Next morning Katharina and I set off to walk from Kreuzung ( Old East Germany) to Templehof in the West. We explored this now trendy part of Berlin, with cafes and restaurants and quirky shops. There is a lot of graffiti, and around Niederbarnimstrasse there are lots of interesting shops. I loved the wall art of curlers and hair dressing accoutrements in a collage outside the hairdressers.
These brass plaques are in the footpaths to mark where a Jewish person lived before the war and the Nazis.
The housing in Berlin tends to be apartments no more than 6 stories and walls must be all in line on the street. Many have interior courtyards so they seem quite gracious and elegant but there is no parking! It is a premium. There are lots of cyclists, with and without helmets, with and without Lycra! They can take the bikes on the train at any time of the day and there seem to be many more bike and pedestrian lanes side by side.
We had lunch in ‘Little Turkey’ of Falafel, hummus and salad. They were massive plates that neither of us could finish and only €4. Then onwards to the Art centre at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien which was an old hospital but now has work spaces for artists, exhibitions and an open air cinema in summer. We visited one of the exhibitions about pollution in the ocean and some other exhibits that provoked our curiosity but of which we didn’t grasp the meaning!
Outside the art centre we saw a box home for bees.
We saw these crazy guys driving ‘grown up ‘ toy cars!
We came across a garden that had been a target for ‘ garden guerillas’ and eventually the council gave in and now the square is a thriving garden centre, coffee place and teaching centre for gardening. A grand improvement on some of the shabby, bedraggled squares I saw
The last stop(gasp) was the Tempelhof, a former airpot that was used by the Americans to break the blockade on food to West Berliners by the East Berlin government. They were trying to drive them into submitting to a unified Berlin under communist control but the Americans flew provisions in and out at such close timing that some planes crashed and yet they continued and saved the West Berliners.
The airport was built by the Nazis and was the largest airport in Europe but the grounds are right in the heart of Berlin and so is not practical as an airpot now. It has been given to the public as recreation space. The Terminal was a kilometre long. It house police and government admin. Now.