Fun in Berlin

Posted in Mixed Nuts on November 14th, 2008 by MadDog
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It’s been a long time since I was a functional American, but the lure of a Wal*Mart was simply too strong to resist:Walmart has invaded BerlinYesssss, kiddies, there is a giant Wal*Mart in Berlin and it is chock full of the same crap that you would find in Berlin, Ohio or Berlin, Indiana, or any of numerous other Berlins in the USA.

As I reminisce about the connection between so many childhood fears of instant annihilation by a nuclear ‘device’, I recall clearly that Berlin was constantly on our minds.

I’m sure that many people lived with a sort of dull background noise of fear for a long, long time, but probably nowhere was it louder than in Cold War America.

So, as I approached the Brandenburg Gate, I was feeling a little emotional:Brandenburg Gate, Berlin - The standard tourist shotThat’s the standard tourist shot.

This one is a little more dramatic, but it doesn’t show the whole thing:The pretty horses on top of the Brandenburg Gate, BerlinI like this one better. It’s the side that nobody ever bothers to notice:The back side of the Brandenburg Gate, BerlinHere’s an interesting marker out in front of the gate that shows exactly where the Wall was:The marker in the street that shows where The Wall was - BerlinAnd, of course, everybody wants a photo of the wall. There are lots of places where you can see old bits of it painted colourfully, but the section that I liked best is the one that you can’t get near – it’s behind a protective barrier for very good reasons:A part of The Wall that you can't get to - BerlinI can remember watching the TV with tears streaming down our faces as we saw Berliners pounding away at the Wall with anything that came to hand.

What a time!

In the American mind the focus of unease was Checkpoint Charlie:Checkpoint Charlie - BerlinThere is an excellent Checkpoint Charlie Museum nearby. I highly recommend it.

And what would a visit to Berlin be without seeing a hopped-up Trabant:The unreliable and terribly smelly Trabant all blinged up - BerlinI don’t remember what this statue was all about, but I do recall that I liked it, so I’ll show it to you:

A beautiful statue in Berlin of a young woman releasing a dove
I didn’t like the distracting scaffolding in the background, so I made it go away:
A beautiful statue in Berlin of a young woman releasing a dove (without the distracting scaffolding)
You can always tell when I’m having an impossible day. I throw a bunch of photos at you with little comment.

It is the thinking and the writing that sometimes take more time than I can give, but I’m not going to cheat myself by skipping a day just because it’s been hectic.

I must do this. It’s becoming an obsession.

Robot blogger.

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On the Road – Honolulu – Beauty in Bronze

Posted in On Tthe Road on April 1st, 2008 by MadDog
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I’m sitting here in front of the Apple Store in the Ala Moana shopping centre stealing their internet hot spot. We’ll be leaving Honolulu in a few hours on our way to the land of freezing Yanks.

I have been admiring these beautiful bronzes in front of the Hilton for years. I thought you might like to have a look if you haven’t been lucky so far.

Beautiful Bronze in front of the Hilton - Honolulu

There are three of them, but I think this angle is the most photogenic. I have lots of other interesting images to show you when we get some place where I can work without attracting the Rent-A-Cop guys who, I am sure, are going to hassle me at any moment for sitting here on the pavement barefoot with a computer looking like someone really scary.

A True Patriot is going to report me as a potential terrorist as soon as he or she can recover from the panic attack. If you get an urgent message from me begging for bail money, please show pity to a harmless (ok, more or less harmless) old man.

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