Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Berlin Books

 These are the books we bought in Berlin.
 Bill and I are home again in Toronto looking at our holiday shopping.
 We almost forgot

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Reichstag Dome

Last Friday John and I re-visited the Reichstag, this time with our time reservations made on-line to visit the glass dome atop Germany's parliament building.
Apparently people used line up for hours to visit Sir Norman Foster's glass creation but with our reservations we just walked right in though the security is understandably intense. Soon we were in the elevator to the roof.
Foster's glass dome was finished in 1993 and is supposed to symbolize the reunification of Germany when the Wall fell and it was decided to return parliament to this historic building.
From the roof I took this photo of the River Spree and the Bahnhof Friedrichstaße in the distance. The railroad station in the distance was once the main border crossing between East and West Berlin.
Inside, the glass dome with its central, mirrored column is decidely bedazzling.
Visitors climb to the viewing platform at its top along a winding ramp
with views of Berlin. like the lush, green Tiergarten, outside
and the mirrored column inside.
The viewing platform gives a 360 degree view of Berlin and a dazzling view of the interior.
It's a photographer's delight although my final impression of the Dome was of a carousel ride. Just add motion, seats for visitors and a mechanical organ. It certainly is a tourist draw.
On our way out after a glimpse of parliament in session through several panels of glass on the ground floor, John took this shot of the columned entrance to the building. "The German People".
Male and female river gods grace the sides of the entrance
 under a sun-burst head.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tage Tanz Festival Potsdam

Last night John and I met up with Shannon and Jüergen to go to the opening night of a dance festival at the Schiffbauergasse arts complex in Potsdam. They drove us there and we treated them to dinner at the lakeside boat/restaurant, the John Barnett, next to the complex. It was a clear, balmy evening - just right for a night out.
It was by contacting dancer/choreographer, Shannon through a mutual friend in Toronto that John and I found our fabulous place in West Kreuzberg. This was our "thank you" treat.
The John Barnet restaurant features Central European cuisine.  John and Jüergen ordered schnitzels with roast potatoes and a side salad
 and Shannon and I had the bratwurst with mustard and potato salad.
After dinner we  met up with their friend, Heather, who like Shannon is a Canadian who fell in love with a German and has moved to Germany.
Heather is a costume designer and her husband, a dancer, has been pivotal in the development of the arts complex and the Tage Dance Festival. But the lights are going down in the Schinkelhalle. Let's go in.
Here's the official teaser for the German premiere of the acrobatic dance/theatre group, Un Loup Pour L'Homme from Lille, France, who have been in residence in Potsdam to create the opening-night dance piece, Face Nord.
Afterwards everyone poured out into the cool night air to talk about the performance.
We all agreed that we'd just seen an powerful, energetic and enjoyable acrobatic display although Bill and Shannon thought that the piece lacked the essential resolution that would have qualified it as "dance".
At the after-party,
Jüergen treated us to drinks
and we wandered down to the band performing near the shoreline.
The 30 degree temperatures of the day gave way to the cool breezes from the lake. Nice place for a cultural venue!
Soon the place was surrounded by sound of the Turkish-inflected jazz rock of [Budzilla] BudZillus.
The Buds have a great look as well as a great sound,
 and soon had the crowd on their feet!
Thanks for a great night out, Shannon and Jüergen!

Thank Sean Dixon for supplying us with the correct name of the band. In Sean's honour please enjoy this BudZillus official video: Der Untergang.