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Museums

Berlin is Museum City. The tourist site visitberlin.com publishes a list of over one hundred museums within the city.  Several are world famous like those on Museum Island: the Pergamon Museum; Bode Museum; Altes Museum; Neues Museum (with the bust of Nefertiti); and the Alte Nationalgalerie, where visiting art exhibitions take place. 

 

Gemäldegalerie; Kunstgewerbemuseum; Deutsches Technikmuseum; Märkisches Museum; Museum Island (as listed above)

 

Like cities every museum has objects that are one of a kind.  So every museum is also unique.  But uniqueness is not, of itself, grounds for a visit.   I find it hard to get excited about stamps or coins, particularly when there are hundreds or thousands of them. So the Numismatic Museum in Athens that specialises in coins was low on my priority list.  Similarly I find it hard to get excited about some cities.

But I'm interested in painting and sculpture because I like to dabble myself so I'll usually find something to catch my interest in an art gallery.  The art museum that has surprised me the most is the Gemäldegalerie near Potsdamer Platz. It's not on the normal Tourist Schedule.  If you are familiar with the European art collections at the National Gallery in London or the Orsay in Paris or the Uffizi in Florence or the Prado Madrid or the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam you'll still be very impressed. 

The Alte Nationalgalerie on Museum Island is good and it's on the tourist itinerary but it's put into the shade by the Gemäldegalerie collection.  This includes a dozen or so Rembrandts, and several works each by Hals, Vermeer, Titian, Rubens, Boucher, Holbein, Brueghel, Durer, Cranach, Botticelli and even English masters like Gainsborough.  Amazing! 

 

Rubens (being copied); Holbein; Cranach; Boucher; Vermeer; Rembrandt; Tiepolo; Canaletto; Caravaggio; Velázquez;
the list goes on.

 

And there was no queue to get in.

I'm also interested in technology, history and natural history: biology and geology. So in Berlin almost every museum is interesting and it's possible to spend weeks visiting and revisiting them - and that's before you even begin to scratch the contemporary arts scene.  

Perhaps this is best illustrated by the amount of street art and graffiti.  Graffiti is everywhere. It is said that for many years there was a lack of paint in East Berlin and so buildings were drab and grey - an ideal canvas for street artists who could lay their hand on some paint.  Today there are still many disused buildings where artists gather to play music and paint and there are some very public areas where street art is actively encouraged.

 

Berlin Street Art

 

 

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Travel

Argentina & Uruguay

 

 

In October 2011 our little group: Sonia, Craig, Wendy and Richard visited Argentina. We spent two periods of time in Buenos Aires; at the start and at the end of our trip; and we two nights at the Iguassu Falls.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

Love in the time of Coronavirus

 

 

 

 

Gabriel García Márquez's novel Love in the Time of Cholera lies abandoned on my bookshelf.  I lost patience with his mysticism - or maybe it was One Hundred Years of Solitude that drove me bananas?  Yet like Albert Camus' The Plague it's a title that seems fit for the times.  In some ways writing anything just now feels like a similar undertaking.

My next travel diary on this website was to have been about the wonders of Cruising - expanding on my photo diary of our recent trip to Papua New Guinea.

 


Cruising to PNG - click on the image to see more

 

Somehow that project now seems a little like advocating passing time with that entertaining game: Russian Roulette. A trip on Corona Cruise Lines perhaps?

In the meantime I've been drawn into several Facebook discussions about the 1918-20 Spanish Influenza pandemic.

After a little consideration I've concluded that it's a bad time to be a National or State leader as they will soon be forced to make the unenviable choice between the Scylla and Charybdis that I end this essay with.

On a brighter note, I've discovered that the economy can be expected to bounce back invigorated. We have all heard of the Roaring Twenties

So the cruise industry, can take heart, because the most remarkable thing about Spanish Influenza pandemic was just how quickly people got over it after it passed.

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Opinions and Philosophy

A Carbon Tax for Australia

 12 July 2011

 

 

It's finally announced, Australia will have a carbon tax of $23 per tonne of CO2 emitted.  This is said to be the highest such tax in the world but it will be limited to 'about 500' of the biggest emitters.  The Government says that it can't reveal which  these are to the public because commercial privacy laws prevent it from naming them. 

Some companies have already 'gone public' and it is clear that prominent among them are the major thermal power generators and perhaps airlines.  Some like BlueScope Steel (previously BHP Steel) will be granted a grace period before the tax comes into effect. In this case it is publicly announced that the company has been granted a two year grace period with possible extensions, limited to its core (iron and steelmaking) emissions.

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