I had never really wanted to go to Berlin, funny really. It didn’t stand high on my list next to Rome or Madrid or Amsterdam. So I was gently surprised and impressed. Yes it was chilly, in both senses of the word, I certainly saw no German warmth from any bus drivers or waiters, and yes everything was in German, a language I cannot comprehend so I was in the dark a fair bit, but it hardly mattered. Brushing my hand along a fragment of the Berlin wall one moment and peeking behind it to see a huge temple of Capitalism where the East once stood was simply extraordinary. How this city has transformed, rebuilt and redefined itself in the past 20 years is impressive to say the least. Not only does everything work but it works well. The architecture is brave and startling, modern and fit for a new Germany. The shops sparkle and the people click their beautiful boots with purpose. The food was excellent and tasted fresh, not in the least bit processed or fixed in a speedy and lazy microwave. In fact every bite I ate and every sip of divine coffee seemed made for a discerning and picky clientele with high standards. The city was extremely clean and easy to walk; after eating their curried sausage people actually put the rubbish in the bins provided. Yes I am amazed by the obvious because for the past 4 years I have seen more than enough simple folk treat the sidewalk and street as their own personal bin.
Here are some photos taken from my trip. My only regret is that I took the tiny Leica point and shoot and not my lovely big Canon.
It turns out I missed this iconic little green guy’s 50th birthday by three days!