We recently visited the Albertinum Art Museum in Dresden. Before this visit you were instructed to locate themes and archetypes of the Romantic Era. In a 4 paragraph blog, please: (Paragraph 1) discuss your overall impression of the museum and your reaction to all of its holdings and (paragraphs 2-4) discuss the examples of visual art that illustrate the themes of Romanticism discussed in our classroom lectures. Please include names of specific paintings and their painters (including birth and death dates).
My overall impression of the museum was of course, amazement. As an art therapy minor, I’ve taken quite a few painting and drawing classes, and I have a tremendous respect for those artists who can convey an emotion without saying a word. If I remember correctly, it was our 4th day here and I was still high on the newness of Germany, so I was soaking up every detail and it took me awhile to make it through the entire museum. I got a tear in my eye as I stood in front of an original Van Gogh, thinking about the 20 times I started over on my blank canvas, trying to re-create his ‘Vase With Irises’. I also freaked out when I saw Monet’s ‘Jar of Peaches’ because I’ve practiced Monet’s techniques for semesters at a time and still have years of technique to learn, but I’ve only had calendar prints to practice with.
We saw many different types of art, including incredibly ‘modern’ art, which consisted of canvases with one solid color, huge cubes of nothing but office equipment, and statues of woman with no faces and no arms. Then we also saw classical style portraits of royal families, abstract art with blobs of paint in swirls, art with paint AND textiles, photography of people, photography of landscapes, etc. There was a large variety, but a few jumped out at me as specifically ‘Romantic’ because of the feeling it left with me as I walked away.
I chose 3 works, and the first was Franz von Stuck’s “Paradise Lost” (1863 – 1928) because it contained a mythical or imaginary character among people. The angel is clearly dominating the scene, and the humans seem scared or frightened? Maybe they have done something they are ashamed of; maybe the angel is coming with good news but the man & woman are just startled, the specific story is left unsaid. The romantic aspect is the heavenly being among the mortals, the supernatural character. The title gives me the impression that these two are actually Adam & Eve because Romantics used many supernatural and biblical stories as artistic inspiration.
The second was Caspar David Friedrich’s ‘The Cemetary’, (1774 – 1840) partly because we’d talked specifically about Friedrich in class, but also because it contains many key romantic ideals. A nature aspect is the most obvious detail, but also the fact that it is a painting of a snowy cemetery also gives you the ‘completely alone’ aspect. Maybe the cemetery really is empty? Or maybe what we are looking at is a view from someone’s eyes, standing alone in that cemetery?
The third was Hans Unger’s ‘The Muse' (1872 - 1936 )because, again, of the nature aspect, but also the pensive stare in her eyes and the fact that she is alone. It let me imagine what she was thinking and feeling, giving her a story. This woman is clearly emotional, but where not sure why, giving her a mysterious and exotic look.
So, my Troy friends and I love Dresden, but we've been itching to see more of Germany. So last Monday on our free day, we planned to go to Lübeck, as small northern town about 20 miles of the BALTIC SEA.
I'll admit when I went on this trip, I didn't expect to go to the Baltic sea, I probably couldn't have even pointed to it on a map. But I miss the beach!!!!! And after all this oil spill stuff, we were dying to go. SO - we got up at 4:30 (you know me, this was a BIG deal) and caught the train at 5:37 to Buchen, (middle of German NOWHERE) then to Lübeck for a few hours to see the historic spots, then on to Travemünde to stick our feet in the Baltic water:)
I know its not a secret that Germans speak German... but even though I've been here almost a month, I still can't EVER figure out what they are saying over the loudspeaker. So the whole trip (4 hours, plus another hour on a regional train) we were all pretty tense... one wrong idea and our 5 hour trip could have turned into 13 hours. BUT that was part of our fun! We were tired and American and out on our own in the middle of nowhere... we loved it.
Lübeck is a quaint little town and it seemed like a great place to grow up. There was a church on every street corner and because the town wasn't damaged from WW2, most of these churches were over 400 years old, still intact. One of the cathedrals we entered had an altar from 1477! And organs that were still playable, dating back to the 1600s. I sometimes forget that America is still such a baby.
We ate lunch, wandered for about 3 hours & went on what we kept calling 'Church Tour 2010'... I think we toured 10 or 11. Also, marzipan was apparently invented in Lübeck so we found a little candy shop & tried it... I'm still not sure if I liked it.
Then we grabbed another train (20 minutes north) to the BEACH! And the weather was flawless. We walked down to the shore with all our stuff in our regular clothes... but then we were surprised.
This was a Semi-nude beach.
Instead of using changing rooms, they just changed in front of everyone. There were old women oiling themselves up, completely topless and nearly bottomless. And these people are NOT pretty. A million pot-bellied men in speedos. Naked little boys, at least 5 years old, running around with sand on their butts. 9 year old girls with no swimsuit tops.
We could NOT stop laughing. No one was offended, we were just caught off guard. Boobs everywhere. I'd post a picture but I'm sure you'd be mad at me for showing you after!
But, like I said, the weather was BEAUTIFUL. So after some giggles, we changed into our suits (privately, in the bathroom unlike EVERYONE else), and took a little nap on the shore. I collected some rocks & took a million pictures and love love loved it. I want to go back right nowwwwwww.
Because we were so far from Dresden, we had to grab our train back around 4, and we were so sad. But I had another homework assignment to turn in, and we were worn out from getting up at 4. Its still a miracle that our plan went off without a hitch, every train was on time and every ticket worked! We got back around midnight and I passed out until 10:30 the next day. :) :) :)
I loved that day.
p.s. I'm in PRAGUE right now and its INCREDIBLE! I'm off to go on a dinner cruise tonight, I'll tell you all about it later!
I'm sorry I haven't immediately updated. I've realized lately that I ONLY HAVE ONE MORE WEEK HERE, so instead of blogging all night, I've been going to bed so I can feel good for endless train rides and nude beaches the next day ;)
I'll give you a brief overview of my time Berlin, but it is pretty much impossible to explain to you how it made me feel… I was upset most of the time, mostly because it just made me feel like a greedy uncultured American. BUT I still loved it there. And I want to go back. And I could live there if I knew a bit more of the language.
Anyway, my 3 days went as follows, like and is such as -
We took a train (goodness I love European train rides) for about 2 hours from Dresden into the city, and as usual, we had to (drag) take our luggage with us from the Hauptbanhof to the hostel. As I'm lugging my hotpink HUGE suitcase 5 blocks to 'Backpax'… I already know that this city is too fast paced for me to be dragging all my stuff behind me. But I trudged on anyway.
We took a 3.5 walking tour of the city, but In a place 2x as large as NYC (land-mass wise), you can imagine we'd probably need 3.5 years to see everything. My feet were barely holding up, but I saw the Parliament building, the Brandenburg Gate, the Opera houses & museums on 'museum island', a few city halls (there are 36, weird I know) a million churches and the TV tower. With graffiti covering every wall and more languages than I'd ever heard in my life, I knew staying here for only 3 days wouldn't be enough for me. I'm already dying to see all the things I missed.
The next morning we rolled out of bed (after construction woke us up at 6am, this country is LOUD) to head to the old Stasi prison [Hohenschönhausen] to see what life was like before the Berlin Wall came down. And this place was terrifying. I've been so saturated with knowledge of the holocaust (I've always been fascinated, I've watched every movie, read every article… anyway) I've never learned much about what happened AFTER. I never knew about hidden cameras and typewriters in attics and tiny microphones in your neighbors kitchen. East Germany vs. West Germany was a terrible time in this country, and learning about it in detail broke my heart.
Our tour guide lead us to rooms smaller than my original dorm room (13x13ft) where up to 12 people would be kept, in the clothes they were captured in, no beds, no toilet, (only a bucket, for 12 people) no windows… to live through it must have been something I can't even imagine. We saw rooms used for Chinese water torture, to force innocent men to sign 'confession' papers, although they never did what they were being accused of, interrogation rooms, solitary confinement rooms… I didn't know how to feel walking through that place.
I learned how people died, how women were raped, how kids as young as 13 were captured and treated as adults just for the clothes they wore or the music they listened to… and this was all only 30 years ago. The holocaust was a terrible and unimaginable thing, but this was too. And I knew nothing about it.
So I cried a lot. And I felt hopeless a lot. And I felt spoiled and I felt lucky and I felt like an idiot, all at the same time. I know nothing about how it feels to have WAR all around me. I know nothing about my church being bombed, or my father being thrown in prison for something he didn't do, or my mother not being able to talk to her mother because she happened to live on the other side of the wall.
But, obviously, the wall came down. And obviously, the turmoil is over. I didn't even get to see a piece of the wall in tact because it was all bulldozed over within 1 year. When they said unity, they REALLY meant it.
I feel almost the same as I did when I came home from Africa, after learning about the Apartheid… How could this have happened in my lifetime?!?!?!?!??! I thought humanity was past that… but in other countries, terrible things happen that I've never even had the capacity to think of. It makes me feel lucky, but it also makes me feel like I have to be a citizen of the world and NOT just America… I can't be ignorant to the struggles of other countries, just because I live in a different one. I need to be educated on history as to not repeat it in the future. That might have been the cheesiest thing i've ever typed. ANYWAY.
And that is what I learned at the Stasi prison. It was a good and emotional morning.
NEXT we went to another Opera!! We saw 'Orlando' by Handel. AND before you read this - keep an open mind… It was a bit different than anything I've EVER seen. But I also somehow loved it. The set, script, and cast were all 'modernized'. No period costumes, no antique sets, it even included a silver bullet camper. BUT! what surprised us all, was the cast…
The lead, 'Orlando', who is usually a male, was played by a female. And his (her) love interest, Angelica, who is usually a woman, was also a woman. And Angelica's love interest, who is usually a male… was played by a woman. And her love interest was Orlando, who is usually a male, but was played by a female. And the maid was a bald man in a purple dress who never sang a note.
confused yet? Yes. I was too. Every character was played by the opposite gender, except the Magician & Angelica. There were lesbians everywhere. And everyone was in love with everyone, singing melismas like their lives depended on it. Because their lives DID depend on it… everyone was also dying. It was ridiculous. I hated it for the first 20 minutes, and then I loved it. Complete and utter chaos, which only proved my theory that OPERA IS NOT BORING. I also loved a few of the arias, So i'm on a mission to find the score in German and not in Italian.
I slept like a baby after that. Cause the next day we were headed to see some Castles!
We took a train to see 'Sanssouci' which means 'without a care'. It was the summer home for Frederich the Great, who lived in Potsdam. I'd try to explain this place, but you'd really just have to see it for yourself. Every building is breathtaking. And besides the miles (no, really) we had to walk to get from palace to palace, It did make me wish I were suddenly royal like in the Princess Diaries. I took a billion pictures, so go comment on them on face book RIGHT NOW.
That night we ate dinner on the Turkish side of town, where I may have eaten my favorite meal yet. The streets of Berlin were full of music and dancing and interesting smells and silly drunk people (TOOOOOM) and I even saw a few prostitutes. Besides those last 2, I loved it. If I wasn't so tired, I would have wanted to wander forever.
The last morning, (gees this blog is getting so long) We went to the Jewish History Museum. I learned all about the history of Jews in Germany, found out that the hairdryer was invented by a jew so I thanked him for that, read all about Anne Frank, walked for 20 minutes to find a bathroom in the place, laughed at decorated yamakas (I may have spelled that wrong), cried a little more when I realized the heaviness of what I was learning about, and then headed back to the Hauptbanhof to catch a train back to Dresden. I was very very very sad to leave.
My last bit of the Berlin trip was probably the most memorable.
Remember that suitcase I told you about? Well. Big mistake. My new Troy friends and I are always obsessed with getting our own 'compartment' on the train so we can feel like were headed to Hogwarts. So as were frantically running to our platform, we see a huge crowd of people getting on with us, and its our new priority to even catch the train at all! I'm pushing through people speaking 245245234 different languages with my hot pink suitcase, pretty much losing the rest of the group, when I'm finally on and the train starts moving. But I'm in the hallway. shoulder to shoulder with strangers. With my diet coke (the one time in Europe I got ice AND a refill and I couldn't even drink it I was so distraught) I couldn't move. No one could. Everyone was yelling, I had a suitcase, and I had no idea how I was going to not throw up from claustrophobia. Luckily my troy friends were right near me so we calmed down a little bit, but no one else did.
Turns out, Everyone (somehow) thought all the compartments were reserved, (NO) when really there was plenty of room at the front of the train and we'd all just gotten on at the back.(sort-of. European trains don't really make sense) So slowly, the line starts moving, until we meet another line moving the OTHER direction… they thought all the seats in the front of the train were reserved too! A few Swedish guys yelled at me until they realized I'm not actually an idiot, I just DON'T SPEAK SWEDISH. I finally got rid of my diet coke (cokelight) and picked my suitcase (sort of) over my head and pushed through to the other side of the car, through were the cars were connected, and into another line. I was so frustrated and no one was moving and everyone was leaving their luggage in the hallway so I couldn't get by and we still had no where to sit after half an hour. My friend Lorilyn and I were just dumbfounded… I don't think I've ever seen total confusion like that before. Finally, after dragging my suitcase over everyone's toes, trying to apologize in German before my anger got the best of me and finally just yelling MOVE in English, we got to a seat. Which was reserved. But we sat down anyway. I felt so American in that moment, and I hated it. I feel right to sleep in the Harry Potter compartment after all the stress.
So that was Berlin! See why I was so tired? I slept late the next day (Sunday) and just took it easy so my feet didn't fall off, but the next day, (Monday) me & my Troy friends took a totally different adventure:) I'll tell you about it later!
I've been in Berlin for less than 24 hours and I'm already exhausted. I need 29 cups of coffee and a bigger camera battery. Also, a feet transplant RIGHT NOW.
Excuse me, World?
It really hurts my heart when I remember how big you are.
Because there are things I'll never get to see. Books I'll never get to read?
Food I'll never get to try? Songs I'll never have the time to hear?
Places I'll never get to walk around?
I'm so exhausted and I'm trying to see every speck of Germany
BUT my body hurts and I need a nap.
And to think I'm only getting older and apparently this will only get worse?
That is the part I hate the most.
so I guess this is an apology to you, World.
I can't see all of you in one day!
and I'm so so sorry.
I can't sleep. I'm currently sitting on the floor of my bathroom, blogging. I'm in the bathroom because my roommate is trying to sleep. And I can't sleep because I'm so excited about BERLIN in the morning! SO I'll just ramble here until I'm sleepy. I just said sleep 4 times. ANYWAY.
Today, I stood inches from 'The Sistine Madonna' by Raphael. And to think that I could reach out and touch a painting that was not only 500+ years old, but also painted by a man who has a Ninja Turtle named after him…???? It blew me away. I teared up a little for the millionth time this trip! To see things in person that I've seen over and over in my History and Art classes just really does a number on me. Every painting in the room was 400-500 years older than me. That is so hard for me to grasp. I'm learning so much, its unbelievable.
After the museum we grabbed lunch at the Mensa (cafeteria) and headed to another lecture at the Goethe Institute. Afterwards I might have done a bit of shopping at H&M… getting everything BACK in my suitcase for the trip home is going to be a real task. But I just couldn't resist cute dresses for only €3 a piece! (I've spent more money than that on KinderEggs. Oops.)
Then, as per the usual, me and my Troy friends sat with our feet in a fountain and had some ice-cream. Its become a wonderful daily tradition.
I'm all packed for Berlin, our train leaves at 9:04 in the morning and I'm SO excited.
Before I head back to my bed for a another try at sleeping, I'll leave you with a few of my European observations.
1) I've seen 4 ice cubes this entire trip. And they were small and melted before I got to eat them.
2) No one in Europe seems to think Europe is hot. But I sure do. And I'm always sweating like crazy! But the locals seem to be dry as a bone all the time, even in the streetcar? But a lot manage to smell like B.O. no matter what…ugh.
3) Germans under 30 probably speak English. Germans over 30 probably think you're an idiot.
4) EUROS really do trick me into thinking things are cheaper.
5) I have a surprisingly good internal compass! I have yet to get lost, or even get nervous about being lost.
6) paying 50cents to use the bathroom everywhere is getting expensive.
7) KinderRegal bars do NOT taste like KinderEggs.
8) Sometimes, a month long break from a cellphone is the best idea ever. Too much communication is stupid.
The only thing more complicated than learning the language in Germany, is doing laundry in Germany.
I'm staying in a dorm with 17 floors, and there are only 3 (tiny) washers. And one dryer? Silly country. We have more stinky clothes than that! So tonight, my Troy friends and I fought for the washers. After some intense elevator surfing and 1 abduction scare, I finally feel clean. AND my dorm room is covered in wet laundry hanging from every available corner. Side note - there is a 50/50 chance I'm allergic to the detergent. I guess we'll all find out tomorrow!
In other news, Let me tell you about the last 3 days since I've been home from Leipzig!
We had another Lecture on Saturday, then we grabbed some Chinese for lunch. Ordering was difficult, because the waitress knew very little English, but a lot of German, while we knew no Chinese and very little German… But I did manage to get the right kind of water. ;) I was BEAT from climbing the monument the day before, so I hopped a train back to the dorm to take a nap. The rest of the group headed back in town to see a free concert, and I took a train about 3 hours later to meet them for dinner. Long story short, I missed them by about ten minutes, and while they were wandering in the grocery store next door, I just walked 3 stops past Albertplatz to the river where we'd be watching the soccer game, hoping I'd somehow find them. After some mind-reading, I found them next to our favorite Eis place :) Looking back on it, It was a miracle I ran into them, The fan-park by the river was PACKED. I could have been looking for them all night! But I got lucky.
Watched the game with all the Germans, and WE WON! 3rd place isn't too shabby, and the people celebrated just like usual. Flags were waving like crazy, I saw some ridiculous dance moves once again, and after a lot of laughs, we headed back to the dorm in the chaos.
BUT THEN THE BEST THING EVER HAPPENED. On the streetcar, was a blonde man. Who had nothing on but a lime green overall-thong. He was asking us where we were from, began to sing Sweet Home Alabama, told us how much he hated that song, said some very typical German/American things… and then he sat on my friend Haley. His bare butt was on her legs. I nearly popped a blood vessel I laughed so hard. It was the funniest thing I've seen all trip long! I'd tell you more, but you really just need to get on my facebook & see the pictures for yourself....
The next morning we headed for Saxony-Switzerland, which little did I know, is NOT actually in Switzerland. Its about 30 minutes out of town, and a completely picturesque place to go hiking/canoeing/biking/etc. And after climbing that monument, I felt like I could do anything! We hiked the 700 steps to the top(woah), and while I took a few stops to take some pictures and rest, It pretty much kicked my butt. But I made it! I wasn't the first… but I also wasn't the last ;) At the top we ate bratwurst and pommes and took 23424235 pictures. The views from the top always makes the climb worth it. It reminded me a lot of Gatlinburg! But better. duh.
That night (sunday) we watched the Spain/Netherlands game and GOOD LORD, it was terrible. I was rooting for the NED because Spain just plays too dirty, and the 12 yellowcards in this game proved it. Most of the Germans were rooting for NED too, Spain has become the new enemy:) It was just painful to watch. A game with 1 million shots but only 1 lucky one always breaks my heart. Spain won in the end, but NOT because they deserved it. During the next world cup, I'll be 25. Hows that for scary?
Today we had class from 1:30 - 5, and then a few of us went on FOUNTAIN TOUR OF DRESDEN 2010. AKA… we made it up cause we're HOT and everyone gets in the fountains here in their underwear. Yes, even adults! So we worn our swimsuits to class, and hopped in the nearest fountain we could find. We wandered around town for about 4 hours, just getting in anywhere. It was a blast!!!! And so refreshing. We've been sweating like crazy this whole time. OH and poor Katie fell in a hole in one of the fountains… but you had to be there to witness it or you'd never laugh with me:) When I get back to Nashville, I'm going to demand they clean the cascades at Trevecca regularly, so I can hop in them whenever I like!
We grabbed a cheap dinner and went on our laundry mission, so here I am now, writing to you lovely people.
This blog is too long, and I hate long blogs. But I want you to know the details because I'm just having the best time! And I'm laughing so hard. And I'm being outdoorsy and trying new food and sleeping with the windows open and thinking globally and trying harder not to be an obnoxious selfish American and I just want you all to know about it:)
While I sit here, eating my 234324924624692934th KinderEgg of the trip, I'll tell you what i've been up to the last 3 days :)
Early Wednesday morning, we hopped a train to Leipzig, about an hour& a half trip. The train looked like a plane on the inside, smelled like a plane on the inside & even had some crazy turbulence, but we were safely still on the ground, so I was in 7th heaven:)
We headed straight for our Hostel called the 'Sleepy Lion', which I totally fell in love with. (I'm already planning my next trip through Europe, but this one I only want to stay in hostels & never take showers and sleep on trains and have everything on my back, duh) We immediately got an amazing tour of the city, complete with the history of churches, museums and musicians from the city, all in 2 hours. YEAH RIGHT. Even the tiniest places here are JAM-PACKED with information, 2 hours is never even close to enough!?
That night we went to the opening ceremonies of the Annual Bach Competition, in the old city hall building. One of the violinists and I happened to be wearing the same outfit… long story. BUT I'll have to admit I just feel like such a musical failure when I see professional instrumentalists. MOM whyyyy did you let me quit everything? ;)
Then it was SOCCER TIME. We dashed to a TV and oh my goodness, that game killed me! The whole room was yelling and screaming, We were doing so well for so long!!! But we got intimidated… and lost. I was beyond upset. While we were headed back to our hostel I saw Spain flags burning in the streets & even a German one… these people live & breath soccer. Yelling, police, and firecrackers RIGHT OUT SIDE OUR WINDOW… it was a little scary. But I felt safe & cozy in the Sleepy Lion :)
The next morning, Thursday, We went on a tour of the Bach museum, (the man was a chubster… history books always leave that out), then on a trek to the Mendelssohn house where we all got the giggles from our 'guided tour'… this group is ALWAYS laughing & I'm positive we're known as the obnoxiously loud Americans…. oh well.
The sun is SO BRIGHT here and the amount of walking we've been doing is just CRAZY… but good for us:) So we took a little nap at the hostel before going our for dinner and a DISCOTECH.
We had dinner at Auerbach's Keller where Goethe was inspired to write 'Faust', (which I plan to read (in English!!!) as soon as I get home.) This restaurant has been in constant business since the 1700s! AND it was air-conditioned. One of my favorite meals of the trip so far… whoever said German food is bad LIED. TO. ME.
Then we headed out to the DISCOTECH where I danced my little heart out with the randomest German group of people who had dance moves I have never seen in my life. My whole group was being so silly and they even played American music for us! Look for those pictures on Facebook soon. Completely priceless! I must say, I'm not even a dancer but I know I'm better than the locals. ;) Achey Breaky heart was involved, along with some Ke$ha... best ever.
Which leads me to today - Friday. Which quite possibly felt like the LONGEST DAY OF MY LIFE. In the best way! We went to the Leipzig Zoo for 2 hours, which was so impressive! I always love zoos, and it was even more fun to guess what animals I was looking at… My German learning has hit a wall and I can't seem to do much more than order dinner at restaurants & go to the bathroom, so guessing what species was sort of a game for us. Sweet precious baby animals were everywhere, and although my ankles hurt so bad I was nearly crying, something about the unfamiliar always keeps me excited.
Then on to MY FAVORITE ADVENTURE OF THE WHOLE TRIP - We hopped a train to 'Völkerschlachtdenkmal' which we as Americans obviously knew nothing about, but its a Monument to the Battle of The Nations. And this bad boy is HUGE. The largest monument in Europe, twice as large as the Statue of Liberty. As we decided to walk through the museum simply because the inside was cooler, we found out we could climb to the top - over 500 stairs to take... that seemed crazy so we just wandered. Until we found what seemed to be a secret stairway to nowhere. IT WENT ON FOREVER. and kept getting smaller. and brighter. and we kept getting more and more nervous. And giggly and completely out of breath. But eventually we came to a platform, only to find out we weren't even half way up! All of us were suddenly terrified of heights, but somehow 3 of us gathered the courage to keep climbing up. We squeezed our way through a staircase barely the width of my shoulders up 200 more stairs till the top. 347853482 hours, stairs & complaints later...
THE VIEW WAS BREATHTAKING. And while I was having a mini heart attack, and freaking out from the height, I realized this might have been one of the coolest things I've ever done. (Besides being born of course.) I'm not much of a 'HEY LETS CLIMB A MILLION STAIRS FOR FUN kind of person, but man did my adrenaline kick in. I was literally on top of Germany for 15 minutes and I took 983462946294 pictures to prove it:) It was amazing. I was shaking all over and felt so accomplished for the rest of the day. Climbing down was almost just as nerve-wracking & boy did I get claustrophobic... but it was the highlight of my 10 days so far. And to think we didn't even know it existed until the air-conditioning lured us in?!? Dumb Americans. Always sweating.
We headed back to our hostel to grab our things, and after a short dip in the city fountain & a confusing trip to the Stasi museum(only to give up because everything was in German),we hopped our train back to Dresden.
Dresden somehow feels like home.
So goodnight friends! I'll post pictures on Facebook tomorrow.
p.s. the lord himself made Magnum bars. He didn't even need us lowly humans to help him. They are heaven on a stick and are worth the weight I might gain! I'll eat one for you, don't worry.
So, I just don't really think Clara Schumann was having an affair with Brahms. I mean, Robert Schumann went to court with her father for permission to marry her !? When she was only 17. And once they did get married, she had 9 kids with him! Do you really have time to cheat on your famous husband when you're also a composer & you have 9 midgets running around? NO. She was just friends with Brahms, he was the one in love with her. Its not her fault she was beautiful & talented. She's much too classy for that. Besides the whole Syphilis thing...
also, Tchaikovsky? I'd still be your friend. Who cares if you're gay.
Its almost 2pm here, & I just got back from a tiny little trip to the grocery store on my own. (sorry mom)
Its the little things so far that have excited me the most. Like, ordering my own ice cream (eis) without anyone's help. Or getting a little lost in old town, but handling it and somehow not panicking. Or sleeping with the windows open. I've been watching the German birds, and I even like them better than American ones.
Going to the grocery store by myself really lit me up today:) I had my first Kinder-egg experience and PLEASE I'm begging you, to order some for yourself off Ebay asap. The chocolate here is just phenom. If we're the 'most powerful country in the world', then WHY can't we get our chocolate right?
There were 2 English girls behind me in line, & I spoke all German just to feel superior ;)
Also, I keep attempting to find 'stilles wasser' (still water with no carbonation), but I keep ending up with the crappy stuff! I don't understand how Germans drink it. Its terrible. So currently, I have 3 bottles of MINDERALWASSER and no good stuff. Wasser from the tap, it is.
Also, I walked back to my dorm in the rain. And I picked a flower & put it in my hair. I'm the happiest.
I'm off to the Zwinger museum for the afternoon, then I'm thinking about renting a bike for the evening... or maybe having a picnic on the bridge near old town... WHATVER the plan is, It WILL include another KinderEgg. And probably some Zitrone Eis. lots and lots of Eis.
We had Turkish food for lunch, go figure. They are the largest immigrant group living here, and their food is stinkin’ good. So far I’ve had no sausage and not enough beer. Totally not what I expected?? but I’ve found a few things I think I’ll be missing back in the states. Tomorrow I’m going on a hunt for my favorite Magnum bar and NOTHING will get in my way.
We had our first lecture today at the Goethe institute, and I enjoyed every second. SURPRISE!!!!!!! I learned more about the Industrial Revolution and Beethoven and Chopin and I was reminded of how much I LOVEthisSchubert piece and I want to sing it so bad!
Luckily we were dismissed early to get to the Hauptbahnhof to get a seat for the Germany/Argentina game. We found a spot near a hotel with a large group of older Germans outside, and once we got there, Deutschland was already up by one. [I used the bathroom here & was so proud I made it all the way there without a single English word] I was SO freaking excited to watch this game with Germans. They were clapping, screaming, singing fight songs, and the second goal someone spilled beer on my foot. PRICELESS. This place is crazy for their team and it made me feel like I was German too! There were highfives, cheers & I made a new south African/German friend who translated all the yelling for me. We won 4-0 and WE’RE IN THE SEMI-FINALS. This whole place has gone CRAZY. There were honking cars and horns blowing non-stop and every person walking by yelled something celebratory at me and I just yelled YA DEUSTCHLAND back. I get to watch 2 more games with these people, win or loose. And I want to see us beat the Netherlands real real bad. BUT if they won while I was here… I’d consider myself their good luck charm and never leave.
Which leads me to my next sorry-this-post-is-too-long point… remember how I said this place went nuts after the win? Well that included drunk/excited fans in the streets [with flags and horns and redblackyellow mowhawks and beer beer so much beer] Where the street cars that take me to OPERAS are. As soon as the time ran out for the game, we hopped a train to get to Falstaff by Giuseppe Verdi [look it up right now it was flawless and I enjoyed every Italian second] but because of all the traffic, it skipped our stop & went right on to another that I’d never been to before. Did I mention I was on this train with 1 other girl who knew no German either? So we stayed calm, hopped the rails & managed to catch the next 8train to ‘Theatreplatz’ where the opera house is. EXCEPT NO WE DIDN’T. That train skipped our stop too. and so would every other train, we found out later. There were so many people in the streets we couldn’t get to the opera house without walking 3 blocks. It was 6:43. The Opera started at 7.
SO WE SPEED (sped?) WALKED. Through old town. I’m talking like in the Lizzie McGuire movie but I had no moped. I tripped over some cobblestones oh so gracefully & Dr. Jackson got directions in German but that didn’t help me, I was sweating and stressing and my calves were cramping… but finally we made it. We were the last people in the door. Then of course I had to use the bathroom, so I asked where it was in perfect German, only to be told in perfect German where it was so I STILL didn’t actually know. They were closing the doors. I had to wait 2 acts of an Italian opera to use the restroom but I LOVED Falstaff so it was worth it.
ALL THAT TO SAY – I loved today. I tried new food, learned about music, watched a Fußball game, RAN through cobblestone streets to see an Opera, met one of the cast members on the train home, and now I’m blogging from my balcony in 68 degrees.
Es war ein guter Tag. (i almost did that all by myself... only missed 1 word.)
1- I'm terrible at pronouncing words. I know a few key phrases & I can understand others, but I'm so so bashful to say the words! Today it took me 30 seconds to grab the courage actually say 'ein stilles wasser bitte'
2 - Here, Americans seem to be known for 3 things. Being fat, being loud, and looking confused.
3 - Adding alcohol seems to make our American tendencies 235234 times more obvious.
4 - Smiling & nodding actually works! Today, I had a whole conversation with a student in the W.C. without saying a word. And she loved me! She patted me on the arm on the way out. I told her I liked her hair in German & she wouldn't shut up.
5 - GERMAN FOOD IS GOOD. I even had german 'chinese' food today, and the soy sauce is even better here!
6 - I'm an ice cruncher, but they don't do ice. I'm having a hard time with it.
7 - Americans are fat because we have no portion control!!! We eat 4 times as much as they do, easy. I'm eating like a German from now on.
8 - No air conditioning is the norm. I'm getting used to it, thanks to my €12 fan from IKEA.
9 - STAY OFF THE BIKE PATH.
in other news, this is the view from my window:)
So far we've eaten dinner at a Biergarten, gone to a grocery store, walked A TON, taken trains, gone to IKEA(!!!!), eaten the best ice cream i've ever had in my life... I'm loving it. I'm people watching mostly. Compared to these people, Americans are lazy and pretentious - this is my current observation.
[note] - the German word for travel is FAHRT... I'm not even mad about that.
I named this blog 'What fear of flying?' because its opposite day.
I'm actually completely terrified of flying.
I'm lying in bed typing this right now because I can't sleep because I can't stop thinking about how I am flying for the first time in a year tomorrow and I don't want to have to be conscious during the take off/duration/landing and I can't stop thinking about how not only do I have to do it for 10 hours, but I also have to do it again after that for 2 more on a smaller plane to actually get to Dresden, then I have to do it again to get home 2 more times and there will be turbulence and crying infants with parents who don't try to hush them and the food is never good or enough to feel full and my ears will pop and I'll have to try to sleep when my blood pressure will be sky high and every second I'll be anticipating the part where we're crashing & I'll either be on the part of the plane that dies, or the part of the plane that lands on a magic island & I'll have to wait 6 seasons to find out if I'm going to heaven or not.
My heart begs for travel.
I can't imagine a life of staying in only 1 city?!?! gross.
I'm happiest when I'm exploring new places.
So, I'm doing that. This fear is just going to have to be a phase I'm going though (for the last 5 years) because no matter how my plane panic attacks plays out, eventually my feet will hit the ground in a new place every time. And that keeps me buying plane tickets.
[current thought(s) - OOOOOH MY GOSH/Shut up Kathleen you're doing it anyway.]