Sunday, December 22, 2013

Berlin: The Miscellaneous Photo Album

Not expensive street furniture, just the trunks of the trees painted white.

So much of Berlin is being developed that there are cranes and huge developments everywhere.

And so marks the spot, almost. This inauspicious car park is the place where the Third Reich ended, as it is the site of Hitler's bunker. There is a sign which marks the location and gives a few cursory notes about the dimensions of the underground network of rooms and passages. Quite properly, there is nothing here which any misguided people could use as a memorial. The place is marked, but is kept as a rather seedy little carpark. Quite right.

It seems that the commercialisation of Christmas is now complete.

I actually can't stand shopping centres. I will go to inordinate lengths to avoid the ghastly places... but even I had to admit that the Christmas decorations in this one were rather spectacular and tasteful.

Of course, you don't need to go to Germany for a German Christmas market, every town in the UK now has one. However, the best and originals are here...

German beer, German Sausage, a splendid night out with my wife...

And a happy New Year.

Friedrichstrasse, where East met West.


Friedrichstrasse Station once sat right on the border between East and West Berlin. Cold War photos of this station show it divided down the centre, with a fortified military checkpoint running down the centre between the platforms. It is alleged that the first person in the West who was alerted to 'something suspicious happening' on the night on which the Berlin wall was initially hastily thrown up under cover of darkness, was a station manager here who realised that through-trains were being turned back. The black-and white image invokes something of that era, and the Le-Carre image of the wall which I grew up.

The very Russian-looking Oberbaum Bridge in Eastern Berlin, viewed through the ubiquitous building site fencing..



"Back in the DDR"

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