building was directly opposite to the squatters above.

It leaves you to admire the other part of Berlin.

We ended our tour by visiting the new painting on the Berlin wall. It was still under construction but I managed to sneaked in my camera and caught these shots.

No doubt it is brewing with awesome art works. Go end of this year to witness all its glory.

We ended our tour at O2 World. As decent as this building may seem. We were told that when this building was launched, about 1,000 protesters were outside protesting the built of this building as it signified another modernization move. Slowly eating away the identity as seen from the beginning of the Alternative tour. Well, life goes on...

Street performers were as visible as street arts. A group of performers dressed like acrobats were seen jumping in the middle of a traffic light (under this building) performing circus acts. They managed to complete their acts and go around collecting tips before the light turns green.

We caught a train back to Berlin Haufbanhof. Wow! It does save us a lot of foot work!
We decided to do some last minute shopping in the Haufbanhof.

Someone asked me to try Radler in Berlin. Luckily, I came to the one and only store selling Radler. Verdict - it tasted like Shandy :P

Oh yes! I got addicted to the chocolate straws and ordered Happy Meal again. :">


mylittlebecky said...

whoa! these pictures are aaahmazing! i am green with envy! :)

Author: Havana said...

thank u! I am glad u enjoyed it

Oh yes, those doggies are so cute. My lil shih tzu has just joined the team :P

Skinny Dip said...

I love the photos of the street art!

Great blog--you're so lucky to have travelled to so many places :)