Archive | October, 2012

Twelve more Days

26 Oct

Today is Friday. In exactly three more weeks we’ll depart Germany to go back to Australia. So in Berlin we have only

TWELVE MORE DAYS.

Why are we kind of panicky about what to do with the last few days in Berlin? There’s no simple answer.  I tell myself, don’t worry, play it by ear. Still, writing about it may help a bit to see a bit more clearly. Actually I think I am pretty laid back concerning the planning we have to do on a daily basis. Maybe too laid back.  For instance I didn’t do anything yet about finding my ‘lost’ brother B. Nobody cares where he is. Do I care? Well, I do and I don’t. If only I knew what I should be doing. Is it right to do nothing? I just don’t know.

The relationship with brother B. has always been a bit strained and a bit confusing. The relationship with brother P. on the other hand was always easy going. Of course we don’t see eye to eye in everything.  But I think we tend not to hold grudges against each other. As I said, easy going. This is what it mostly is.

Hubby’s sister and brother-in-law arrived from Austria just a couple of days ago. We saw them yesterday at the other sister’s place. We spent six lovely hours with them. Peter’s sister Ilse provided a home-cooked lunch. Later on we had coffee and cake. It was a very relaxed atmosphere. The five of us plus Ilse’s partner had much to talk about, since we have quite a few memories to share. The visitors are going to stay in Berlin till next Thursday.  Of course they want to see us again. Only so far we have no clue when this is going to be. We tell ourselves we’ll wait and see. In the meantime there are quite a few other people who’d love to see us again before we leave Berlin.

I have childhood memories about Leipzig. It would be great to go there for a day. Going by train it’s only about two hours away from Berlin. At the moment we still think we might be able to spend one day in Leipzig. Indeed,  we do think there’s still a chance  we can do this as planned. There are other places in Germany we’d like to visit. Only it seems to be out of our reach at this time. I wonder whether there’s going to be another time. I guess, it all depends on our priorities, doesn’t it?

After a number of overcast days the sun is out today It’s not freezing yet but there’s a chill in the air. Since there’s no wind, we don’t feel the cold very much. A lot of trees have lost nearly all their leaves. Around the houses here in the Hansa Viertel big piles of autumn leaves are building up every day. Workers busily pack them up into huge bags and cart them away. Once another load of leaves is taken away, the lawns under the huge trees look still beautiful green.

By the way, I’m very much looking forward to spend the last few days of our stay in Germany at P’s and A’s place 100 km north of Berlin in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, which is a quiet, relaxing place. Actually very few people live in this area. It is full of natural beauty and altogether very different from Berlin. Come to think of it, there are lots of quiet, relaxing places in Berlin too. But it’s also a city with millions and millions of very busy people. One thing is for sure: It’s never boring in Berlin!

We visited the Bode Museum the other day. I was very impressed by the beauty of the building and the quality of the displays. We also saw an excellent movie, called AMOUR (Liebe). This was a very slow moving film about an elderly couple (right up our alley!). It won the PALME D’OR at the FESTIVAL DE CANNES.

Marzahn, Berlin, Part III

19 Oct

THE BALINESE GARDEN

I like all the pictures I took in the Balinese Garden. Here are just a few of them

All the plants thrived well in the hot, moist air of the Balinese Garden.

And last but not least, here are a few pictures taken in the Oriental Section.

Marzahn, Berlin, Part II

18 Oct

We visited ‘The Gardens of the World’ in Marzahn yesterday, on Wednesday the 17th October. To have tea in the Chinese Tea-House was a very relaxing experience. The tea had warmed me up sufficiently. When we continued to stroll through the gardens, the sun had warmed the air. It felt great to walk in the crisp, fresh air. There was still a little breeze from time to time but it didn’t feel as cold anymore.

A secluded spot

We had brought some sandwiches from home. It was good to eat them in a secluded spot, protected from the wind.

So on we went to view some more of the beautiful gardens Our destination was the Italian Renaissance Garden. I did get into the mood to take lots and lots of pictures. (The previous pictures, which I published in Part I, were all taken by Peter.)

On the way to some more gardens we saw trees starting to have colorful displays of autumn leaves, here and there we could still see some beautiful flowers. Remarkable were a huge number of fountains. I kept taking pictures of a great many fountains. Today I’m only inserting a few sample pictures.

Here now just a few pictures of the fairytale walk.

Marzahn, Berlin, Part I

18 Oct

We had tea in the tea-house of the Chinese Gardens

IN THE GARDENS OF THE WORLD

Kaufhaus des Westens

17 Oct

We went to the KaDeWe today.

We bought a very long, crusty loaf called ‘bark-bread’

Lovely treats with our coffee

Peter checks his phone

Amongst a lot of sweets and chocolates we found this

 

This creation of the Brandenburg Gate is made out of

marzipan, 50 kilogram of marzipan were used for it.

It took 150 working hours to design it!

 

50 kilo marzipan were used for this. It took 150 working hours to design it!

The most recent Excursions

16 Oct

Town-Hall Spandau

A street in Altstadt Spandau

Wow, what an underground station!

This underground station was our destination

From Spandau we went by bus to remote rural like Staaken for a family visit. This is at the furthest edge of Berlin.

Last night we strolled through the city center to get a glimpse of the Festival of Lights.

This is one of the pictures Peter took last night

We went to the Jewish Museum today. I’ll write a blog about it some other time.

Is he so huge or am I so little?

Still Sunday

15 Oct

My brother and his wife came to see us today. They showed us pictures from the family meeting near Stuttgart. One of our cousins turned 70. For the birthday celebrations 48 family members had turned up. I had to guess who the older family members were. Some actually looked familiar to me even though I hadn’t seen them for a long time. The younger generation of course looked totally unfamiliar to me.

We went for lunch to the close by Italian restaurant at Hansaplatz. Later we had coffee at cafe Buchwald where we had some lovely cake called ‘Baumkuchen’ because the inside of the cake looks like the inside of a tree trunk. Our guests talked about a movie they had seen only yesterday. The movie is called ‘The Wall’ with MARTINA GEDECK. This is the movie we had recently seen also. I believe overall my brother kind of liked the movie too, however he would have preferred a bit more realism. His wife thought the surrealism was borderline for her. A bit more of it and she would have felt like walking out. However they both granted that it was wonderful photography and great acting by Martina Gedeck.

At church this morning the theme was: Thanksgiving. I was surprised that ‘Thanksgiving’ is celebrated already in October. There was an organ player playing songs which I didn’t know at all. The whole order of the Mass was different from what I am used to in Australia. Well, it was Catholic, wasn’t it? How come it didn’t feel the same as in Australia. I really don’t know what the difference is.

This is the church I went to this morning

I love listening to the church bells ringing.

As I said before, Berlin has many, many very well kept park areas. What is also very noticeable are the many spots where some kind of building is going on. Just in the area where we are staying plenty of public work near the streets and foot paths is going on of which I took some pictures.

They look like this when the job is finished

These rocks are being used near footpaths

Last week we saw an interesting play in the Jewish Theater. I’m going to write about this some other time.