31 July 2015

Hobnobbing in the Holy Land: Hisham's Palace

Jericho is perhaps the oldest human settlement that I have been to. As my previous post indicates, settlement in this area has been around since 10000 BC. But for this post, I am talking about something that is way younger than that date. I am talking about Hisham's Palace, which is said to have been built during the Umayyad dynasty. Yes, this is an Islamic archaeological site. Somehow, I haven't been to those sites lately. Scholars don't know when exactly this place was built, but the Umayyad dynasty was around between 660 and 750 AD, so it must be around that time.

29 July 2015

Is Berlin Getting Too Hipster For Me?

I've been living in Berlin for almost three years now. I guess I didn't have a clue I'd be living in Europe for an extended period of time, let alone in Berlin. In fact, when I first got this job, I had no clue that Berlin would be such a cool place to live in. So since September 2012, I have been enjoying my time here. However, I have to say, that recently, sometimes I find myself thinking that I might be getting too old for Berlin. Here's why.

27 July 2015

Hobnobbing in the Holy Land: Tell es-Sultan (Ancient City of Jericho)

The day after I went exploring the churches in Bethlehem, I again hired a taxi for the day and went all over the place in Palestine. This time, I went to Jericho to explore a couple of archaeological sites. The first site I visited was Tell es-Sultan, or Sultan's Hill. This is an archaeological site showing the earliest settlement in Jericho, which dates about 8000 BC. It definitely gives the term Old City a new meaning.

25 July 2015

Trio K/D/M

Somehow, percussion is my most favorite type of contemporary classical music. I have been exposed to plenty of percussion music back when I was still a student in Buffalo, as the Music Department in that university had percussion as one of its strengths. So when I saw that Trio K/D/M was playing in the Berlin Philharmonie a few months ago, I opted to buy myself a ticket.

23 July 2015

Hobnobbing in the Holy Land: The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

One of the major sights in Bethlehem is the Church of the Nativity. This is a basilica that was originally commissioned by Helena (Constantine's mother), as tradition states that this is where Jesus was born. Who knows if that is true. Yet for the plenty of visitors that come here, it does seem to be true, as evidenced by their devout behavior.