Sunday, September 14, 2014

A visit to the "Fertile Crescent" and the Berlin Phil!!

We travelled briefly to the near East today with a visit to the amazing Permagon Museum
which has this incredible collection of huge (and I do mean "huge"!!) items from ancient Assyrian and other near-eastern ancient civilizations. Happily forewarned by Tripadvisor that it was best to by one's ticket online, we jumped the queue and walked straight in!!

To say it is jaw-dropping is an understatement! The size of the displays is monumental and extremely impressive. Interestingly, the "Elgin marbles" issue seems not to be an issue here as it is apparent that if this stuff wasn't here and being looked after it probably would have been destroyed completely by now. Also much of what strikes you is reconstruction around the pieces that have been so painstakingly put together by sheer German doggedness and efficiency!! The Islamic art section is also very good and the "businessman's entrance rooms" display was extraordinary too!

Feeling that we should at least visit (and in search of a recommended toy shop) we journeyed to Charlottenburg, where we walked around (to the toyshop and back to the train) for an hour or so. How very different this is to Mitte. In the divided city, this became the centre of the "West" and there are lots of trees and a large collection of high-end boutique stores (at least where we walked). It was good to see it and the train certainly made it very easy. We were soon back in Hackescher Markt for some serious shopping - we have recently discovered the "golden triangle" of shopping hidden away here!

A beer at our local, a shower and a brief rest before heading out for the Berlin Philharmonic!!
We had a glorious time perched up behind the orchestra on the 8 Euro benches!! (We could have reached over and played the glockenspiel without moving!!!) The program was part of "Musikfest Berlin" and featured Conductor, Peter Eotvos, and "The Barefoot Fiddler", aka Patricia Kopatchinskaja, whom Elaine had seen a couple of times with the ACO in recent years. Being so close to the orhestra was wonderful .. you almost feel part of the percussion section!!!

A meal and a beer in the ultra-modern Sony Centre at Potsdamer Plaza before wearily home via the S and the M1 to a sound, sound sleep!!!

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