Friday, October 31, 2014

“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.”

Grey and cold. The biting wind a reminder that there is nothing between Berlin and Siberia bar five thousand kilometres of fir trees. A quick trip into the cathedral, not out of piety, but in search of warmth. Quite possibly the worlds ugliest building, both inside and out.

Coffee with an old friend in the Hackeschen Hofe. At night this is the 'hip' centre of Berlin. First thing in the morning it's quiet, the few early morning office workers wrapped up against the chill. Nothing quite like catching up with old friends but all too soon his phone is chirruping away like a lusty starling. The Christmas decoration shop has a wonderful ornament in the window. The shop doesn't open until lunchtime. I jot down their website. 

Back through the wartime Jewish ghetto. Paris wears its history lightly, Berlin doesn't. Brass plaques set into the pavement commemorate those who were deported. Herbert Budzliawski made it to 23 before being arrested . Further along the road a monument to the former inhabitants of these buildings. The plinth covered in stones. Do I remember reading that leaving stones is a Jewish sign of mourning ?

Sophie lets out a squeal of joy when she sees me. The three soldiers with machine guns patrolling the arrivals hall look at her. Bob is unaware that I'm home. He is using a large furry paw to trigger  the motion detector that makes the hissing doors hiss . A boy has to do what a boy has to do.


  1. That decoration is really lovely. I had a rummage in John Lewis yesterday and found nothing as pretty as that !(Needed a bit of mistletoe for the Leah's Christmas card !)
    I bet Bob forgot all about the door when he realised you we behind him !

  2. It has been several years since anyone I know personally has gone to Berlin. Your description of it, is the same as theirs was. The Christmas decoration really is lovely, and certainly isn't one that could easily be found even here in the DC area, where as you know, history is everywhere.

  3. Berlin. Not beautiful but still well worth visiting. It was about 4 years ago when I was there. Did you visit the Reichstag? I found the dome absolutely stunning.
    Cheers, Gail.

  4. Yes, we leave a stone at the grave of someone we have come to visit. Just to say we were there. I don't know how the tradition started, but it is still practiced.

  5. Berlin looked like a giant construction zone when I was there with my mom in 2003. Looks like nothing much has changed.

    Glad you're home safe and sound!

  6. Gray, grimy place. Once was quite enough.
    Glad you ended with a PON pic.

  7. Oooh, I agree. Lovely Christmas decoration.
    If cities are colours then Berlin is grey.

  8. the first two pictures remind me of Christchurch post earthquake! cranes everywhere. All a bit grim. The Basilica here went down in the earthquakes - looked a whiter version of the one in Berlin.
    Agree - lovely Xmas decoration... i actually got some more Xmas lights last night - thoughts turning towards festivities already :)

  9. Paris sort of ignores its history.....

    Glad Bob knows what's important in this life.