Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Well it's time to go. I have enjoyed my adventure into the history, culture, food, and of course art of Berlin. I think this city has a draw of newness with it's modern architecture. The dinning until 10pm as the light is just starting to fade, is a wonderful change from my world. The amount and quality of art was astounding, I only made it to 6 museums and that is just scratching the surface!                     Dinning with richly dressed men and women below a grafffiti filled crumbling wall, next to an 1800's mansion is what made me smile. Here are some last glimpses of Berlin, a city with a rich past and sparkling, modern future.

Berlin the food post

Wondering around Berlin, one feels that a big city grew very fast. Entering each area with small shops and historic buildings, it feels like a small city until you reach one of the huge intersections. The food is from all around the world. I believe that middle Eastern food, with a choice from carts to full sit down establishments is the Indian food of Berlin. If you have ever been to London, all over is great tasting Indian food. As far as German I did the Wiener Schnitzel, the now mostly pork replacing veal, this I was happy about. But when I  tasted the Spatezle or home made noodles with cheese and chives, I was taken by its richness.The dish was fresh and the aroma of the cheese melting with the spatezle was even better as I tasted it. Soft, creamy and very german, this was at once a favorite I already started planning in my mind to make at home.

I sat down during the European Football (soccer) championship. Germany against Italy, and the place was packed, as was every other place I walked by.  Outside the flag of Germany was everywhere,  the people were excited, some with the German flag painted upon their faces.  Young and old joined me for dinner in front of the large tv screen. Outside on the sidewalk two tv's were set up, beer, wine and food was being devoured. This is where I had my Spatezle, and fell in love, with the food of course!

Monday, July 2, 2012


The history of Berlin is rich in early peoples, WW2, and Cold War happenings. I wandered the streets with history on my mind. I felt the ghosts of the past walking beside me from time to time, encouraging the exploration of their previous world. The beer was served cold, in large, tall glasses on small tables at all hours of the day. The cafes for coffee filled just the same, people on cell phones or chatting in very stylish clothes, men and women and even young looked sharp. The espresso was too hot and I burned my lips before I could stop. Sitting my cup back down, I gazed at the other people sitting near. Laughter was heard, the texting was being done, the flow was continuous as she looked into her partners eyes and sipped her coffee. The waiter wiped the table and made change at the same time. Bikes went in and out of the traffic each vehicle knowing when to stop an when to just go ahead.

Berlin, the museum Island

Drinking the last rich drop of espresso I made my way to museumsinsel (museum island).  This is indeed an Island, but it's inhabitants are not building boats or even fishing for that matter, in fact they are not human. The museum Island is filled with 4 or 5 top museums, in fact the amount of art and cultural artifacts is astounding.                                                                                                              The first exhibit hall was completed in 1797. The island now houses: Neues Museum, Altes Museum, Nationalgalerie, Pergamon museum, and the Berlin Cathedral. As I approached the Pergamonmuseum I was looking at the massive stairs that greeted one upon arrival. Walking in I was struck by a sense of awe at the reconstructed Greek temple. The frieze of the temple, was an astounding display of the Greek building and artistic talents. Roaming further I caught a glimpse of blue tile and instinct drove me in that direction. I went into a hall that had the most astounding reconstruction I have ever seen in any Museum, the Ishtar Gate. Glazed blue and yellow/gold tiles, images of dragons and bulls the symbols of the gods Marduk and Adad adorn different blue and yellow bricks. Having  been fired in different sections, so put together they form the images. Babylon was a wonder of the world, with King Nebuchadnezzar (605-562) in power and having direct influence for this wonder we now see here, only but a small area is reconstructed as all of the wall would not fit even in this huge area. I went back and forth. I looked close at the texture and mouth of the beasts so formally placed before me. The contrast of yellow/gold with blue tiles tell the viewer these are Gods and a magical combination they do make.

Walking further and from building to building, I encountered the history of the world. I saw images from all over.  Paintings from Dutch masters, Roman and greek coins and pottery that told stories I was more than happy to hear. I traveled from the stone age, ice age, bronze age and even into the iron age.
Near the end of my time on the island, some 8 hours later I found one of my other hidden treasures, the bust of Neferetiti. She now stares at you with only one eye painted,  through a plexiglass encasement. This 3,300 year old painted limestone bust is now a symbol of Berlin as well as Egypt. And one can imagine the heated debate between Egypt and Germany on its repatriation to Egypt.


Traveling this time across the Atlantic I made my way to the historic city of Berlin. Tucson, Los Angeles, Paris and finally Berlin. Dropping off my things I made my way onto the streets of this marvelous city. Buildings from the 1800's lined the streets with the smell of coffee on each corner. Bikes went past in every direction, navigating with young and old, some babies strapped onto the backs of their parents just like they have for centuries. Walking past puddles the fading light confused my sense of time as my watch seemed to deceive me. It's hands saying 10 pm, with dinners at cafes laughing and just sitting down for beer and food.