Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunset , New Moon and A Christmas Star

As I left one of my favourite shops in Budapester Strasse the sunset was wonderful and coupled with a waxing crescent moon, magical. For a short span these two heavenly bodies created 'stage lighting' over the City Christmas Market. Thus a must stop , must photograph moment for me . Hope you like it .
Coming towards the end of an extremely busy but fantastic day it counts as an early Christmas present , though not my first .

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy New Year .

Some of you may think I've got dates mixed , but that isn't so . Today being the first Sunday in Advent marks the New Church Year . What celebrations and what a joy Advent can be . This Sunday just one candle on the Advent wreath was lit . Next Sunday , two and so on until the fourth . Later off to the Christmas Market at the Gedächtnis Church and Europa Centre .It was full but not unpleasantly so. The atmosphere was terrific as was the gluhwein. Among my finds was a shop specializing in Snow domes .Talk about seventh heaven .If you've never experienced a real German Christmas Market then do try it .Well worth a fun weekend and take home some unusual presents .The short video is made up of stills . *There are numerous markets in Berlin. Each is unique and worth seeing . Every German city offers such with colour, fun, spices, food and so much more ..... So whether it be Hamburg ,Munich, Cologne , Leipzig, Berlin ,Dresden or Hamburg ( to name but a few ),you can't go wrong.
*Berlin has 60 Christmas Markets this year .Imagine how many litres of gluhwein and kilometres of sausage that will be .

Monday, November 21, 2011

Christmas In Berlin

No country does Christmas quite as well as Germany . Their decor , celebration of Advent from day one, markets, food ( especially chocolates and spicy biscuits ) is fantastic. As one who's never been a Christmas fan at last ,thanks to Germany things are a changing. This year will be different. Motivated I am. On Saturday on calling in Green Piece Florist to buy some flowers it was clear that Frau Köhler had surpassed herself with her festive creations. Decorations for Advent that simply took my breath away. The staff were busy arranging the displays. It was therefore with excitement that today I set off plus camera to take photos and make a film or two . My suggestion :-
If you are in Berlin , call in, to this colourful winter wonderland with an aroma that is Christmas, Christmas , Christmas. I've treated myself . This is Christmas and a time for enjoyment all round ......Above is a collage of items .Beneath a video made using iMovie .

This is a season for all ages .It doesn't have to be very expensive and as you will see from the pictures , colours bring light and warmth to the winter days. In all her work Frau Köhler uses quality products,natural products and thus her designs are not only beautiful , they are safe .

Friday, November 18, 2011

Planes Approaching Tegel Airport Berlin

A great place to sit and drink coffee whilst watching 'the world' arrive in Berlin.Sadly not for much longer as the powers that be plan to close Flughafen Tegel in 2012 with the opening of Berlin Brandenburg International Airport. It will be missed by more than yours truly .
Arriving early for an appointment today at Kurt Schumacher Platz I took a few minutes to film the air traffic as it dropped from the sky to a very low altitude. Always a sight to behold at this major traffic junction, today was more so due to intense cold and fog . Simply no idea what types of aircraft these are so any one with knowledge , here's your chance . I just love planes .Fact . To all who arrived on those flights let me say "Welcome to Berlin". The good news is Sunday should bring sun but only 4°c .

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Berlin to London From The ZOB Berlin

At this moment I should be in Ireland. However, due to factors beyond my control it was a lottery not to be. In three little words,"I was ill".
This posting first since Nov 6th ,with my Panasonic Lumix felt good. So here's a travel alternative tip .
With another frantic travel season looming as Christmas draws near, a quick look at any of the airlines shows lowest prices (pardon the pun) to be rocketing skyhigh . So it was with interest I took my gentle exercise for today by strolling to ZOB .
This is the Berlin Central Bus Station ,catering for long distance journies . Well designed it isn't an eyesore . Here's a film featuring the Berlin to London bus .Having interviewed those who are familiar with the route and asked them why, the reasons given were varied and often multiple ..a) financially sound ,b) stress free, c) good cancellation with full refund policy ,d) no rude treatment. In the film you see a bus leave for Paris and then out goes the London vehicle. It was all very civilized and maybe, just maybe one day I'll test my staying powers.
For none German speakers the abbreviation ZOB is Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof Berlin-Internationale .
It is reached via U12 UBahn to Kaiserdamm , SBahn Messe Nord ICC, Bus M49, X34, 104.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Cafe K Serves Tapas and Music .

It was by pure chance that I spotted the poster advertising this event . My idea of a must try / must do . The result ? Absolutely fabulous .
The George-Kolbe Museum is a delightful place and there is the Cafe K . Their coffee and food are always good and last night was no exception .The group, are truly international, and very good musicians. Their programme was made up of soul , bossa nova and jazz classics .
Getting to the Cafe K is easy .Take the SBahn to Heerstrasse or the bus M49 , X34 to S Bahnhof Heerstrasse . Turn into Sensburger Allee and walk down 100m to number 26.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Tip For Today 'Recycling - cycling'

Save old toothbrushes and use to clean your bicycle chain. Dipped in chain cleaner these items are ideal for getting in all the links and working wonders .
Yes there are lots of fancy and expensive, chain cleaning gadgets out there but trust me, this tip saves you money, does a 1st class job and is 'recycling' in every sense of the word. Dirty chains rust and are likely to break . This can be avoided .

* I use a well known brand with a built in battery. These are excellent.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A Load Of Taramasalata

It's really unbelievable but sadly true . The world stands on the brink of a very real financial crisis and for what ?
For a country with little to offer save seasonal tourism and Taramasalata. Greece. I for one would like to know just how much money and debt write offs they expect from a Europe desperate to keep a rather worthless common currency . Let the Greeks go back to their zero tax paying , early retrirement ,their Taramasalata. and the Drachma but at their own expense .
The constant comparison of Europe to the USA and it's many states one currency is a false one. They are but one nation with one central government.
Pouring money into Greece is akin to burning money. Not only is it coming at our expense but it will precipate a 3rd financial crash . When this happens ,don't believe your mortgages and debts will be written off Greek fashion . Indeed nobody will even give you a cheap tub of out of date Taramasalata.