I think I prefer traveling in winter to going anywhere between about May and September. It may be cold and dark, but things are a little less crowded. Besides, I have an extensive collection of woolly hats that get absolutely no play back home and I like having a chance to wear them. And I like snow. Even when it’s closer to frozen slush.
Today’s highlight was a reconstruction of Ponnelle’s production of La Clemenza di Tito the Pergamonmuseum, which holds the loot that the Germans brought back from the near east in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Some of it is impressive – they’ve got pieces of a 2nd century BC Greek temple from Pergamon with some complicated decorations, most of a Roman marketplace gate (left) and some beautiful bits of decoration from a Babylonian gate, temple and ceremonial passageway. And a whole bunch of Assyrian friezes. The thing about Assyrian friezes, as far as I am concerned, is that they’re really interesting the first few times you see them, but after a while all the winged dudes and ceremonial pinecones and little buckets and all that start to look the same.
Also, I have been reconfirmed in my impression that Australians are everywhere. They travel like nobody’s business. There are only twenty-two million of them, but it seems that wherever I go, I hear about a third as many Aussie voices as American ones, even though there are about three hundred million of us. Well done, Australians!
Finally, I approve very much of the coffee I have had so far in Berlin, in terms of flavor, coffee-to-milk ratio (when appropriate), and size. These Germans know what they are doing.
Tomorrow – off to hear some music!