Monday, July 6, 2009

Last day

Berlin, Saturday

We made the most of our last day in the city, starting with a stroll through Charlottenburg, where many of the 19th century villas and apartment houses still stand, terminating at the 17th century palace built by King Frederick William I. Reminded me of a more intimately scaled version of Versailles. Jase actually liked this one, after some hesitation. The royal apartments were noteworthy for a vast collection of Chinese porcelain. No pics allowed inside( well, I snuck a few, surprise, surprise!), but I took a pic of a postcard that gives you a feel for some more of what we saw.

The last 12 months of travel in and around Central Europe and Britain have afforded me quickie lessons in 16th-19th century European history, a subject which I found unbearably dry in school textbook and lecture. On the ground, however, in places like the UK, Holland, Poland, and now Germany, the churches and palaces and homes and sculptures and cityscapes of the places I visit help me place people and events more in context and enable me to create more of a mental timeline of the interplay of kingdoms and republics across the continent.

The value of the internet really comes into play for me at times like these. Flip on the blackberry and browse my way through as much detail as I care to absorb about Frederick I. Ah, the Hohenzollern legitimacy was in part derived from the political conditions established by the Treaty of Westphalia. Hmm, which treaty was that, again...? Click. Ah, right, how cool!

The net has been particularly helpful in Berlin, at some of the museums where there is no English language signage. You can take your Facebooks and MySpace's and xxx 'em.....I'd rather spend my Internet time on the road, going 'back to school'......

Our last night, we wandered up and down Orienstrasse, the heart of bohemian Kreuzberg. Quite a bar and street scene, not to be missed. Enjoyed a meal al fresco at one of the quieter side street restaurants, where, among other things, we desserted on the single largest serving of tiramisu' ever seen. Back to the hotel late for a short night of rest and then on to the next destination first thing Sunday AM.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Bobby! So much hostility about FB and Myspace! Not everyone can travel like you! But for FB I would not have reconnected with you and I would be missing all your entertaining travels and tales. (oh, maybe that's the problem) peace and safe journeys.