Berlin, it’s streets ahead for art…

One of the ‘activities’ we’d prebooked for the Berlin section of our mini European tour was a walk round ‘alternative Berlin’. Sadly we had to cry off this, as our already exhausted limbs couldn’t cope with a three hour walk at someone elses pace. However, a bit more research found us in Bulow Strasse this morning, just a couple of streets south of our apartment. This small area of Berlin is home to the Urban Nation which runs the Museum For Contemporary Art. It’s quite a vibrant part of Berlin with large murals on blocks of flats, other smaller works crop up just about anywhere and whole buildings can become a blue starscape..

The Urban Nation runs a wonderful free gallery (though you can donate on entry) with some stunning pieces. It does occur to me that some may find it difficult to define the difference between urban art and graffiti. For the most part, I’d say that the works we saw on display this morning are art, pure and simple. Well executed and crafted with significant thought about their conception. Our visit was a really rewarding experience..

We paused briefly for lunch, then hailed a taxi to take us to the East Side Gallery by the River Spree. A kilometre of wall has been left mostly intact and has been decorated with murals. Most famous of which is a depiction of the kiss between Brezhnev and Honeker. But oh dear, it was Checkpoint Charlie all over again. Artisans selling wares, buskers and lots of selfie taking tourists.

We wandered along and ended up sat by the river watching the wide sightseeing cruisers and their captive on board audiences. It was warm, we were tired and we opted for another taxi back to the apartment. After an OAP snooze we went out for a meal, which reminds me that I’ve written precious little about our culinary experiences in Berlin…perhaps that should be next and no, I haven’t had a curry wurst…

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