Monday, 14 December 2015

'It Will Always be October'

Over halloween I escaped chilly London to an even more chilly and wintery Berlin. Crisp air, mist, sun, icy breath. The parties were hectic, the history of the city was captivating; I found myself pleading to the Norwegian Air gods to delay my flight, to have another week, at least another day in the city, where countless art galleries and museums went by unseen, and more £2 pints were calling to be drunk.
My prayers were indeed answered by thick fog descending over London, grounding flights in and out. I received that miracle text 4 hours before my flight home, the flight was cancelled. The others went ballistic, but there I was in the middle of this panic stricken whirlwind ("omg work tho") blissfully suspended in ecstatic disbelief. We had an extra 2 days; one day of culture, one day of absolutely nothing *cough drinking*. It was awesome.
I will return, to some still unseen art galleries and parks and museums, maybe next time when the sun peaks out from behind the low lying mist a little more frequently...!

Since the trip i've been obsessed with reading up about more of the history - especially post war Germany/ Berlin. I luckily (and pretty pleasantly) stumbled upon The Wall Jumper by Peter Schneider sorting books in Oxfam one day, and read it non-stop. It's a fantastic book - fiction is seamlessly blended with fact blended with history. Real life experiences of living in the DDR, crossing the wall, different lives, different experiences, different regimes, different psyches, suspending you in disbelief. It's just brilliant, i'd highly recommend it. I now find myself gravitating towards the German section of Daunt Books whenever I pass it, to see what other post war gems I can find. Here is an article by Ian McEwan about the book (also it's introduction in the Penguin Modern Classics version!) to give you a super good overview.

My first trip in a year, it was certainly a special one. Exhausted, drunken tears and achey feet would lead to midnight confessions and woody fireside hi-jinx, blurry magical nights to sobering days in the midst of such poignant history. The Bauhaus museum, Topography of Terror, DDR museum, the giant sized schnitzel and spatzle from a small restaurant in Shoneberg, the Alice in Wonderland themed bar, the fragments of brutal wall, 5am gardens draped in fairy lights and fires, and obviously the tiny kebab shop on Friedrichstrasse which fed us for the majority of the trip were a particular highlight, but the eerie view from the 37th floor of the Park Inn hotel took the crown. You all know i'm an absolute sucker for a magical view. Here's a small collection of photo's from my trip. As is usual for every holiday (and special occasion and event and outing in general) I wish I took more photos, but I never do. (I'm going to look back on my virtual picture album in years to come, and see exactly how my face has changed, but have no idea what I did between each selfie pout...)