The Berlin Museum pass is worth it if you want to go to more than one or two museums (there are five on Museum Island alone). One nice thing about the Berlin museums is that once you pay to get inside, the audio guides are free. We always felt so ripped off when you spend 15 USD to get into a museum then they want you to fork over another 7 USD for the audio guide. Luckily for Rich, he married a girl with a BFA and got his own private tour if the museum had art in it--whether or not he wanted one :-)
One other thing about Berlin museums and some other European museums, is that it may say it closes at 6, but the doors are shut at 5:30. In Germany, they will be locked, no exceptions. In Italy, on the other hand, you could probably talk your way in, or the guard just wouldn't care and let you in anyway.
The Ishtar Gate of Babylon. Very cool. I loved the tiles. This photo doesn't do them justice. They were so vibrant. It was massive, but apparently this is only the smaller gate as they wouldn't have been able to reconstruct the larger gate inside. It was one of the Seven Wonders of the World for a while. In the photo above with the lion, I am standing in front of the processional walkway that approached the gate. It was awesome, in the true sense of the word. I referenced Wikipedia to refresh my memory, "The Ishtar Gate was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon. It was constructed in about 575 BC by order of King Nebuchadnezzar II on the north side of the city..."
A bit apprehensive about what I might find inside the sarcophagus. Ok, not really, but it was a little weird to look inside. It was also a little creepy to see the drain holes in the bottom for what they think were for bodily fluids. It was also weird to walk through rooms with empty sarcophagi and know that they were all once filled with mummies.
Are you ready for one of my all-time favorite things??
We weren't allowed to take photos, so this is the best we could sneak :)
If you don't know who Nefertiti is, you may recognize this bust (not my photo):
She was very beautiful. The bust is very symmetrical and she is missing one eye. They think this may be because the artist created this bust as a model.
This picture and the one below are just a couple examples of some of the interesting tiling and mosaic work.
I loved how this staircase was oval. The gold-painted wrought-iron in real life was beautiful.