February 2015 archive

Berlin: After the Rain

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This post will only include pictures of places that evoked some emotion in me. Checkpoint Charlie wasn’t one of them, and really just felt like a place to buy souvenirs. It took me quite a while to find the Berlin Wall, based on not really consulting a map but just sort of biking through tunnels and along parks. Everything seemed empty that day, and no one was really outside at this time. The recently rained look gave the wall memorial a special aura.

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People consistently graffiti over graffiti at the Berlin Wall, and it was cool to watch it being done. I can’t explain why, but I didn’t watch for too long, feeling as if I were trespassing.

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This lone swing was just at the foot of the wall.
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Where the wall first fell:
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Anhalter Station ruins, once an important rail center in Berlin. A plaque there commemorates the deportation of 9,600 Jews to Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia.
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A Bicycle in Berlin

2014-08-16 03.49.45There is no better mode, I am convinced, of reaching ALL your Berlin destinations (but it’s about the journey, right) in 24 hours, than renting a bicycle. They have designated lanes. It feels safe. And it is flat! CRUZIN.

What is Berlin if not efficient? I hit up a lot of your standard architecture:

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Victory Column

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Spree! aka best possible name for a river or any location

How smart were all the city planners to actually let you bike along all the sprees in Euro? In bike lanes, no less. It feels lucky.

At ALEXANDERPLATZ, I said, “oh yes, you should buy this nightgown, this nesting doll for your mama, and this sausage and fry combination:”

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Saying “Alexanderplatz” makes me feel giddy, and I think my name would work well here too. I may start calling my apartment Daraplatz.

It started to thunderstorm, and I took cover under some awnings! Until my usual restless “get lost” approach to city exploration resumed, and I took off in the direction of the Berlin Wall.

Il Arrive!

2014-08-14 14.51.45So, I barely made my train to catch my flight from Nice to Berlin. All because I forgot that stopping for “lunch” in France means:

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…and then this









followed by what would have been chocolate mousse, but wait…no…experience…memories …learning. Skipped it (with a tear) and ran to the station. I had purchased a ticket in advance. But when you use an American credit card, you can only pick up your ticket from a station agent. That line was 20 people deep, and the train was coming in 4 minutes. Getting all tense just remembering! I desperately inserted my card into the ticket machine. No go. Then stood in line indecisively. Tried another ticket machine. Ran around. Asked station agents what to do. They said, stand in line. Bah! Looked at my wallet. COINS?!? Ran to machine. Had the exact amount of change to get to Nice Saint Augustin. No more, no less. EURO COIN EURO COIN, clunk clink cluuuunk. Ran. Which quai? Doors close. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

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Au revoir, au revoir. Guten tag!2014-08-15 13.15.37

La Nourriture

2014-08-14 14.32.21Aside from all my beach times, I treated this trip in particular like my vacation. Meaning higher on the leisure and lower on l’histoire. I took myself to a French film and out on the town for rosé, crêpes, et moules-frites. Spent evenings walking along the shore and dipping in the blue that was cooling off between day and dark.


I returned again and again to La Crêperie on Rue Meynadier. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Ok! On the left, we have a galette au fromage, then a crêpe à la glace (AU CHOCOLAT), then another with sausage and apples. C’est cool. That one filled with ice cream was still marvelously crispy on the outside!

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Here are the moules-frites I had close to the beach in Cannes. A big pot, and more than I could chew! A perfectly content gal:

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Île Sainte-Marguerite

2014-08-14 04.42.55This island off the coast of Cannes is by far my favorite spot. I took the ferry out early one morning when the sun was bright. If you arrive early enough, you can secure one of many natural sunning and swimming nooks along the cliffs of the island. Climb down carefully along the stones, and lay out your towel to warm in the sun. The water is crystal clear, and the waves are gentle, but choppy enough so as not to be boring. Slip carefully into the blue, and shift your body along the underwater stones until you are in the clear. Lay your head back and bob with the plushy, smooth water. Then rest in the shade of the pine trees or sun yourself off on the rocks, letting the bright fill your head and heart. This is my happy place.

2014-08-14 04.45.48As the day comes on strong, the ferries bring on more nook-seekers. It’s a good time to gather up your picnic and find shade.

2014-08-14 04.32.36Walking the length of Île Sainte-Marguerite would be a good flat hike. It’s 3 km long, and has an old prison where the Man in the Iron Mask was held. It’s sad to leave the island, but makes one look forward to more adventure. Comforting to remember that it’s only a 15-minute ferry from Cannes.