Thursday, October 24, 2013

Berliner Cranes

Last month, Rose and I went to Berlin. I told a bunch of people that I'd write about it, and then I never did. Sorry. Here are some picture.

At the top of the Berliner Dom.

CURRYWURST. It's basically all I talked about the entire trip.
Yes, that is a tiny lady reading a book on a grave stone.

At the top of the TV Tower.

Bits of the Wall.
Brandenburg Gate.


East Side Gallery- more of the Wall.

It's not a vacation if I'm not on the hunt for a famous dead person or two.

Really awesome bird bath. And Rose changing her film.

So much street art.

Apparently at night, the shadow of a flag pole appears in his hand. Awesome.

Every time I tell someone about Berlin, I always find myself talking about all the cranes. There were SO many cranes, because there was SO much construction. People (including myself) always complain when they visit a new city and there is scaffolding on Notre Dame or when half of the Statue of Liberty is hidden for cleaning- it is annoying when you go to visit a place and then can't see the buildings. But Berlin was different. Maybe it's because it isn't conventionally pretty like most European cities- for Berlin, the war was not really that long ago. This is a city that is still rebuilding after all the destruction that tore it literally in half. I found myself looking around at the people we passed; anyone older than me must have stories that would turn my hair white. My privileged and amazingly lucky life makes me curious about what it was like living in a city behind a wall, since it's not a life I can relate to in the slightest. Walking the streets there was a very strong sense of being surrounded by stories, more so than any other city I've ever been to, even if all cities are stories themselves. But then again, everything is stories.

I guess this is why I loved the cranes. They stood tall in the center of the city, collecting birds and stares, just another part of the skyline. And these were not small cranes either, they were immense. But I suppose rebuilding a city out of the rubble of such negativity takes stronger stuff. There were even little viewing platforms along the scaffolding where you could climb a little curved staircase and stand safely above the barriers and watch the construction happening. If we spoke German, I'm pretty sure the writing on the platforms would have told us what was being built in front of us. This is a city that's sick of walls, even temporary ones, and it was really refreshing to have the option to see over and not just wonder. As much as I love the dreaming spires of Oxford, it really drives me crazy sometimes that I can't see over the stone college walls. 

I got really attached to the cranes, as you can probably tell. It almost makes me sad to know that the next time I visit Berlin, they will be gone. But that was another of the many beautiful things about Berlin, the visible, ever changing energy that comes with knowing that every moment, every view and picture taken is original, and could never be reproduced on any future visits. Cities like Oxford look the same as they have for the last hundred years, and of course there is a beauty in the time-traveling trill of places like that as well. But Berlin is never the same, and that sort of magic you don't find on most holidays. 



TLS237 said...

Yum - currywurst. Nice pictures. Lots of history in Berlin.

David Benson said...

From DavieB: Beautiful city, isnt it!?

Maria C. Goodson said...

Very beautiful city, Dave. I'm glad I finally made it.