100 Years of Nefertiti in Berlin

The world famous bust of Nefertiti is perhaps the single most recognized piece of art in Germany. Like the Mona Lisa in France or David in Italy, the 3,300-year-old limestone bust has become a major part of world pop culture and commemorative kitsch. It is also, perhaps, the ultimate symbol of the debate over colonial-era removal of art pieces from their countries of origin. In fact, Time magazine placed Nefertiti No. 2 on its list of “The Top 10 Plundered Artifacts.” Ouch. Of course, it’s also on everyone’s list of must-see art pieces.

To celebrate their “acquisition” of Nefertiti and to highlight Continue…

Tanzanian Marilyn Monroe Stamps

While I was scanning in some pics from Africa for the previous post, I happened upon one of our old treasures: Marilyn Monroe stamps issued in Tanzania. Does it get any greater than that? I mean, seriously people, this is why we travel! I’m going to have to get a safe deposit box for the originals. 🙂

Our Roughest Roads

Madagascar south of Maroantsetra – 2003

Recently, we were asked about the worst roads we had ever been on. Hmmm, there’s a post in that question, I suddenly thought to myself. Thomas and I sat down to reflect on the thousands of roads we had traveled – the breakdowns, the potholes, the drop-offs, the landslides, the dust, the terrifying drivers – and came up with a list of some of the most challenging stretches we had experienced. As with all such questions, the year we traveled these roads is also relevant because things change. Here’s a list of our roughest roads Continue…

Der Mensch Bezwingt den Kosmos

Sometimes, it feels like the German government is in a rush to erase all signs of 20th century history. It’s a shame because one of the coolest aspects of being in East Germany is wandering around and discovering Cold War era memories hidden in the parks and architecture.

“Man Conquers the Cosmos” by Fritz Eisel, a series of mosaics built into the facade of the old Datenverarbeitungszentrum in Potsdam, is one of the best. Extending along the exterior of the ground floor, the panels document the socialist side of the space race. It’s a pretty amazing work of art as well as being a priceless piece of history. Unfortunately, there are ongoing plans to demolish Continue…