I thought it would be nice to celebrate New Year's Eve with a look back at some different Christmas decorations from around Berlin. Hope you have a wonderful and safe evening and a good slide into the New Year!
Christmas is officially over, but most of the shopping centers around town will leave the decorations up until New Year's. I certainly don't mind as it gives me a chance to show a few more shots of the beautiful lights and reflections. These come to you from the Boulevard shopping center on Schlossstrasse. Enjoy! For more reflections, take a look at Weekend Reflections.
I made it to five Christmas markets this year! This shot is from the last (and best) one I visited. There is a small city farm in Berlin called The Domaine. The market here was really old-fashioned, full of handmade goods and bio products, many of which were produced at the Domaine itself! The only downside was, there weren't lots of lights and such that you find at the more commercial markets so getting photos was more difficult. I thought I would share this one of the kiddies having fun. Hope your Christmas was merry and that you've got plenty of yummy leftovers to enjoy tonight.
Where does the time go? I can't believe it's Christmas already! I hope Santa was as good to you as he was to me. I am happy to be celebrating with my husband and MiL this year, I definitely have a lot to be happy about. I hope that you do too!
Here is a look at the beautiful lights that line the Ku'Damm. European cities really know how to decorate for the holidays! Hope your shopping is done and everything is ready for Santa's visit tonight. I think I've been good this year, how about you?
I made it to a few more Christmas markets over the weekend, including this one in Potsdam. The market itself was nicely arranged, running along the main street from the Archway to the Church (which you see here). The weather has really been perfect for the markets this year, a little chilly, but not too cold or wet. I'm ready for the festivities to begin - how about you?
The shopping centers around Berlin go all out for the holidays with lots of decorated trees and lights. This view is from the Schloss shopping center near Rathaus Steglitz. I find it one of the better shopping centers, there are lots of good shops and a small food court as well. You can even do your grocery shopping in the basement! I am happy to say all my Christmas shopping is done, so I won't have to fight any crowds at the last minute. Whew!
Confidential to my Mum: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
Here is a look at Berlin's largest Christmas market - the Magical Christmas on Gendarmenmarkt! I think this was the first Christmas market I ever went to, so I always have good memories of it. Here you see the giant Christmas tree with the Deutscher Dom in the background. Food and handmade wares are the specialties here, in fact, I think there were even more booths this year than in the past. There were also plenty of visitors, so a photo without people is pretty much impossible. I was only sad to see that man blowing his nose in my shot. But I suppose it's all part of the atmosphere!
The color is maybe not super-Christmassy, but I loved the way this building on the Opernpalais plaza was decorated. I think there is something about stars that attract all of us - these stars certainly attracted quite a few viewers on this particular evening. Friday is finally here again - hope you have plans for the weekend that don't include Christmas shopping. Mine will probably include more visits to the Christmas markets, but not to any shopping centers. Whatever your plans are, stay safe and warm. For more reflections, visit Weekend Reflections.
The eating possibilities at the Christmas markets are almost endless! One of the more popular stands I've seen was the smoke salmon. They roast it on these planks right in front of you and then serve it up with a few slices of bread. A real tasty treat!
Here's a look at the entrance to another Christmas Market I visited recently on the Opernpalais plaza. This one is also known as the "Nostalgic Market" because everything is very traditional. I had a different kind of Gluhwein here - it was made with fruit and wine, I guess you could say it was sangria-style. The combination was very yummy! Stay tuned for more from the markets, until then you can see more signs at Signs, Signs.
A visit to the Christmas market is not the same without a Gluhwein (red wine with added sugar and spices, served warm). What I really like in Germany is the Pfand system - you pay an extra two euro deposit and you get to drink out of a real cup! When you bring the cup back, you get your deposit back. Gluhwein definitely tastes better out of real mugs and they hold the heat longer than paper or plastic so you have more time to savor your drink. Cheers!
I did make it to a couple of Christmas markets over the weekend. I think they're the best part of the holidays - it's such fun to drink a mulled wine with friends and look at all the goodies. The first market I visited is one of Berlin's best, the Schloss Charlottenburg. It was a bit of a foggy evening, but I think that only added to the ambiance. I'll be showing more market shots this week - hope you will enjoy!
We haven't had many sunny days here in Berlin lately, so it's nice to remember when we did! This shot was taken from the Marienhohe in Templehof. I love the fall colors against a blue sky. Friday is finally here and for once, I don't have any plans. My husband and I have cooled off on the househunting a little, but we've got a couple of places in our sights that might work out. But it probably won't be until the end of January until anything is certain. Perhaps we'll do a tour of the Christmas markets this weekend. I hope you've got something planned! Until then, you can see more skies at Skywatch.
PS: It's Friday the 13th - don't forget to buy your lottery ticket!
Maybe it's morbid, but I love walking through cemeteries, especially in other countries. I find it so interesting to see all the different names and I often wonder if the people had happy lives. I can't imagine someone with a name like Willi Martini to be anything other than happy. His name caught my eye during my recent walk through the graveyard, so I had to stop for a photo, And since it was the week following Totensonntag (a kind of Memorial Day here in Germany), all the graves were freshly decorated making them even nicer than usual.
I recently took a stroll through the St. Mathias cemetery in Templehof. Although it's not one of Berlin's most well-known burial sites, there is quite a bit of history here. Burials began here in 1892 and the site has ties to the Catholic church. This pensive lady was finished and added to the site in 1942. Unfortunately, much of the cemetery was destroyed during WWII, including the original chapel.
According to the sign, this statue has a bullet hole in her back - perhaps soldiers mistook her for a real person? She was restored and re-erected in 2008 and she now overlooks the graves of soldiers who are buried in the cemetery. In all, more than 200 war graves can be found in this cemetery. For more signs, take a look at Signs, Signs.
The last of the fall leaves have finally fallen from the trees here in Berlin. It was especially hard to come back to cold, wet Germany after spending a week in sunny Portugal. But at least the Christmas markets have opened up! That will give me some good photo opportunities, I'm sure. For more yellow, take a look at Mellow Yellow Monday.
I showed you a daytime view of the Ku'damm from my gym and now it's time for something even better! Berlin's famous shopping street always looks good at this time of the year, but it's especially nice from above.
Friday is finally here! I hope you have big plans for the weekend. My husband and I are going to look at some more apartments, some of which even seem promising. Then on Monday we're leaving for Portugal to play some golf. If you like reflections, you can see more of them at Weekend Reflections. And don't forget to stop by the newly created iPhone Phriday.
This elementary school is very near my MiL's home. We were walking past it recently and I asked if she knew what happened here. She didn't have any information, but it seems the school has been abandoned, although the building doesn't look like it was emptied. It's all a little sad - I can imagine this place used to be one of joy and laughter. And now it's covered with tags and left to ruin. Maybe the kids will come back one day!
PS: Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends! Have an extra slice of pumpkin pie on me!
Ullsteinstrasse is the closest subway station to my MiL's home. It's a pleasant ten minute walk along the canals until you hit the main intersection where this stop is located. It's not on one of the major lines, but good connections are just a few stops away. I find it a convenient and economic way to get around town - certainly not what I was used to in Toronto! For more signs, take a look at Signs, Signs.
One of the things I was most excited about upon coming back to Europe is the plethora of open-air markets. Today I'm sharing a flower stall in my favorite Saturday morning market in Berlin - the Winterfeld Markt. You can find most anything there, from the traditional meats and cheeses to handmade jewelry and craft items and even cookie cutters! My husband and I go to this market almost every Saturday to have a fresh-pressed juice and a stroll. It's a feast for all of your senses.
Although we haven't found a place to live yet, we have found a golf club! My husband was a member of this club before we left Europe seven years ago. Since we have friends that still play there, we decided to join as well. Now we've really just got to find a home!
This photo was actually taken a few weeks ago. My husband and I joined a gym which has a fantastic view over Berlin's main shopping street - the Ku'damm. Although I still find running on a treadmill incredibly boring, at least there's something nice to see outside the window!
Hope you've got some nice plans for the weekend. I'm going to a Thanksgiving celebration with some of my husband's American colleagues. I am looking forward to a slice of pumpkin pie and some English conversation. Don't forget to check out more skies at Skywatch.
A look at the canal that runs near my MiL's house. They have pedestrian / bike trails on both sides of the canal which makes it a very popular place for people to enjoy nature or just get a little fitness in. It looks like we might actually get some sun today, so maybe I'll take advantage of the walking path this afternoon!
There is a lot of support for Hertha - Berlin's football/soccer team around town, but I was surprised to find this sign on the side of a building in a somewhat residential area recently. It seems supporters take their role pretty seriously here! Hope your Wednesday is off to a good start, for more signs take a look at Signs, Signs.
I found this cheerful building inside the garden colonies near my MiL's home. I absolutely love the big flowers and the bright colors, definitely a nice contrast to the gray skies we've been having. Monday has rolled around again and if you'd like to see more murals take a look at Monday Mural.
A typical city scene from Berlin - lots of new and old mixing together, but I like the result! Friday is finally here, hope you've got some big plans. I'm sure mine will include more house/apartment hunting. It's very frustrating as prices have risen substantially, even just over the last six months. Hopefully we will find our "home" soon though as I'm ready to settle in. Until then, enjoy more reflections at Weekend Reflections.
My husband and I looked at an apartment in this building that we both really liked. Maybe it's time to make an offer? Everything takes so long here in Germany though that even if we came to agreement tomorrow, we probably couldn't move in before March! Some things are really different here.
At the moment, we are living with my MiL in Templehof. It's a nice area and her house is near a garden colony that visitors can walk through. That's where I found this funny bench. I am sure it's a nice place to sit in the spring or summer season, maybe I'll come back later in the year and see how things develop!
A look at the fall leaves that are still hanging on near the Holocaust Memorial in downtown Berlin. Sorry I haven't been posting since opening this blog, but hopefully that will change now. I had some time this weekend to shoot a little bit. Hope you will enjoy!
I finally made it to Berlin! After a wonderful vacation in Australia and a few extra days in Toronto, I am in my new home. I wanted to use a really iconic photo of the Brandenburg gate to celebrate my new home, but looking through my archives, I couldn't find any that were suitable. But I think the Sony Center at Pottsdammer Platz is also pretty symbolic of Berlin. in any case, I will be running on archives for awhile as the weather here is not the best at the moment.
If you have any feedback on this blog template, please let me know. I'm excited to start a new blog in my new city!