Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Off to Hamburg

We are leaving Berlin today, hope to get in one last site, perhaps the Pergamon, before we go. Heard Daniel Barenboim play some Beethoven Sonatas last night, it was rather amazing. I don't quite understand how different pianists can get such different "tone" out of the instrument, given that it is essentially mechanical. With the violin, I can see more opportunity for the player to make a difference. I guess the famous quote about the notes being all the same, but the space between the notes being different is on the money. Sometimes the notes would just flow one into another.

We had been to the "Checkpoint Charlie" museum earlier. I enjoyed the depictions of the various means of escape used over the years. Tunnels, balloons, secret compartments, forged documents, and a balloon, a mini-sub, and a hand made airplane. Apparently life under the Commies was not much fun. The intervening years have pretty much obliterated any trace of the wall though. It is hard to tell where it was, as the differences between the two sides of the city are being eliminated, by the simple process of tearing down the junky socialist buildings, and putting up modern ones with fancy shops in. Friedrichstrasse crosses the line, and has nice shops all over.

Also saw some Beach Volleyball, which was pretty cool. I am burning a cd with my pictures now, so perhaps I will upload something. After the Sopot disaster, my enthusiasm for picture taking diminished somewhat.

Gus blogged a bit about our dinner last night, it was really good. There was a huge spread, and it was all very tasty. The main problem was the ensuing dehydration, which the apparent absence from this country of any such thing as a "water fountain" did not help. Also the early closing times ensured that there was no place to buy bottled water after the concert, so we were reduced to spending 5 euros for a couple glasses of fizzy water at a bar.

Today we stopped at a grocery store, and got two liters of still water.


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