Fotoeins Fotografie

revisioning place and home

Posts tagged ‘My Berlin’

My Berlin: the buried Bibliothek at Bebelplatz

On a clear cool late-autumn morning, a young child is looking through an opening in the cobblestone plaza. She looks up to the man standing next to her.

Daddy, why is there a glass window? What happened here?

The thing to keep in mind is that this square in Berlin is called Bebelplatz (BAY-buhl-platz), and not Babbleplatz. It’s easy to make the mistake. After all, a great repository of books was once created inside the building seen above, in what was once home of the Königliche Bibliothek or Royal Library.

But then came along a large racist blather.

Accompanied by a big ugly fire.

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Friedhof Wannsee Lindenstrasse, Neuer Friedhof Wannsee, Friedhof Wannsee II, Berlin, Germany, Deutschland, fotoeins.com

My Berlin: Wannsee cemetery with Helmholtz, Fischer, Conrad

Above/featured: Friedhof Wannsee Lindenstrasse with Andreaskirche in the background.

I came here looking for a physicist, but I also found a Nobel-Prize winning chemist and a successful banker.

In the southwest corner of metropolitan Berlin tucked away under rows of leafy trees in a quiet residential neighbourhood in Wannsee is a small cemetery, next to a tall red brick church Andreaskirche. With the main (east) entrance off Lindenstrasse, the cemetery is called Friedhof Wannsee Lindenstrasse; alternate names include “Neuer Friedhof Wannsee” and “Friedhof Wannsee II.” Opened in 1887, the cemetery is one of the smallest in the city with an area about 1.9 hectares (19-thousand square metres) or a shade under 5 acres.

(My day trip to Wannsee was only one element of my “quick” 11-day hop to Berlin in autumn 2021.)

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My Berlin: Chinese-Canadian Commonwealth War Grave

Above/featured: Cemetery view facing west, from the shelter building to the Stone of Remembrance, Cross of Sacrifice, and Terrace in the distance (WCL-X70: 14/21mm).

There’s a presence from western Canada buried in eastern Germany.

In Vancouver, Canada, the H.Y. Louie family has long been a part of the Chinese-Canadian community and the overall merchant community. Their current business holdings include the London Drugs chain of stores and the IGA grocery-store chain; both are recognized and known throughout greater Vancouver.

One member of the family is resting permanently 8000 kilometres away in Berlin, Germany. After learning about this, an important goal in a return to the German capital city is to visit the cemetery where Q.J. Louie is buried and pay respects at his grave. It has never been a matter of if, but when I return to Berlin.

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Berlin: a quick 8000-km jaunt home during the pandemic

Above/featured: S-Bahn station Messe Nord/ICC – 27 Nov 2021 (X70).

I’m going home to Berlin, for the 1st time in 4 years.

To travel at all, and to go international, is a big privilege; I’m grateful for the window of opportunity.

After a long gruelling emotional 2020 year taking care of an elderly parent at home with cancer and accompanying them safely to their final days, I’m desperate to get outta Vancouver for a break. But another 9 months pass before the largest roadblock to travel is dissolved. At the end of October 2021, the Canadian government releases a digital vaccination certificate suitable for domestic and international travel. Within a week, I have a set itinerary using credits from a cancelled trip.

The following describes plans and unconventional sights for Berlin, Germany over 11 days in the 2nd-half of November 2021. As case counts change and situations evolve at both ends, travellers must remain vigilant with extra preparation and adapt to changing policies, protocols, and requirements by different countries for visitors, ensuring safe and smooth travel, out and back. I go over all guidelines supplied by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office and the city state of Berlin.

I’m not going to lug my DSLR camera and extra glass for this quick trip. Instead, I’ll only use my 340-gram (12-ounce) compact fixed-lens camera. In all respects, it’s a big weight off my shoulders.


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Siegessäule, Grosse Stern, Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany, fotoeins.com

My Berlin: 29 tracks for the German capital

Above/featured: Siegessäule & Grosse Stern, at night – 13 Nov 2012 (HL).

I compiled a list of songs accompanying my travel, a soundtrack that’s full of meaning and memories. This is another set, a listing of tracks I associate with Germany’s capital city. Music is always about personal selection, and every track fires a specific memory of time and place within Berlin. For example, watching “Lola rennt” (Run Lola Run) in a movie theatre in Toronto in the fall of 1998 planted the seeds for a move to Germany three years later. My first visit to Berlin soon after marked the beginning of a deep love affair with the “grand lady of BAER’leen.”

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