Salvador Dalí Museum Berlin

The Persistence of Memory 1931 Salvador Dalí

Berlin’s Dalí Museum is a permanent exhibition at Potsdamer Platz with more than 450 original artworks by Spanish artist Salvador Dalí. The museum offers “insight into Dalí’s virtuosity and mastership of almost all art techniques”.

Salvador Dali Theater Museum Figueres Spain

I had no idea what a diverse artist Dalí was. The amazing exhibits include original lithographs, illustrations, photography, sculpting, xylographs, drypoint etchings, mixed-media graphics, héliogravures, Olympic medals, jewelry designs, and even a short film. Videos placed throughout the museum illustrate techniques Dalí used to create some of his work.

Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí Surrealism Paintings Photo Gallery

Although I’ve never been a Dalí fan, his Surrealistic paintings are fascinating, and this exhibit gave me new appreciation of his art and creativity. He’s considered a genius. In addition to his more avant-garde paintings, Dalí created beautiful landscapes and portraiture. This is a list of his works created between 1913 and 1983.

The Berlin museum is a great introduction to Dalí’s complex world. Over 70 years he produced 1160 artworks and even illustrated his own life for the opening of his museum in Figueres Spain!

The Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee 1944 Salvador Dalí

Boat 1918 Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí

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“Surrealist artists rejected the rational in art; and instead aimed to channel the unconscious to unlock the power of imagination.”

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The Burning Giraffe 1937 Salvador Dalí

Dali used extensive symbolism in his work. Recurring “images in his paintings include elephants with brittle legs which evoke weightlessness; ants, thought to be his symbol for decay and death; and melting watches, perhaps symbolic of non-linear human perception of time”.

Tuna Fishing 1967 Salvador Dalí

Swans Reflecting Elephants 1937 Salvador Dalí

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Dali became the “most influential Surrealist artist; and perhaps the most renowned twentieth century painter after Pablo Picasso”.

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Galatea of the Spheres 1952 Salvador Dalí

Lobster Telephone 1936 Salvador Dalí

The museum contains so much info, it’s likely I’ll visit again. Some of Dalí’s most famous paintings include:

  • The Burning Giraffe
  • Tuna Fishing
  • Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee
  • Galatea of the Spheres
  • Metamorphosis of Narcissus
  • Christ of Saint John of the Cross
  • The Great Masturbator
  • Soft Construction with Boiled Beans
  • Swans Reflecting Elephants
  • The Persistence of Memory

A Shower of Jasmine 1954 Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí Surrealist

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Chamber Music Concert Hall Berlin Philharmonic

Last night I attended a Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra performance at the Chamber Music Concert Hall. There were several choices for getting there from my apartment. U-Bahn wasn’t one of them. At night, I’m more confident taking U-Bahn and am a bit leery of walking between connections.

Berlin Symphony

Getting to the Concert Hall

After considering the options, I took the M41 bus to Potsdamer Platz and walked about 10 minutes to the concert hall. It worked out well, even though I initially went in the wrong direction :o( but figured it out and changed course. I learned from the mistake, and the interesting passengers on the bus were helpful. Berlin taxis are plentiful but expensive, not sure if they’re safe. Since I’ll be in Berlin fort awhile, it’s a good idea to get comfortable riding buses and trams as well as the U-Bahn.

Berliner Philharmonie Concert Hall

I’ve been looking forward to the concert after hearing praise for the symphony. Many consider the Berliner Philharmoniker the “world’s greatest orchestra”. The performance was sold out. Paavo Järvi conducted works by composers Witold Lutosławski and Johannes Brahms. The gorgeous concert hall is a theatre-in-the round with stellar acoustics. I had a balcony side seat facing the conductor – a prefect vantage point for watching the orchestra in action.

Witold Lutoslawski Concerto for Orchestra

Polish composer Witold Lutosławsk’s Concerto for Orchestra is known as “one of the top Polish works of Social Realism”. It’s described as a “rousing concert for orchestra combining the harsh force of Polish folk music with ingenious, futuristic construction”.

Witold Lutosławski Polish Composer

The Concerto has three movements beginning with a solemn introduction featuring “transformed tunes of folk songs”. Critics characterize the second movement as a “syncopated folk tune”. The finale is the longest movement and has a special “dramatic effect through the rise of the sound volume from pianissimo to fortissimo”. It’s a dramatic abstract composition.

Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73 for Chamber Ensemble

German composer Johannes Brahms’ Second Symphony was a sharp contrast to Lutoslawski’s composition. He created the symphony during a holiday on Lake Wörthersee, a glacial lake in the Starnberg district of Bavaria. Maybe Brahms got inspiration from the legend of the Origin of Lake Wörthersee, a fascinating folktale.

Johannes Brahms German Composer

Critics describe Symphony No. 2 as having a “pastoral, serenade-like quality with moments of somber severity”. It’s considered the Brahms Symphony “most suitable for a chamber version filled with expressive solos and transparent textures”. The soloists were magnificent.

Johannes Brahms 1866 Photo – Picture-Alliance dpa

The symphony has four movements, allegro non troppoadagio non troppoallegretto grazioso, and allegro con spirito. The rousing finale was spectacular and brought the audience to their feet.

Little Man of Lake Wörth Bavarian Folktale

Paavo Järvi Conductor

Paavo Järvi has been the Artistic Director of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen since 2004. Together with the Berlin Symphony he’s produced popular recordings of works by Igor Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Robert Schumann. Järvi is a masterful conductor!

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“Järvi is a fascinating man to watch in concert. Not only is he a Grammy award-winning conductor but he is also a swift mover on the stage. He remains focused, and incredibly involved in the music.”

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Paavo Järvi Conductor

Paavo Järvi’s Conducting Career and Awards

Järvi’s career began in 1995 as conductor of Stockholm’s Kungliga Filharmoniska Orkestern. Career landmarks include positions with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Frankfurt HR Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his position with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, he’s artistic advisor to the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and the Järvi Summer Festival in Pärnu, Estonia.

Berlin Chamber Music Concert Hall Theater in the Round

In 2010, Järvi was awarded the ECHO Klassik as Conductor of the Year for his Beethoven interpretation – considered his greatest success. “The CD versions of Beethoven’s nine symphonies and the performances of the complete Beethoven cycle in Tokyo, Yokohama, Lanaudière Quebec, Paris, Strasbourg, Montreal, Bonn, Salzburg, Warsaw, and Sao Paolo sparked a wave of enthusiasm.”

Paavo Järvi Conductor Berlin Philharmonic

Following the Beethoven project, “Järvi and his orchestra worked equally successfully on the symphonic works of Robert Schumann”. The third CD with Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 and the Concert Piece for 4 Horns was awarded the prestigious French Music Prize, the Diapason d’Or. Järvi then focused on the complete Brahms Symphony Cycle winning Germany’s Opus Klassik Award in the category “Symphonic Recording of the Year (music of the 19th century)”.

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“Berlin’s striking pentagonal yellow concert hall was the product of designs by Hans Scharoun. It, along with the Neue Nationalgalerie, the chamber music hall, and the State Library, make up Berlin’s Kulturforum.

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Berlin Symphony Pipe Organ

Beginning with the 2019/20 season Paavo Järvi will become the new Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. He’s absolutely mesmerizing, a phenomenal conductor!

The Brahms piece was my favorite – it was magnificent. The audience wasn’t shy about acknowledging the talented musicians and conductor with enthusiastic applause. The performance was thrilling and made for a memorable evening in Berlin!

Berlin’s Light Festival from River Spree

Berlin Festival of Lights from River Spree

Berlin’s autumn Festival of Lights is a spectacular 10-day show with creative displays by talented artists from all over the world. During the festival, landmarks and historic buildings are elaborately illuminated from dusk to midnight. It’s an exciting time with vivid visuals and a happy atmosphere!

Every night I’ve checked out light shows in different parts of Berlin. The weather has been clear with unseasonably warm temperatures in the 70s providing ideal viewing conditions. There are 58 different light shows presented in 60 locations (including the US Embassy). Participants include 66 artists from 25 countries!

Light Halo Anyone?

Some of the shows use projection mapping, a “presentation technology becoming increasingly popular in media art and at concerts”. The process involves projecting customized images onto three-dimensional objects. It’s spectacular to watch!

There are many fun ways to view the festival, including by hot air balloon. Saturday night I decided to watch from a different vantage point and boarded a cruise to see the colorful light projections from River Spree. The tour began at 7 pm. from Jannowitzbrücke and floated along the Spree for several hours of fun!

There were 200+ people aboard the double-decker barge-like boat. I enjoyed talking with two fun guys from Australia. According to our tour commentator, the three of us and two Italians were the only non-Germans on board.

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“Berlin has more bridges than Venice. Together, the German capital and the surrounding state of Brandenburg comprise Europe’s largest network of inland waterways.”

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Selfie

Boat traffic backed up on a busy Saturday night, so it took us some time (both ways) to pass through Mühlendamm Lock in the canal. The historic Lock is part of a causeway built in the center of the then medieval city during the 1200s.

Boats on River Spree

During the Light Festival or anytime, Berlin is amazing at night! Having experienced the nighttime view from River Spree, I’m looking forward to a daylight tour along the same route.

Brandenburg Gate Festival of Lights

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Some of the light shows use projection mapping, a “presentation technology becoming increasingly popular in media art and at concerts”.

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A surprising fact about Berlin is that in addition to River Spree it has 6 other rivers and an unbelievable 1,700 bridges! The rivers account for an astonishing 80 kilometers of navigable waterways within Berlin’s city limits:

  1. Bäke River
  2. Dahme River
  3. Kindle River
  4. Havel River
  5. Panke River
  6. Tegeler River

Passing Under a Low Bridge

Passing under the lighted bridges was a giddy treat! Some of them were so low, the Captain asked people on the top deck to remain seated as the boat slipped underneath.

Berlin Cathedral Festival of Lights

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“It’s said that Berlin has more waterways than Amsterdam, Stockholm, and Venice COMBINED.”

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Berliners participate in the festival by making a charitable donation to Aktion Augenlicht and picking up a “Lekker Lichtbox”. Aktion Augenlicht facilitates shared experiences for blind and visually impaired people. During the light-fixed period (7 pm – 12 am), LED boxes shine in windows throughout the city. Even though my apartment faces a courtyard, I put a small light in the window :o).

Food Vendor

Light Balloons

Viewing the Light Shows from a Bicycle Taxi

Scary Reptilian

Festival of Lights from River Spree

Berlin’s Subway and Street Art

Subway Art

Berlin’s U-Bahn dates from 1902. Traveling though it’s a bit like visiting an art gallery. I’m learning the stations and during every outing discover something new.

cof

Graffiti writing in the stations is illegal and considered an act of vandalism. It’s often removed by the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) the public-law company for transportation. A secret subway bedroom was even discovered. Wasn’t able to caption all the photos or provide every artist’s name, but the images are descriptive!

Richard Wagner U-Bahn Station

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Oznor

Richard Wagner U-Bahn Station

Street Art

Street art is everywhere! Berlin Sidewalk describes some past and present projects.

French Artist Group CitéCréation

One Wall Project – Urban Nation

Addison Karl and James Bullough

 

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Door Kreutzberg

Iranian Stencil Art Icv and Sot

Urban Nation – BMF - Paradox & Elle

One Wall Project – Nika Kramer

Tristan Eaton

Tristan Eaton American Graffiti Artist, Street Art Muralist, Illustrator and Toy Designer

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Exploring Berlin

New Synagogue

Learning to navigate a large city requires patience and perseverance – ha… Berlin’s heated pace is both daunting and exhilarating. I’ve gone from being hopelessly lost to feeling ecstatic while blending with locals and making successful transport connections!

French Cathedral

Navigating Berlin

As a point of comparison, Istanbul’s 14 million population makes Berlin’s 4 million seem small, but to me, Istanbul’s public transit system is easier to learn. Switching between the U-Bahn (subway) and S-Bahn (suburban train) is confusing. My U-Bahn station is Gneisenaustraße – still trying to pronounce it correctly. During my first subway outing a Berliner helped by providing directions involving a U-Bahn to S-Bahn transfer. There are various transfer options and this one turned out to be complicated (for a tourist), somehow leaving me in the middle of nowhere at night, terrified!

Wilhelminian Style Architecture

When will I learn the lesson about not asking locals for directions – a basic rule that continues to elude my travels? Essential elements of getting around seamlessly and independently in foreign countries include MapsMe or Google Maps and a power charger for your smartphone. In Berlin, speaking German is also helpful…

Gendarmenmarkt – Deutscher Dom, Französischer Dom, Berlin Konzerthaus

Berlin Opera House St. Hedwig’s Episcopal Cathedral

Berlin Tours

I’ve booked some interesting tours and decided to make “dry runs”, to eliminate 11th hour drama reaching the starting point on time. Berlin is a city of striking images, but I haven’t taken many photos – dangerous while still getting your bearings.

German Cathedral

Berlin Cathedral

Yesterday I joined a six-hour walking tour led by Berlin Like A Local. As with most of these outings, there was too much detailed information provided. The tour lasted most of the day – with a 30-minute lunch break and a few moving caffeine stops. We walked at a fast pace with little time for photos or chit-chat. Since then, I’ve downloaded self-guided tours to my smartphone. The next walking tour will be at my pace, and I can replay the commentary as many times as necessary :o).

Jewish Cemetery

Holocaust Survivors

Checkpoint Charlie – Getty Images

The group included tourists from Amsterdam, Zürich, London, and New York City. They were in their 20s – 30s and good fun. Most of them were visiting Berlin to experience its vibrant techno nightlife scene. The Londoner shared pointers about Albania – possibly my next stop. One young couple was on their way to Prague.

German Museum

Berliner Dome During the Festival of Lights – Shutterstock

Our Australian guide from Melbourne had lived in Berlin for over 4 years while attending university. He majored in subjects which make him an expert on European history and a powerhouse of information. His commentary was funny at times, e.g., he told us “you can take a dog or a beer anywhere in Berlin”…

German Bakery

Attractions and Landmarks

Some of the sites we saw are listed below – more for my benefit than readers of this post. Each site has its own unique history and compelling story. We began in the east near River Spree at the Tränenpalast Museum (Tears Palace) and ended at Brandenburg Gate in the west.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

The stark Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe designed by Peter Eisenman is graphic and impressive. It consists of 2,711 cuboid concrete stelae (slabs) and encompasses an entire block near the Brandenburg Gate. We walked respectfully through the controversial memorial. It’s difficult to describe the feelings of isolation and helplessness as the concrete blocks grow taller and a slanted pavement adds to the disorientation. Eisenman’s brilliant work gets your attention and makes its brutal point.

Retro look Unter den Linden, Berlin

Unter den Linden Boulevard – 123RF

Brandenburg Gate

We took a break on top of Hitler’s underground air-raid bunker where he and Eva Braun committed suicide. It’s now blended with the landscaping of a modern apartment complex. Another interesting spot was the exterior of Angela Merkel’s flat in Prenzlauer Berg where she no longer stays. Trendy Prenzlauer Berg has old Wilhelminian-style buildings and fashionable cafés and shops. The apartment rents for € 65 per night.

River Spree

During the 1990s, the fall of the Berlin Wall brought extreme euphoria, wild partying, and a “chaotic, anarchistic mood”. Since then, Berlin has experienced major change! This was a cursory tour. Over the next few months I will look deeper and gain a better understanding of Berlin’s fascinating past and bright future. Although not always immediately obvious, Berlin’s dark past and present intertwine.

Bebelplatz

Memorial to George Elser – Hitler’s Would Be Assassin

Mitte Side Street

Memorial to Nazi Burning of Books Bebelplatz

Clear autumn weather in the 70s is to continue this week. I’m besotted with Berlin and the adventures so far. Happy to be staying in the Kreuzberg / Neukölln area, a vibrant community rich in diversity and character.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

Mehr später…

Berlin Neukölln District

Berlin Roof Gardens – Weitere Informationen

After three uneventful flights totaling almost 18 hours, I arrived safely in Berlin. I’m settling into a small but comfortable apartment in Neukölln District, my home for the next three months. So far, its typical autumn weather with mostly crisp, clear days. It’s great to be in a new environment, and I’m staying awhile with plenty of time to explore.

Jet lag is insidious, and west to east flights are more challenging since you’re moving ahead in time. Despite little sleep, I’m full of energy and pleasantly fuddled but not tired… What I’ve explored so far is a total delight – interesting architecture, beautiful parks, many languages spoken, and fascinating faces of a lively, diverse community.

Sony Centre – iStock

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“Neukölln is a trendy hub of contrasts and home to one of the highest percentages of immigrants in Berlin with families from over 160 countries.”

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German Parliament Building Reichstag – Videobooks

Neukölln Ambiance

Neukölln has a mellow, hip vibe and is centrally located near abundant activities – Bergmannstraßeindie alternative cafés and clubs, cabarets and theaters, museums, art galleries, casinos, and performing arts venues. The variety of nearby food options is amazing – everything from vegan, vegetarian, Asian, Indian, Thai, Tibetan, and Turkish takeout to quality restaurants, French bakeries, wine bars, and bier halls. Superfood and organic eating have taken off here in a big way with Whole Food like markets everywhere.

Neukölln Art – Shutterstock

Transportation and Communication

I got a German SIM card and am checking out public transportation. U-Bahn stations are nearby. There are also S-Bahn stations, suburban commuter trains, trams, buses, and ferries. I’ll rent a bicycle and plan to sign up for walking tours to get orientated and gain an overview of the city. Bicycles are popular with dedicated lanes throughout the city. Drivers are fast and furious, so I’ll think about renting a car – maybe later when the area is more familiar…

Most Berliners speak English but newspapers, food labels, signage, etc. are in German only. I’ll try to learn some German :o).

Tiergarten

Berlin Festivals, Markets, Side Trips

Neukölln’s Sunday Flea Market features work by upcoming artists and designers. There’s a large Turkish population and the Market on Maybachufer “offers everything from fresh produce to fabric to Middle Eastern snacks and African street food”. I had a delicious spicy falafel yesterday and baklava cravings are easily satisfied.

Berlin Roofs – S Kohl

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“Neukölln is one of the most diverse places to shop in Berlin with specialty stores selling products from India, the Middle East, and Africa.”

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Map Berlin Neighborhoods

There are infinite experiences waiting in Berlin, but also time for side trips like Potsdam’s palaces and castles – especially stunning with a dramatic autumn backdrop. I’m looking forward to the Berlin Festival of Lights from October 5th to 14th –  excited to be here! Mehr später

Hot Oregon Summer – Berlin Next

Gendarmenmarkt Berlin – depositphotos.com

Gardening and Wildfires

It’s been a restful, contemplative summer in Oregon working in my garden with deer, wild turkeys, annoying yellow jackets, and a stray Gothic-looking black cat. Sadly, dry and windy conditions combined with record-breaking heat resulted in raging wildfires all around us.

Garden Visitor

Cute Stray Cat

The massive Carr Fire near the California / Oregon border created terrifying “fire tornadoes“. They occur when a fire acquires “vertical vorticity and forms a whirl”. Fire tornadoes can “grow to gargantuan size with winds of over 90 mph”.

Fire Tornado – zmescience.com

Carr Fire Chopper – The Mercury News Bay Area

The Carr Fire ignited in late July. A month later, after “torching more than 200,000 acres,” it’s about 90 percent contained!  Smoke from fires in Oregon, California, Washington, and nearby Colorado and Canada creates a surreal aura, bringing an eerie atmospheric haze, poor air quality, and vivid sunrises and sunsets.

Wildfire Sunset San Francisco Bay – Fstoppers.com

Wildfire Smoke at Sunrise – Jonathan Hayward Canadian Press

Brave Wildfire Fighter – Charlie Nash Photography

Next Long Trip

I’ve started getting into the specifics of my next travel adventure. No matter what, this time I’m traveling with one piece of luggage!

Berlin Boroughs and Districts

Like in 2017, I’ll begin in Europe and eventually make my way back to South Africa. I decided to start in Berlin – a new city for me. I’ve studied Berlin’s East and West boroughs and have a few leads for rental apartments in well-located areas near attractions and transportation – Mitte, Charlottenburg-WilmersdorfFriedrichshain-Kreuzberg, and Neukölln. Rents are reasonable, and the apartments look comfortable.

Museum Island River Spree – Stock Photo

Return to South Africa

I’m apprehensive about violence in many parts of Africa – Congo, Mali, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, et al. Although I’ve never experienced violence during my travels in Africa, six cities in South Africa – Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Pietermaritzburg, Rustenburg, and Johannesburg – made the top ten list of the most dangerous cities on the African continent. Xenophobic related violence in South Africa is disturbing. Here in the US, we clearly have our own problems and brand of political tension, civil unrest, violence, and a vast chasm between “left versus right” ideologies…

Berlin Cathedral – Wikimedia.org 

Thankfully Day Zero in Cape Town’s drought is now pushed out beyond 2019, but the government’s move toward land expropriation without compensation is a concern. More than two decades after the end of apartheid, land ownership remains a “highly emotive” subject for South Africans – that may be an understatement. According to the ruling ANC government, white people own 72 percent of private land, black people 4 percent, and other ethnic groups 24 percent.

Berlin Cathedral at Museum Island – 123RF.com

Land expropriation is said to be “the most pressing social issue in the country”. However, some think high crime, corruption, and the “triple-time-bomb of poverty, unemployment, and inequality” are the issues keeping South Africans awake at night.

Kayelitsha Township Outside Cape Town – Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Julius Malema Leader Economic Freedem Fighters (EFF) -blouinnews

Julius Sello Malema Leader Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – blouinnews.com

The ANC-led government and members of the militant, aggressive Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party differ in their approach to land expropriation. The EFF – founded in 2013 and led by outspoken Julius Sello Malema – is a self-proclaimed “radical leftist, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist movement that draws inspiration from the broad Marxist-Leninist tradition.

Mmusi Maimane – Leader Democratic Alliance

The Democratic Alliance (DA) – the ANC’s official opposition and second largest political party – accuses both the ANC and EFF of “misleading the public on land expropriation”. They claim to have the best land-reform plan. DA leader Mmusi Maimane says, “there can be no new dawn for South Africa until the ANC is out of power“.

My extended South African visa expires in 2020 – a regular entry (tourist) visa issued at the airport is good for 90 days. I haven’t decided whether to pursue the rigorous renewal process. The “retirement visa” has allowed me to make long trips (up to five years) to explore and better understand South Africa. I especially enjoy the Western Cape, hiking Table Mountain, volunteer work with young children, and vibrant Cape Town – a special and dear place to me. South Africa is a strikingly beautiful but complex and sometimes difficult country that can’t possibly be understood without spending extended time there.

Unter den Linden by Night – 123RF.com

During this period of rapid change, the National Development Plan (NDP) is the country’s detailed proposal addressing key issues for uniting South Africans.The lofty NDP goals to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality are to be implemented by 2030. What little I know of the NDP, it seems overwhelming, but I’m digressing – back to Berlin

Clouds Over Table Mountain from Signal Hill Cape Town – Erik Pronske Getty Images

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The NDP’s goal is to “unite South Africans, unleash the energies of its citizens, grow an inclusive economy, build capabilities, and enable the state and leaders to work together to solve complex problems”…

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Staatsoper Unter den Linden

Berlin State Opera Staatsoper Unter den Linden – Wikipedia

Berlin This Fall

I plan to arrive in Berlin in September. Their fall weather is much like Oregon’s with cool but mild temperatures. When winter comes and it starts getting really cold, I’ll move south – not sure where yet. I’m considering exploring new places versus returning to more familiar areas. New countries of interest include Romania and Albania, but Italy and Spain also have moderate winter climates.

Berlin Brandenburg Gate at Dusk – pond5.com

I’m looking for a three-month rental apartment in the Berlin-Mitte borough, the central section of former East Berlin. “Before the war and division of the city, Mitte was the center of Berlin. It’s regained its former pre-eminence to such an extent that many visitors never see the western side of the city.”

Bode Museum Mitte – Wikimedia.org

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Mitte is the oldest and most historic part of Berlin with many cultural attractions and “ever-expanding restaurant, club, and arts scenes”.

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Strandbar at Bode Museum Mitte

Mitte begins at Potsdamer Platz and the Brandenburg Gate on the east side of Tiergarten Park. The grand boulevard, Unter den Linden, is lined with 18th- and 19th-century palaces and monuments.

Mitte – VanDam StreetSmart Maps

Tiergarten Park – berlijn-blog.nl

Komische Opera House Berlin – operawire.com

I’m excited to attend theater performances and the Berlin opera! Berlin is teeming with performing arts theaters, cabarets, and clubs. The Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin’s main opera house, and the Komische Oper, the third largest, are both in Mitte. Berlin’s Philharmonic Season begins in late September. Other major attractions in the area include Gendarmenmarkt, a neoclassical square, Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral), and Museumsinsel (Museum Island) with five major museums. Frivolous activities that top my list are – mingling with locals, hanging out in cafés, overnight side trips, and exploring less-traveled backstreets.

Christmas Berlin – efcollegebreak.com 

Germany’s festive Christmas Markets are legendary. These are the top five:

  1. Weihnachtszauber at the Gendarmenmarkt
  2. Berliner Weihnachtszeit at Roten Rathaus
  3. Wintertraum am Alexa
  4. Winterwelt am Potsdamer Platz
  5. Weihnachtsmarkt am Gedächtniskirche

Christmas Markets Berlin – classictic.com

I don’t speak German but am learning key phrases and pronunciation rules hoping I don’t butcher the language too much. During past travels in Germany, English was spoken everywhere. Mehr später…

Monbijou Park Embankment River Spree