Wednesday, July 12, 2006

11/7/2006 - Frankfurt Tuesday

Today was a little less hectic. I finally went to the Art museum and saw the display "Die Eroberung Der Strasse" (The Taming of the Street) covering the development of the urban landscape over the last 200 years or so in Paris and Berlin. I found it particularly fascinating as the Paris parts were quite familiar from last year. The displays were a combination of painting by various artists (including Monet) and technical town planning documents.

I later met up with Sabine again as she had promised to take me to the FF university Observatory. Strangely I hadn’t seen it, but walked within 30 metres of it when I visited the natural history museum yesterday. Sabine had choir practice at 1900 so we went swimming at the Brentano Schwimmbads in the afternoon. This is basically a huge open air pool. Maybe 50m wide and 200 long. The shallow end is fenced off for the non swimmers and a sign is mounted on the fence to warn non swimmers not to go any further. However, it was round the wrong way, so it couldn’t be read unless you were on the deep side of the fence, and I would have thought most non swimmers were probably too young to read as well! It was not as crowded as I thought it might be, and that might be due to Germans not normally learning to swim as early as Australians do.

As we left to go to the rehearsal, the clouds were building up after 2 days of clear skies. I am not usually a listener to classical music, but I stopped in at a final rehearsal of the FF Uni Orchestra. On Wednesday (tomorrow night) they are supposed to be performing Mendelssohn’s Symphony 10 (Elisia?) and this was the first time the full choir and instruments had been together. Over the weekend they had been practicing, but as separate groups. Sabine thought it would take 1-2 hours, but in the event it took more than 2 1/2 . Especially toward the end, the conductor was getting quite aggravated with the soloists, the strings and as it ran so long a lot or the choristers would sit down while not required and then pop up again, just to sing! The conductor, a beefy bloke in a black tank top and trousers was very particular about what he wanted. Me being tone deaf couldn’t tell what was wrong.
One of the lady choral soloists who was singing just in front of me was made to go over a part of her piece a number of times and when the conductor was finally satisfied she gave me a look that said she didn’t know either. I think she half expected to be called back as she walked away. As the practice was drawing to a close, there was a bit of lightening anf thunder. I could tell the storm was getting closer. Just when we wanted to go to the cars, the rain came down. There wouldn’t be much hope of astronomy tonight.

We went off for tea in the hope that it would clear and went to the observatory, where I took some, not very good, night shots of FF skyline.

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