From Prussia, With Love (part 1)
We arrived here on September 1. We rented a flat for the month to explore this city of some 3.4 million people, filled with wonderful museums, and the epicenter of Germany’s turbulent past, where beer is king, not wine. Foie gras and escargot give way to meaty sausages and pigs’ knuckles. Still some mighty good food but not as refined as the French cuisine we have so enjoyed for the past 14 months in Paris.
The architecture also does not compare, not surprising given the near total devastation this city experienced just 6 decades ago. Its turn of the century beauty turned to rubble and up came many ugly boxes in their place. It would be foolish to have expected other wise.
Nonetheless there is a festiveness here, judging by the busyness of the cafes and bars. That it is still warm out no doubt helps convey the feeling of togetherness friends must feel sitting in front of one of the many fine brews they serve endlessly.
We visited the Reichstag (German Parliament). It was one fine older building they restored and modernized inside. On the steps the brass band played for the visitors on a sunny Sunday.
And along the way we stumbed upon this smaller brass band on the street:
Because Berlin is not generally a pretty town – you come here mostly for the museums and some historical sites- you’d stay here longer only if it were one of those cities where living there is really more interesting than visiting. This it may be.
There is an extensive music and dance scene here, an attitude of openness and experimentation, so we’ve read, that makes one feel not only welcome and at home but stimulated. For us, it might be the international folk dance scene that would keep us involved; there are several groups.
More soon I hope!