On Monday we took the day off, soaked in the tub, and we wondered why anyone would ever choose to stay in a hotel.
Now it’s Wednesday evening and we are writing from our cabin aboard the Deutsche Bahn EC 379 just outside of Dresden, headed for Prague. Since about 3:00 we’ve been rolling quite quickly through the German countryside. Everything is covered in six to ten inches of snow. As we pass through the outskirts of smaller German towns, everything that possibly could be is covered in graffiti. Two hours to Prague.
We slept in on Tuesday morning and then headed out to the Neue National Gallerie near Potsdamer Platz to see two exhibits: Jeff Koons Celebration and Das Universum Klee as part of the city-wide Kult des Konstlers (Cult of the Artist) which included the Beuys and the Warhol that we saw on Sunday at the Hamburger-Bahnhof Museum of Contemporary Art. The Koons exhibit consisted of ten of his larger pieces, a massive bowl of eggs, a massive, shiny, red balloon poodle made from aluminum(?), etc. The Klee exhibit covered roughly 10,000 square feet, the entire bottom level of the Neue National Gallerie. This is likely the largest Klee collection under one roof at any one time. It was arranged both thematically and biographically, though not chronologically. (We just entered the Czech Republic and are now sharing our cabin.) From the Neue National Gallerie we had intended to go to the nearby Gemäldegalerie but upon realizing how large it is we decided to wait until we could spend more than just a few hours there. We wandered back to Potsdamer Platz for gelato and Glühwein and made our way to H&M in hopes of finding some cheap extra layers. Danielle got lucky; Zach did not. (With the exception of the marked down items, H&M in Germany is kind of a rip-off. The clothing and the numbers on the price tags are exactly the same as in San Francisco, but it’s in Euros, not dollars.) Then to Charlottenburg where we admired the restored remains of the bombed-out Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche.
In the evening we met up with Don, Danielle’s friend and former German instructor from Berkeley who is currently working on his dissertation in Berlin. He took us to a restaurant called Mädchen ohne Abitur (translates to “girls without diplomas”) for dinner. Afterwards we went back to Don’s apartment to share a bottle of wine and travel horror stories, our common interest in Teach For America and other things. Don had arrived in Germany earlier that day from Madison, Wisconsin, but one of his bags (the one containing his winter jacket, phone and keys) had not.
Fortunately, we are traveling without any luggage that would need to be checked; it sits above us and the three jolly Czech gentlemen sharing our cabin right now. The voice over the PA has just informed us (in three different languages) that Praha-Holesovice will be our next stop.