Vintage Postcards, Vivaldi on the Streets: Berlin, Part 2

“Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions.
And for a hundred visions and revisions.
Before the taking of the toast and tea.”
~ T.S. Eliot
 – Street Art –
   We went to Museum Island on the third day in Berlin, and there must have been at least 5 or 6 museums just in that square alone. Plus, the Berlin Cathedral, one of the most impressive and beautiful buildings I have ever seen. Too many museums, too few days! The street across from the church, and next to the Roman/Classical Art Museum held a beautiful little art fair and flea market. And I loved it. I wanted to buy one of everything from every stall there. So many gorgeous paintings and cute wood carvings and vintage postcards and old lockets and delicate jewelry. It’s a good thing that I only was carrying a few Euros with me, otherwise, there goes all of my money for the whole trip. Oh well, who needs food anyway. (Except I also just spend all of my money on food too.) By the Pergamon Museum, an elderly man was playing Vivaldi’s Winter Violin Concerto from the Four Seasons, and it was so beautiful. The sunlight in the courtyard, the music reverberating amidst the stone columns that surrounded the garden in the front of the museum, and the church in the distance, made the day perfect and picturesque.
 – Berlin Cathedral –
   The fanciest meal that I have ever had in my life (including atmosphere and location – the food was good, but it was the overall experience that made it just the fanciest) was lunch at the top of the Reichstag building with my class. We were surrounded by all of these important looking business people, fancy dressed waiters and waitresses, and chefs wearing tall hats and starched white aprons – I think none of us even knew what to do with ourselves.
     Here’s this whole group of college students waltzing into this super nice restaurant that apparently takes months to book in advance (and you have to order all the food in advance, and go through a security check, and I don’t even want to know how much it costs when a ticket just to see the dome at the top of the building was probably already a million Euros), and we were treated to this beautiful three-course meal, of which I took pictures of every single dish like a pro tourist. I don’t know how nobody else was taking pictures – I even wanted to go over to the table next to us and take pictures of their food, (it was SO PRETTY – there was a rose made of red cabbage decorating the plate. A full-on rose.) but it looked like they were in the middle of a very secretive, highly important business/political meeting, so I didn’t. The tables were decorated with gerbera daisies in all different colours, and outside, the most amazing view of the city from an all-white viewing platform. It was too much.*
   After the Reichstag, we walked all the way up to the top of the glass dome, around a spiral viewing platform, and took a billion pictures from every angle. It reminded me a bit of climbing the Eiffel Tower and seeing all of Paris below. Funny, how you can get a sense of a city even from above.  The old, romantic feeling of Paris was present from the top of the Eiffel Tower – gazing down into the green lawn lined with trees all perfectly trimmed.
    You could see the Gothic spires of the Notre Dame, sense the slight aloof quality of the city, the dirtiness of the worn cobblestones, the garden lights decorating narrow streets, cafés and coffee and chocolate. From the top of the Reichstag, the beautiful modern buildings with interesting glass facades mingled with older buildings of red brick and green roofs, others with lighter coloured classical columns, still others – a mix of both. And everywhere, yellow and red cranes for construction stood out in high relief from the graying sky. A city always under construction.
 – Museum Island –
 – Dome at the Reichstag building –
 – Berlin Cathedral, street art, view of the riverfront –
 – Morning sun on the walk to the tram stop, horse statue by the central Bahnhof station, graffiti on a street corner –
 – Street food! And the most beautiful sunset –
  *The next day, we went and got a 3 Euro lunch at the train station (fish and chips and lots of fried things), and it was once again reality.

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