Showing posts from 2008

Happy New Year!

I hope you remember(ed) to count One Mississippi after 23:59:59 tonight before popping the champagne cork at midnight. Have a wonderful 2009!

Wordless Wednesday - Moths of light

Wordless Wednesday

Quirks of Berlin (and of my mind)

For a tourist, there's always stuff to see that doesn't fit typical tourist photo categories. This is the stuff that reminds a tourist that she truly is not at home, but somewhere else. Here are some photos of how Berlin reminded me of that fact. I enjoyed the lampposts on parade on Unter den Linden, wondering who was the kind soul who set up such a nice motif for a photographer.   Anothr nice motif on Unter den Linden.   A detail at the foot of one of the columns of Brandenburg Gate.   Berlin is a city of both old and modern architecture and the embassy complex shared by five Nordic countries expresses a bold and yet uniquely Scandinavian architecture. Each modern building uses materials native to the country it represents. A lot of wood and stone.   Berlin's water table is only about 2-3 meters down, so whenever there is digging, the water has to be led away. This and the temporary rerouting of water supplies is done with colorful pipes above-ground. I saw ma

The Berlin wall

I like riding subways. I don't know where it comes from, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience in London in 1981, and have sought out subways where available when playing tourist. People like to ride the double-decker buses in London, but I found that being stuck in traffic annoyed me. I'd rather ride to my sightseeing destinations quickly in mysterious tunnels, my brain furiously working out how many stops to go or did I just miss it? No, wait, it's after the station we just passed - or walk. I carefully counted out the change I would need to buy two subway tickets - Potsdamer Platz and back - only to be fooled by a ticket machine that would not take copper coins (the smallest cent coins). A nice young Berliner took pity on me and gave me the 10 cent coin I needed, wanting nothing in return. Berlin is a nice city to be a tourist in. Potsdamer Platz. No sign anywhere of it being bombed to smithereens during World War II, or intersected by the wall during the cold

Unter den Linden

Sometimes a name's just a name. And sometimes the name springs to life in the most wonderful way. "Unter den Linden" (under the lindens) stopped being something that rolls easily off the tongue and became a magical tour through Berlin, a wonderful cross section of some of the best Berlin has to offer an tourist. I have more impressions than I have photos, and more photos than I know quite what to do with. So what follows is from my walk down the boulevard, straying a few times into other historical areas, but never far from the main street itself. I did not walk its full length down to Brandenburg Gate. First, there is the getting there. Once again I walked from my hotel, past the TV tower and St. Mary's Church, seen from a slightly different angle this time: Also in the park was a reminder that at this time of year, it's Oktoberfest. Behind the beer tent is Berlin's city hall, in all its restored brick glory. I really liked that building. I didn'

Berlin and points of interest

Once upon a time I took a trip to Dresden and Berlin . It's time I finish that trip, and show you Berlin. We did a bus tour in the morning, whizzing by many beautiful buildings, like the building that houses the DDR museum (see how badly people lived in East Block times), the Humboldt University and Gendarmenmarkt. The significance of these buildings were lost on me (too many, too fast) but not their beauty, so I made a note of where we were on the map so I could revisit. On to more famous places like Checkpoint Charlie, which is now a mere tourist attraction with actors posing as guards: I can't begin to tell you how bizarre it is to see that famous sign now surrounded by Western modernity and freedom, knowing that that sign used to mean freedom or death to those able to get close to it. The Berlin wall was quite modest but the 500 meter wide swath of land behind that mined wasn't. Nowadays, that land is being reclaimed so you see a lot of open lots like this