Guten rutsch!

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!

Schauspieler house

I love the way old architecture looks at night. This is one of Berlin's most well-known concert halls that is right on the Gendarmenmarkt. I hope to see a performance here one day!

Holiday sparkles

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.

Christmas at the Domaine

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.

Merry Christmas from Berlin!

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!

Christmas eve

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?

Christmas in Potsdam

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?

Holiday shopping

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!!!

Magical Christmas market

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!

Weihnachts Sterne

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.

Fire roasted lachs

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!

Nostalgic market

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.

Gluhwein, bitte!

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!

Christmas in Berlin!

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!

Sunny days

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!

More from the cemetery

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.

Statue with a history

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.

Bench with ottoman

I found this bench / ottoman combination at a park near my MiL's home. I guess it's good for parents who want to relax while their children take a turn on the swings! For more red, take a look at Ruby Tuesday.

Last leaves

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.
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