Date: Thursday, July 10, 2014 (for Monday, July 7, 2014)
Time: 10:04 am local time (4:04 am EST)
Place: Train from Paris to Leiden (we just passed through Brussels)
Hello folks! I’m slightly more awake now!
Monday morning started out fairly early again, as we were to go over to Museum Island to visit some of the finest antiquities that exist. We started with what is called the Eastside Gallery, a section of the Wall which has been graffitied. I appreciate it for its artistic and cultural significance, but didn’t especially care for the art. It’s just not quite my style.
We made it to the Neue Museum, which Dad and I had gone to last year and spent quite a lot of time in. We had managed to miss our reservation, so we had to come back in an hour. We walked around for a few minutes, visiting St. Hedwig’s Lutheran Church, which has a beautiful organ on the side. My guess is that it is about the same size as the organ at home, though it might be just a little bit bigger.
We went back to the museum and were let in, and Dr. Wohlers told us to be out in just about an hour. Pretty much the first thing I did was to go to find Neffertiti. She is very beautiful, so it was nice to get to see her again. After that I just kind of wandered through the museum. I went through a hall which showed the change in how Egyptians depicted the human face, and it was really quite remarkable.
I discovered that there was one more level with “prehistory” type things on it, which included a ceremonial golden hat that was used as some sort of a calendar. It was quite cool. Also included was a Neanderthal skull which had been crushed and glued back together. They had also made a probable reconstruction (which I don’t think is particularly probable since there was no nose on the skull, so we’re only guessing that he had a very wide nose. I’ve watched too many episodes of Bones, I guess
We were released to go to lunch after going to the museum, and I went to McDonalds and ate with Rita and Wohlers. It was nice to get to sit with them. I spent most of my time chatting with Rita, since Wohlers didn’t really chime in, but I think he is enough like me he enjoyed being there and hearing the conversation.
Next we went to the National Museum, which told the story of Germany from the early ADs to the present. I thought it was very well done, but most everyone else took Dr. Wohler’s assignment too seriously. He pointed out a few people that we should be looking for, and they all were stressing about not being able to find them. I, on the other hand, decided that it was fine to see as much as I could see, and enjoy as much as I could enjoy. If I did that, then I would probably learn what I was supposed to learn, and I would certainly have fun doing it.
At that museum I saw four or five pianos, a really nice portrait of Handel (the original that we often see in books) and several other great works of art. I compared the busts of Napoleon and Joseph Bonaparte, saw paintings of King Frederick the Great of Prussia (who was ruling at the time of Bach and his son Carl Philipp Emanuel. CPE actually worked for him) and our very own King George III (the king during the Revolutionary War). I never did find anything about Karl Adenauer.
We went to one more museum that day, and it was called the Pergamum Museum, situated right next to the Neue Museum. In it is the Ishtar Gate and the ceremonial passageway from Babylon, both of which date to the time of Daniel. Daniel very possibly would have walked this gate every day on his way to work, and by looking at it, it’s not hard to discover where he got the ideas for the beasts. Both are absolutely breathtaking. The gate very easily stands 35-40 feet tall.
I went upstairs in the Pergamum Museum and was treated to Islamic art. Their culture, along with Jewish culture, forbids the use of animals or people in their art. They believe that doing so would be breaking the commandment against graven images. Instead the Muslims have developed art full of intricate patterns and geometry. Everything is extremely intricate and beautiful.
There was one rug hanging on the wall that I spent a fair amount of time trying to comprehend. There are five panels that have the same bell-like pattern. In the sixth panel, however, there is only one vertical half. Most of the rugs on the walls had holes, but this one seemed to have the border all the way around, so I couldn’t figure out why the pattern didn’t continue. They must have run out of red yarn.
After we finished in the Pergamum museum we were given some free time to eat, go back to the hotel, and gather our belongings. We were taking a night train between Berlin and Paris. We were supposed to have a stranger in our compartment since Lisa went home on Sunday, but Dr. Wohlers very kindly bought us another ticket that we could give to him so that we could have the compartment to ourselves. The man was very nice, and was happy to move.
I was in the compartment with Kathy, both Laughlins, and Joel. Joel and I got to have the bottom berths, then Kathy and Dr. Laughlin slept in the middle. Kaiti slept on the top, with her suitcase sleeping in the other top berth. We had good strong air conditioning, so I had a fighting chance to sleep well.
Love to all!
I'm a Classical musician, a growing Christian, and a world traveler. I'm learning, exploring, and trying to understand this wonderful world I live in.