Monday, March 15, 2010

Munich, etc

Updates from chilly Deutschland. Things are good here, I'm actually learning a little German, which is exciting. I wanted to post a couple pictures, largely because I don't want to be out-vacation-blogged by Natalie, which I will be ultimately because she a) is in Spain, and b) takes fantastic pictures, but I can at least attempt to keep up while I'm here... :)

I spent the weekend in Munich, which was totally worth the 6-hour train ride to meet my friend Anna, who lives as far away from Berlin as possible while still being in Germany. Munich was equally out of the way for both of us, so it was perfect! I got to experience the "real" Germany (right, Anna??) by drinking a mug of beer the size of a small person, getting hit on by drunk foreign men, and eating pastries soaked in gooey cream and sugar. I tried to wrestle Anna into a Dirndl, but she's surprisingly strong and resisted. So I don't have any pictures of that, alas.

Munich Lions

Anna demonstrating my newest vocabulary word: Schweinshaxe (on a boar outside Munich's hunting and fishing museum). Yum.

This is the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) in Berlin. (I think this picture came out pretty well despite being taken on my phone.) The gate is a major symbol of Berlin, being involved in so much of its history. It was finished in 1791, and the statue on top (the Quadriga) was taken to Paris by Napoleon after a Prussian defeat in 1806. The gate was one of the only structures in the area to remain standing after Berlin was bombed in WWII. The Berlin wall was constructed just west of the gate, enclosing it in (Soviet) East Berlin. It's a pretty impressive structure. I'll try to get back there with a real camera one day. :) On of the things I like about Berlin is that it's so clearly still being rebuilt. The Wall only came down 20 years ago, and there are still areas along where it ran where there's nothing more than weed-strewn lots with nothing there yet. There also isn't that much architecture that is obviously old, like the Brandenburg Gate, like there is in Paris, for example. It's a major capital city that's still becoming itself, in a way.

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