Searching for Dinosaurs in Berlin!

November 7, 2009 at 8:24 pm (Germany)

Back to work we go! First stop Pfungstadt-Hahn. I have been staying with Maren, Peppo and their gorgeous dog Joschi. They are both teachers at the school I am teaching at and have been kind enough to put up with me (and bear) while I find my feet here. Lucky too… as the early mornings and new information going through my head has been a bit much at times. They have also been fantastic helping out with finding somewhere to live, hockey training and are just simply wonderful people.

At the moment I am just observing the classes I will be taking over and taking English replacement classes as the need arrives. I’ve taken up a maternity leave position and Antje leaves December 1st. She is lovely and we get along well. My contract is for 19 periods a week, but as most school people know, this may change. I won’t really know officially until I start teaching properly in December. Very much looking forward to having my own classes again… I have missed it. 🙂 I have also found somewhere to live and the plan for the weekend is to move in and make a trip to Ikea. More about that and school next time though.

I’ve managed to attend three indoor hockey training session, which proved my suspicions that I’m ridiculously unfit. They take their indoor hockey very seriously over here… two and a half hour training sessions twice a week. WOW! In Australia I wouldn’t even consider training for indoor hockey. It’s a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and hopefully keep fit. Also pretty good for my vocabulary. (Means I have to keep quiet at training too). Ridiculously fast… let’s face it… I’m not. So not too sure if I will get a game throughout the season. Don’t really mind though. Indoor hockey has never really been my thing.

Lotte, Maren and Peppo’s oldest daughter, came down to visit the first weekend I was here and we hit it off like a house on fire. She studies in Marburg and we have been in close contact since we first met. Last week she spontaneously asked me if I wanted to go to Berlin for the weekend to visit her sister Maike. Sounded like an awesome idea to me!Maike, Kate and Lotte outside the Reichstag

Our weekend in Berlin centred around our quest to find my mum’s dinosaur. She had visited Berlin in 2000 with my three brothers and has ever since ranted and raved about this dinosaur at a museum in Berlin. It was in her opinion, the ‘best’ thing. Forget about all the other interesting attractions in Berlin, seriously… if you don’t see the dinosaur you’re missing out. In fact, in 2006 when I first visited the city, mum was actually disappointed that I didn’t see the dinosaur. ‘How could you go to Berlin and not see the dinosaur?’ she asked me, ‘Kate you really missed out!’ (Love you mum!)

Determined to not miss out on my opportunity again (or disappoint my mother) I announced that this was the one thing I wanted to do in Berlin. Well… do you think anybody in Berlin had heard of this attraction? Whenever we asked anyone, they suggested Frankfurt! I knew better (trust me, I’d heard enough about the dinosaur to be sure of its existence) All of Maike’s housemates and Lotte’s friends in Berlin found it hilarious though.

Kate and Bear in the Reichstag dome with Brandenburger Tor in backgroundThere are also other exciting attractions in Berlin to see and during our trip we visited the glass dome of the Reichstag (Maike’s friend Felix works there so we walked straight up without having to wait in the two hour line!!), the Brandenburger Tor, walked down the Strasse des 17. Juni and went to both The Story of Berlin museum and the Pergamon museum. The Pergamon was quite spectacular. The museum has amazing buildings from early civilizations that have been reconstructed. These include the first floor of the altar at Pergamon, the Gate of Milet and the Gate of Babylon. It simply blew me away.

Of course the highlight of my trip was the dinosaurs! We found them at the Museum für Naturkunde and there were quite a few different dinosaur skeletons. The main drawcard is a Brachiaosaurus, which was found in Tendaguru Africa.   This 22.25 m structure is not only the largest mounted dinosaur skeleton in the world but aso the most complete! (Which makes me wonder why everyone in Berlin suggested going to Frankfurt to see dinosaurs?)

We found the dinosaurs!

The museum was also interesting and I can see what mum found so great about it. Tons of stuffed animals (like we are talking HUGE buffalos and even a Tassie Tiger!), interactive displays and good English translations makes the museum a well worth visit (especially with small children) and is exactly up mum’s ally.

So mum, a great suggestion. Thank you!

xoxo

P.s  Somebody complained about there not being any photos of bear in Ireland so he came out for a daytrip in Berlin  🙂

P.p.s  More photos?  http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=163022&id=509745588&l=9522a981ac

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