12-18-12

ReichstagI 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.

IMG_0113Today’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!

8 thoughts on “12-18-12

  1. I have an extensive collection of woolly hats

    Do you know lots of moose jokes too?

    I really enjoyed my one short trip to Berlin. Fortunately there is some possibility of my son getting posted there (increasing the number of Australians) and thus giving me a good excuse for a visit.

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    1. I don’t think I know any moose jokes! Didn’t grow up in quite the right place for those.

      I’ve never been here before, but I’m enjoying it enough that I’d definitely return if I had the chance.

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  2. I too visited the Pergamonmuseum in 2012 (Summer, though). That’s my favourite memory from Berlin, a place that didn’t quite do it for me. That and drinking mead from a cow’s horn 😉 I used to think these looted vestiges should be returned to their rightful homes but these days I’m glad they were not! The destruction of ancient sites upsets me innordinately much.

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    1. I know what you mean re: looted art. There’s a lot of stuff in American museums that was acquired under iffy circumstances in the 19th century – but on the other hand, if it hadn’t been taken then, it might not exist now. (Same for the Elgin Marbles, too)

      Where in Berlin did you drink mead from a cow’s horn? (Clearly, I missed out!)

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