Gianni Says Good-bye

Trip Start Jul 16, 2013
Trip End Oct 07, 2013

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Flag of Germany  , Berlin,
Monday, August 12, 2013

Yet another statue in a park. I just find them interesting. I'm not sure why. This depicted a Polish composer I think.

Looks like a cross on top. Could be the cathedral. It makes me think that the one I previously thought was the cathedral was actually the Lutheran cathedral... if they actually have cathedrals.

It's not so much the building that attracted my attention but the people on the lawn. People love to sprawl about on a lawn but we just don't have enough public lawn in Hobart.

They almost seem to have too much lawn over here.

I finally made it to Düssmann, the rendezvous point with Natalia and Gianni. Again we were to meet outside the English section. Gianni seems to have gotten the exact meeting spot wrong but we had enough patience to not just leave even though he was fairly late.

How's this, a genuine Egyptian sphinx outside the bookshop.

It's on loan from the museum. A pretty impressive three and a half thousand years old. It arrived in Germany in 1845 when cultural theft wasn't so frowned upon. I don't see them rushing to hand much back nowadays though.

Gianni for some reason wanted to revisit the memorial to von Stauffenberg who was executed after a failed attempt to assassinate Hitler. We went via the Brandenburger Tor, a pretty iconic symbol of Berlin.

We also walked partly through the park in the centre of a Berlin. Huge and dotted with ponds and various statues - this one commemorating four composers. One was Beethoven for sure - I can't remember who the others were.

The von Stauffenberg memorial is in the actual courtyard of the building where the assassination attempt took place... or was it where he was executed?.

It's not that the memorial is so imposing but it has a certain appeal when you can look around and the buildings are the same and there is a pleasant shortage of other tourists and you can perhaps imagine what it was like for von Stauffenberg to have looked out at the same buildings on the way to the meeting with Hitler or indeed on the morning of his execution.

The statue in the middle of all this is of a naked man with a plaque on the ground with an inscription about not bearing the shame.

Perhaps Snowden should have the inscription made into a t-shirt for himself.

And von Stauffenberg. He was only 36 when all this took place. Though it's ridiculous that everyone makes fun of the Germans for saying that they were just following orders. What about Snowden? They want to charge him with treason for showing a bit of gumption. And von Stauffenberg is a hero. The reality is that there's no difference between Snowden and von Stauffenberg and the US military would shoot von Stauffenberg just as readily as the Germans did. Those in command know that this is a can of worms that they don't want opened.

Yes, another church. I suppose eventually I'll become blasé towards all these buildings but in the meantime you're going to have to put up with them.

A couple photos of Gianni and Natalia. Actually Gianni will be in the Czech Republic tomorrow so this is farewell. Hence a few extra photos of Gianni and Natalia.

This one's actually interesting in it's own right - a huge giraffe made out of Lego. One could complain that when one has the money to buy Lego blocks one doesn't play with them anymore but the fact is that I'd be hopeless at making anything no matter how many I had.

And finally the actual parting from Gianni. Interesting bloke I must say. He turned out to be quite a linguist though he did complain that he didn't get to speak enough German in Germany. Well what do you expect if you don't drink?

Here's another small suburban pub but despite my previous statement I didn't actually speak to anyone here except for the barmaid of course..

And finally some food. Tonight I gave up on the thought of German food. The reality seems to be that there doesn't seem to be a huge variety of German food and even less that really appeals to me. And if I want to eat what the locals eat then I need to try Turkish, Vietnamese and Italian.

Vietnamese food in Berlin is surprisingly authentic. Not surprising given the number of Vietnamese in Berlin many of whom were in East Berlin at unification. I've also been to an Asian grocery shop here and the range of what you can buy is phenomenal - including vegetables and herbs - which surprised me somewhat given that Germans don't seem to be that much into herbs and vegetables.

Turkish food consists overwhelmingly of döner kebap and other street food. In fact after about midnight it seems that there'd be no food available without the Turks.
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Graeme on

>This depicted a Polish composer I think.

It's Adolf Diesterweg - German education reformer.
Quotation on shield: Lebe im Ganzen

andrew mcdermott on

The Stauffenberg memorial is the courtyard where he was summarily executed ( I believe by someone who was aware of the plot and wanted to ensure Staffenberg's silence) . The bombing of Hitler took place in Rastenberg in East Prussia ( now Poland)

Axe on

Another cool blog.
How did you get so behind in your days Bob?

budz888 on

Occasional lack of Internet... and too much going on in Berlin.

budz888 on

Glad to see someone knows their facts. I had a feeling the assassination attempt was somewhere else...

Anthony Havens on

The mind boggles at how any rational person could possibly compare the actions of a single deluded individual like Snowden with those of the heroic von Stauffenberg and his compatriots. They both may have committed "treason" but there the similarities end. Please stay away from flawed political comparisons otherwise your blog is as always excellent.

budz888 on

I must admit to not knowing much at all about Snowden. Nevertheless I feel that what matters is actually the nature of what he revealed, not him himself. (Again, I don't know enough about that either to defend myself.)

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