Germany is fascinating.
We’re outside the Adler Café in Berlin. Had I been wearing a trench coat and a monocle I wouldn’t have been out of place. The building was tangibly and authentically Berlin as much as the neighbouring tourist shops were not.
Once this place was the watering hole of spies and writers or probably want-to-be writers and a few spies. The lady I spoke with after I apologised for taking her picture sans her consent had a very interesting story to tell on aspects of her city.
I returned less than 18 months later and this unique Café which was redolent of intrigue was gone. The woman too of course.
Here’s a tip.
Nothing to it! Though more words might be needed in the southern regions such as in Munich Bavaria than in in the northern cities of Berlin or Hamburg.
Goddess of Victory
Climbing up on structures that overlooked Imperial then fascist, later communist, and now capitalist regimes in Berlin.
285 steps 180 feet or 18 floors as we say today!
Possibly to preserve the authenticity of the Column’s history each step is historically preserved with regard to hygiene. A pungent smell of compounds mostly associated with uric acid guides you on your way up.
It has been some time since Adolf asked Albert to move Lizzie up to this spot from her original 1878 base near the Reichstag.
The view is 360 degrees still, after the exertions!
It was a misty Berlin day.
I strolled back up the die Straße des 17. Juni. A student outside the Berlin Technical College asked for a charity donation. Noticing that German wasn’t my native tongue we talked in English about our geographic origins.
“Conas atá tú?”she asked charmingly. I replied in kind. I’m sure she could have said much more but she understood I expect that my Gaeilge was on a par with my German. A donation was earned for her good cause. That’s what you find in this city. The unexpected.
On a brighter day it looks much better by far!
From 40,000 feet the layout look like…….
The lights shine brightly.
Seven decades previously the illumination was very different.
Some words spoken on the apron below ca.1934-1940 I imagine were…..
“Der Anführer fordert seine Getränke bekommen. Holen Sie sich die Duty-free”
Back into the central city and Brandenburger Tor
On film and photographs these columns appear much wider apart as armies of the last few centuries rolled through!
They’re much closer in reality I found.
The Berlin Zoo
is located across from the central railway station. It can be an escape away from the hustle bustle but alas, not for the animals. Am I being anthropomorphic or just empathetic?
The brown bear seemed particularly bored or sad or both.
The Panda was quite happy to be inside chewing on a bamboo shoot as is their wont.
A white wolf was unresponsive and who could blame the poor thing after another day of being oogled at.
The black panther was pacing obsessively. It was closing time to be fair and it could have been waiting to be released for bed.
This is not atypical of zoological gardens around the world. I recall Dublin Zoo ca.1967. The big cats were not a happy bunch then it appeared . A polar bear had to live his life on a tiny ‘grotto’. Did he ever dream of a polar icescape? It is ironic that these confinements have made humans more aware of animal welfare. It’s one positive outcome for animals in general I suppose, at the expense of the few who have to endure this regimen. Not everyone can be David Attenborough observing animals in their natural habitat but some zoos appear less than ideal.
Then of course I recall each and every second of my schooldays. Unbearable! Explanation for another time.
On another German visit the art museum in Hamburg caught my attention
|Hamburg Museum auf Berliner Straßen
This album has 106 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 30/05/2012.
UPDATE 2015. I had a less productive week here in Berlin I will post some new perspectives in image and word here in a while.