Three countries in 24 Hours
The Netherlands, Germany and Poland; three countries, three cities in 24 hours all by coach. Total cost per person €35.46. Pretty good for 1,266km! Just a morning in Berlin, what to do?
It was 5:30 am, we’d arrived in Berlin from Rotterdam, and we needed the toilet and a coffee (I really don’t like using the coach toilets if I can help it). There was nothing open near the coach station so with our trusted Google Maps, we found a well-rated cafe open, a short Uber ride away. A young lady in her early 20s was also wondering what to do so we invited her to join us.
Riley is from Adelaide and has been travelling around Europe for the past four months. We chatted easily and found out that she is a vegan (inspiring me to cut out dairy), she loves animals, art and photography. (a bit of career coaching did sneak into our conversation). We both so enjoy talking with young travellers, love their effervescent nature and sense of freedom.
After spending quite some time in the café over a cup of coffee, we finally went our separate ways and walked to Villa Oppenheim Museum. The banker Alexander Mendelssohn purchased the building in 1845, using it each year as a summer house. There was a lovely account written by one of his children describing the excitement of packing up furniture and various items, closing their Berlin residence and spending the summer in this house and surrounding countryside. Over 170 years later, there are no fields or meadows in sight, and sprawling Berlin has swallowed up the area.
The Museum was in three parts; first about the history of the house, families and surrounding location, including a film depicting the political upheaval during and after WWII. My heart always feels very heavy when learning about these dark times. I think Tim lacked sleep as he dozed off.
On a lighter note, two rooms exhibited local Bauhaus architecture including some publicly funded houses constructed in the 1920s. What fabulous buildings, all aligned to the sun, so each had a light and airy feel. They even had the motto “light, air, sun”.
On the top floor was some magnificent artwork. One, in particular, intrigued me by Johann Geyer. What was the story behind the painting? Who was the lady? Why was there a mix of emotions? We discovered that the painting was called “The opening of the Last Will”. Ah, that gives the painting some context.
It was time to walk back to the bus station, luckily, not a long wait for our next coach to country number three in 24 hours. After an uneventful 8.5 hours on the bus, we are now in Warsaw, Poland.