Tag Archives: Germany

The Brandenburg Gate

Well I did say I was going to show some more pictures of my European road trip, so for tonight’s viewing are my shots of the Brandenburg Gate.  Completed in 1791, the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) is possibly the most recognizable landmark in Germany.  The Gate is in the neoclassical style and is just pretty awesome to look at.  Enjoy 🙂

DSCN1613

DSCN1609

DSCN1660

DSCN1653

The pictures with the fountain jet to the right of them required a bit of creativity: being away from the main crowd and close enough to American Embassy for the guards to pay attention to my activities.  Didn’t help that I had to wait for a cloud to pass so that I could have a clear blue background…nothing that would get me into trouble but odd enough for them to keep an eye on me until I left.  I got several nice shots though.

DSCN1665

DSCN1620

DSCN1677

I’m going to finish off with a picture of the Reichstag taken from a memorial garden dedicated to the Romani and other traveler peoples that the Nazis considered to be undesirable.  A calm and quiet place suitable for the subject.

DSCN1682

 

European Road Trip Part 1

Last week I had the great chance of having a mini-road trip to Europe.  The trip took myself and some friends all the way to Poland and back.  Over the next few days I’ll be writing up a number of posts about my activities.  If you haven’t had guessed already I’ve been to the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin.  The trip also took us to the France, Belgium, the Netherlands, other parts of Germany, Poland and Luxembourg.  6 countries in 7 days…not bad going, though a little exhausting.  Just a few highlights are shown below.

DSCN1355

DSCN1613

DSCN1597

DSCN1448

DSCN1523

DSCF6001

DSCN1817

Berlin Natural History Museum

Last week I had the great fortune of a mini European road trip and being in Germany I took the opportunity of visiting the Berlin Museum Fur Naturkunde (Natural History Museum).  This particular museum has been on my bucket list for one big reason – Brachiosaurus.  She’s a beautiful beastie and like London’s Diplodocus (well until the recent announcement that they are replacing her with a Blue Whale), stands in the main entrance area of the museum.  It’s the first time I’ve seen a dinosaur this size and according to the information board she stands at 13.5m high, and is apparently the largest mounted dinosaur skeleton in the world.

DSCN1523I love the fact that they’ve put the Brachiosaurus, Diplodocus and Dicraeosaurus next to each other so you get a feel for the size difference.  You also have a Kentrosaurus in the central dinosaur display.

DSCN1550

Now I’ve been using the name Brachiosaurus for this specimen, but I am aware that she differs from the American type specimen and is now referred to as Giraffatitan everywhere except the information board next to the skeleton itself.  I found that rather amusing…I guess the matter is not settled afterall.  Along with the Sauropod centre display there is also an Allosaurus, an Elaphrosurus (shown below) and a Dysalotosaurus.

DSCN1542

Along with the dinosaurs you also have a wide range of fantastic fossils from the Solnhofen limestone formation, including fish, crustaceans, insects and pterosaurs.

DSCN1525There is a particularly fine specimen of a Rhamphorhynchus.  I really like the the preservation of the wings.

DSCN1530

The other star specimen of the museum is of course the Archaeopteryx fossil.

DSCF6059

Sorry it’s not that good a photo, my camera was playing up at the time.

So what is there besides the dinosaurs?  The museum also houses a large mineral collection that is considerably bigger than my own collection of rocks, a room for taxidermed specimens, rooms explaining the geological history of earth as well as the solar system, and what was my favourite room after the dinosaurs – the wet samples room, containing animal specimens in jars.  A little morbid I know, but what did you expect I’m into dead things (and please no necrophilia jokes they’re dead boring…sorry…thus ends the family friendly session of my ramblings).

DSCN1556

OK back to serious things.  How does it compare to London’s Natural History Museum?  Well it’s a lot smaller.  The London museum will take the best part of a day to get around, whilst you can see everything in the Berlin one in a couple of hours.  For me I felt that this was a bit of a two-edged sword.  On the one hand I was a little disappointed and wanted to see more of what they had, yet on the plus side it ment that the museum wasn’t too crowded (I went on the Saturday of a school holiday, if that had been London I’d have had to queue for hours), yet in Berlin I just walked in.  Another bonus to it being smaller is that what they do have on display is the really good stuff.  Not that I’m saying that London doesn’t have good samples, it just means that you know in Berlin you’re getting the very best that they have to show you…like a 13.5m tall Brachiosaurs/Giraffatitan.  Lets have another picture of her.

DSCF6108

So is it worth going to?  Oh yes.  For a guy who’s been into dinosaurs since he was 3 most definitely, nowhere else in Europe will you see a Brachiosaurus/Giraffatitan.  If you’re ever in Berlin I’d make a point to spend a coupke of hours of your trip in the museum.

I’m going to finish with one last photo of the star attraction.

DSCN1520