Indoor and outdoor culture


Lietzensee is a small lake in a park about 3km west of our digs, ideal for an early morning excursion. We saw school children doing lollipop man duties – ie stopping traffic to allow children safe crossing to get to school. Fraulein Lietzen is a small cafe, the equivalent of an Adelaide deli only way nicer – 6 varieties of excellent cake, fresh loaves of German bread, backgammon, poetry book, no Coke machine. We had milch kaffee and pretzels with butter and read a poem in German.

Our main plan of the day was to visit the Jewish Museum and we were successful in doing this. There is what seems to be a permanent police presence near the entrance – we have also seen this at a Jewish cultural centre near our hotel. We then found exactly the funky cafe area of Kreuzberg that we failed to find with Wieteke and Kees and had a delicious lunch there (Bergmannstr). The berg (hill) after which Kreuzberg is named was nearby so an ascent to the summit was made – it is not very high but still gives a good view.

The Museum der Dinge (Museum of Things) was next, except that we went right past the Sommerbad Kreuzberg, and decided to have a swim. This is a huge outdoor facility with 2 Olympic size pools, one warm and one cool in temperature, and an enormous recreation pool. Surrounding the pools is a vast park with trees and grass. This is the kind of public asset you can have when there is a big population nearby, none of whom can have their own pool. We had already discovered that nudity in public parks around Berlin is completely fine. Then we found that this extends to getting changed into your togs at the pool – no need to go into the dressing room, just get naked and put them on. The dressing rooms are fairly open anyway and don’t provide complete privacy. The swim was a delightful experience

Without meaning to, we keep going back to places we have been to before. Finally found the Museum d D which was right across the road from the Turkish barber shop of the recent haircut – and it is geschlossen on Tuesdays!  Waaaahh! We should have gone in on Saturday, except that we were then geographically more confused and didn’t know it was there. Ok – plan B – go to the Berlinische Gallery, near Jewish Museum. It is geschlossen until spring while they replace the sprinkler system. The tourism program was then officially abandoned.

Our evening meal was in an Italian restaurant in Charlottenburg, presided over by a maitre d who, in an enthusiastic but insistent way, explained in detail everything about the authentic Sicilian dishes, even to two uninterested Japanese businessmen who only wanted more antipasto and spaghetti, any kind would do.

Colours in Kreuzberg

Colours in Kreuzberg


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