Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cake To Die For

Today, I woke up at 10:30, showered, did some lazy yoga in my room, and went to my last day of class, armed with a black forest cake that I bought yesterday. Another student brought Ritter Sport chocolates and a box of assorted truffles. Yet another student brought a bottle of sparkling wine. Needless to say, it was a rather agreeable couple of hours.

Even the subject matter was fun. We read a few of the brothers Grimm's fairy tales and heard interviews with fairy tale researchers. Contrary to popular belief, the brothers never went more than a day's worth of traveling to get their stories. For the most part, they talked to a bunch of women and a few Frenchmen that happened to live in the area.

After class, six other students and I went to a Spanish tapas bar to say our goodbyes over some sangria and dinner. I had a spinach and smoked salmon soup and a spinach cake with cheese sauce. Not exactly traditional German fare, but delicious nevertheless.
Once we finished dinner, we said goodbye, wished each other good lives, and parted ways. I wandered over the the museum island to visit the Alte Nationalgalerie (old national gallery). The art gallery had a large Adolf Menzel collection displaying his paintings of Friedrich the Great. Personally, I found them boring. Historically significant, and well composed, but boring nevertheless. Upstairs, Arnold Böcklin's Toteninsel caught my eye. It portrays the island of death, where Charon ferries the dead. Looking at the painting in person, I found it strange how alluring the island seemed. I wanted to explore it, or at least see what lay beyond the shadowy harbor. The fact that my other favorite painting showed death leading the deceased into the afterlife might just say something about me...

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