Friday, June 7, 2013

In Berlin

On Wednesday, I packed up the car,

and yesterday I took off for Berlin, where I will be a vendor at the textile art Berlin for the first time on Saturday and Sunday. I had never been to the textile art before, but this year it is organized in conjunction with the German Patchwork Guild’s AGM and Festival, which I had been to for the first time selling fabrics last year.
Parts of southern Germany are flooded badly, and some more northern parts are preparing for floods that are rolling north, and long stretches of the autobahn where marked off for make-shift dams, leaving a number of reduced lanes only, especially north of Leipzig. Quite a sight and feeling, to be driving along walls of sand bags which are holding back the muddy waters that would be covering the highway otherwise...
But except for slowing down the drive it did not really pose a problem, and although I do not have a GPS-guid in the car I managed to find my hotel easily with the help of the printout from the route planner and checked in at four o’clock in the afternoon. An old building, squeaky wooden floors, a very simple room with shower and toilet across the hall, but quite a character. They fear invading make-look-alike-investors and are collecting signatures to save it...

Installation in the interiour courtyard of the hotel

Information about the history of the the house
which now is the hotel
I was born in Berlin, and have been back a few times, before and after the fall of the Wall. But just not enough! I love the feel of the city and took some time to walk along Kurfürstendamm. 

More the tourist hang-out, really, than the real city, but it felt good to be there. A lot of people are complaining that Berlin is not what it used to be, and that it is turning into a place like every other big city in the world, losing its unique charm.
On my way to meeting a friend in the evening I got off the train at Brandenburger Tor, too. Even more of a tourist-site than Kurfürstendamm, but a must-go nevertheless. When I came to Berlin in 1982 with my school, we still looked across the Wall at this walled-in gate that was shut. At that point we couldn’t imagine what would be happening there seven years later.

It still feels very special to be able to walk through the gate, even after 24 years.

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