Random Berlin pictures

Berlin, 2013

strolling around Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg with the guy from down under.

Ireland! Day Three!

Oh it’s posts galore today!

We got to Ireland through Amsterdam, looked at Derry by day and by night, and now for the next day!

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Lovely day, isn’t it?

We started our day with rain and grey skies. But what to expect when you go to the country of the big rain.

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So what we wanted to do was to got to Bellarena (red circle in fig. 1) by train and the get to the beach on the west side of this kind of horn and then go up to the top and back again on the other beach on the east up to Castlerock (blue circle in fig. 1). The trip looked nice in the guide and on the map. A nice walk at two beaches, maybe four hours in total.

I should really take a class in map reading.

We ended up taking the way indicated in red in fig. 1 below. Doesn’t look so bad. It were 8.4 km.

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Bellarena train station. Nice weather, great start!

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Idyllic little settlements along the way. We did wonder how to get to the beach, but the locals just send us along the way and we just hoped for the best.

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The landscape was amazing, everywhere small groups of sheep and cattle. We prepared for a rainy day and had to put away all the rain clothes for the moment.

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Cow!

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The weather changed quickly that day. Soon we had to change from warm and dry anti-rain coating to yay-the-sun-is-so-warm non-coating every ten minutes. The next one is from Doro I think.

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And sun it is again! At some point the walkway was gone and we just kept on walking next to the motorway. We still felt hopeful for a nice day although we kind of really liked to see a beach soon.

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The grass is always greener on the Irish side. The color is not messed up, it was the most amazingly green lawn we’ve ever seen. And it went on for miles (maybe one or so)! We later found out that the Irish people are famous for farming lawn, rolling it up and selling it to the world’s golf courses and fancy gardens.

They stared at us for ages and started to run as soon as we approached the fence.

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Then it got beautiful. The farms of cows and grass changed to a military firing range on both sides. The sun also went away again and everything was dark and moist. Still no beach in sight.

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But hey, a firing range is not that bad. We instantly started to miss it when the next thing came up.

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That’s right. A prison. Endless miles of a grey wall to the right. And no chance of getting picked up as hitchhikers. We already were beyond the point of no return where we would have walked a longer way back than we expected to keep on. So we continued and chose this lovely spot near the prison’s visitors center to have our lunch. Great times!

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And then it went worse.

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Heavy rain from the side made us wet to the bone in a matter of seconds. At least our backpacks were rainproof. And doros jacket. Mine not so much.

In the distance you can already see bits of the ferry, marking Magilligan Point where both beaches were supposed to meet. And the beach on left looked nice, but wet and inaccessible due to steep rocks. Thank you, travel guide!

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Lovely. At least the belly kept me warm. Or it would have, if it wouldn’t have been the camera being protected by my unprotective leaky rain jacket. Luckily the 5Dmk2 is waterproofed. I wish I was a 5Dmk2. (taken from doros mobile obviously).

Look how much fun I have!

We wouldn’t have guessed that without the sign.

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We finally arrived at the ferry station and went to a restaurant there to dry and warm up. We had a nice cup of tea and desperately asked for the way to Castlerock. We spent the last 2 and a half hours marching all the way from Bellarena. The waitress was impressed. But she informed us, that the way to Castlerock is even longer. Yay.

But luckily I asked loud enough to also impress a guy and his wife at the table next to us.

“Oi give ya a lift.”

From there our day brightened. We finished our tea, our driver finished his meal and then he drove us to Castlerock. He gave us a tour of the area, told us in his lovely Irish accent about the landscape.

“Luffly bitches we ‘ave ‘ere. Only foive star bitches on the island. And beautiful legs up on the cliff”

He was talking about beaches and lakes by the way.

He then showed us what Castlerock has to offer and then let us out at the train station.

The sky was lovely and we were just so happy to be away from the motorway.

I fell in love with the village quite instantly. The dunes, the beach, the sea, I was just overwhelmed. I didn’t even care anymore about my hurting feet and my wet clothes.

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What would I give to live in one of the houses facing the beach in Castlerock.

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What better place to walk the dog?

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Yum.

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I apologize for the HDR-ness.

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We then took the train in the evening back to Derry. We had both blisters on the feet and were quite exhausted but I was so happy about the evening at the beach that I didn’t care that much. So we enjoyed the short train ride home and fell into our beds.

Ireland! Black! and white, too!

Still the first real day in Derry. After dinner we went out for some night action.

I pulled the large lever on my camera into the black and white setting and cranked the ISO up to several thousand units. Like a boss.

One of the many flags in the bogside.

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The Derry Peace Bridge. Meant to bring peace to the city by connecting two otherwise disconnected areas. It costed several bazillion pounds (equal to twice the amount in kilograms) and is only open for pedestrians.

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Color! Just like black and white but more colorful!

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Some artsy blocks symbolizing the benefits of having a concrete casting company.

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The pack looking for trouble.

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see what I did there?!

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Fancy to let an old church? Just head to Derry!

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Up!

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We then went back to the place and then into the beds and closed eyes and slept. For many many minutes.

After a non-sufficient amount of time Doro woke up by the sound of a male voice. Thinking that the missing flat mate arrived and brought stuff and did not realize, that people were sleeping at 2 am, she opened the door to shut him up. It wasn’t the flatmate. It was a huge drunk bloke smelling of beer and screaming “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?! I am the owner, where did you get the key, I am the owner!” At this point the other door opened and our host came out, drawing the attention from Doro to herself. Slightly more puzzled the bloke realized he was mistaken. Behind him stood a little lady, saying nothing, clinging to her purse. The guy was informed, that our host in fact moved into this house and he went away, claiming being the owner. Doro and Valentina went back to bed. I hardly woke up from the whole thing. Doro could hardly get back to sleep.

The next morning Valentina informed the agency that gave her the house about this strange encounter. She got to know that the owner of the house did not know about her moving and gave his key to one of his employees at his bar to use the bed for some sexy time with the girl he hooked up with. We were lucky that it didn’t come to him mating just next to us.

Fun times!

Ireland. Day two. This time actually on the island

So. We arrived in Derry.

Here you find the story of how we got there.

Due to some circumstances we slept the first night in Valentina’s flatmate’s room. The flatmate decided not to move in until we were gone. Wise move.

The room had the nice and vibrant color pink on every wall.

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We slept quite well mostly because we got a nice and large duvet from Valentina.

The next morning we were ready to explore the vast and interesting city of Derry. Valentina was cleaning the kitchen as the previous tenants of the house left it covered in sticky goo. Did I mention she just moved in there a few days before us?

After the promised “only 20 minutes” turned out to be more than an hour, Doro joined in cleaning the fridge to avoid waiting another 2 hours. Nothing says holidays as cleaning a fridge that has never been cleaned before. Only 2 hours later than expected we opened the front door to leave.

This is what Derry looked like.

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Despite the horrible look from the pictures I kind of liked the look of the town. The one above is the main playground for the kids. We met children from 8 to 12 years from 8 to 12 pm there. The area we stayed is called the bogside or just the bog. It is the area of the working class people and has nowadays the highest unemployment rates of the whole city. It reminded me of all these movies about working class people, mostly in scotland, but apparently it looks similar in Northern Ireland.

Some of the photos might look a bit overdramatic. I listened and listen to the smashing pumpkins tonight.

As you might or might not know, Derry was the location of the Bloody Sunday shootings when the british occupying forces shot 26 unarmed civilians and wounded many others. This event is covered by the Derry murals that depict several scenes from this day and others. Although they are not that well executed technically it is still impressing how present the events are in the town. More on that later.

Some random inner city shots.

Derry is famous for its wall, also called the “Maiden City” as it was never penetrated by foreign forces. The wall still stands and circles the inner city which is on a hill, facing the river foyle on one side and the bogside on the other. In the inner city the people of Derry decided to put the most atrocious post-war modern architecture.

And obviously they don’t know how to place ATM machines.

At least the King didn’t make it. Probably the only royal ever permanently chased from the city.

We toured the city on the wall and had some views on the town, but honestly, everything the town has to offer can be seen in an afternoon, the most interesting things being the bus and the train station as they provide fast escape routes from the city into the beautiful countryside around.

The area in the kind of valley is the bogside where we stayed.

This is the loyalist quarter in the inner city. Note how the sidewalks are painted in the union jack’s colors to clearly mark the royalist territory. The sign says:

LONDONDERRY

West Bank Loyalists

Still Under Siege

NO SURRENDER

And to make the point even more clear the lovely royalist people burn every year a huge pile of wood and some Irish republican flags. The republicans respond by marches through the city, resulting in violence every year. Already the name of the city “Derry/Londonderry” shows the division of the city’s population. The loyalists keep their tight bounds with the british royalty while the Republicans avoid to mention the enemy’s capital.

Throughout the country you see whole streets that either have all the Union Jack or the Republican flag attached to lamp posts, houses and sidewalks.

The IRA is no more but their acronym can be found all over the bog side. Freedom fighters for the one side and terrorists for the other.

We then went home, it was night by the time. We waited on several occasions for a long time on our host and therefore spent far more time in the city than necessary.

We had dinner and went out again for an evening walk. More on that later. Probably more photos than words next time.

Ireland! Day One! Amsterdam!

We went to Ireland.

We just felt like getting too much sun in Berlin. We needed to act fast. So we booked flights to visit our acquaintance Valentina in Derry/Londonderry. But as most of you, unknown readers of this site, know, every trip you’ll ever do has to begin in Amsterdam.

Cops and wooden shoes. Amsterdam!

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We left happily in the morning at about fuck-this-is-too-early o’clock. After a nice fligt in the luxury class airliner provided by easyjet, we only felt like enclosed cattle in a transporter for about the time of the flight. But luckily we had a very (very!) funny person giving us the safety instructions.

Die Zeit vergeht ja wie im Flug! – The funny steward.

and

Oh schade, schon gelandet! – The funny steward.

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Schiphol is made from estimated 8922376 km of under- and overground tunnels. It takes 1:30 hrs from Berlin to Amsterdam. It takes 2 hrs from the arrival gate to the train station.

We hid our luggage in the luggage hiding cabinets and took the train to the inner city.

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The trains were huge. Not this one, though.

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More like this one. It’s about the size of an Airbus A380 if it would be the size of an Amsterdam train.

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Hah! Signs! My german genes instantly triggered rewarding hormones in my brain-thing. This sign might say:

“Please pick nose!”

“Please sniff your finger two times upstairs!”

“Let’s duel with finger guns upstairs!”

“Airgun suicide cabinet for two on the diagonal to the left.”

As I was unsure, I followed all of these instructions. At once. Just to be sure.

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Again, a very clear indication of what to do. Point at the hand sticking to the post with your arm stump.

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I know this one. Don’t grope females from the front. Always sneak up from behind.

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This grass was impressing. But in hindsight we’ve seen better grass elsewhere.

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Young rowdy (sitting).

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A coffee shop. I heard they don’t sell coffee but you can inject the Marijohanna inside.

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Yum.

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Doro pointing at things.

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The red light district.

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I heard that somewhere someone is planning to put THC synthesis pathways into ordinary veggies. I like that idea. Until then you can buy what you need on a street market in Amsterdam. We didn’t because I am naturally high, as I already introduced the THC synthesis pathway into my pancreas.

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English breakfast in Amsterdam on the way to Northern Ireland. How ironic.

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These are postcards. They’re like emails on paper. But slower. And you pay money for sending them. Not like in a flatrate. You pay like every single one separately.

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Proof that there was weather.

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Artsy graffity.

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Finally. The giant’s causeway.

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Posers.

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Not posers.

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This is pretty much all you need to know about traffic in Amsterdam. There is just too much of traffic. Helmetless people (and women) on scooters and bikes and in cars all running into each other. On high heels. With dogs.

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This is a place. We got really good sandwiches at that specific place.

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For my friends from down under.

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Look how sunny it was! And we even didn’t have an Apple product to shield our eyes from the blinding light!

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A lonely violinist in a street playing violin music on his violin.

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This is really deep.

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Street gymnast.

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Street photographer.

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THIS IS THE LUNCH WE BOUGHT! It’s a sandwich (good for eating), lemonade (good for drinking) and cups (good for lemonade)!

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Mating sandwiches making baby sandwiches.

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Best lemonade that we had at this precise moment (but also afterwards).

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Someone told me to go there. I did go there. I did not go in there, because time.

This was our day in Amsterdam. We enjoyed the rest of the day by waiting at the bag drop counter, waiting for security, waiting for security again, waiting for boarding, waiting for taking off, waiting for landing, waiting for unboarding, waiting for the luggage, waiting for the bus and then waiting for Valentina to pick us up from the very cold and rainy Derry/Londonderry.

But more on that later.

Copenhavn finalen

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Where we left off: Katja was a kind host and unfortunately for us left for personal holidays. Who can blame her after all the exams and the tourist guiding through the city. So she left on sunday morning which I hardly remember as I already developed a nice and cozy fever. My memories of that day are kinda blurry. I will just make up stuff on the go while looking at the pictures. 

So I popped my last remaining paracetamol I luckily had in my backpack and off we went.

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Doro dragged through some danish design stores that had designed stuff. Lamps, and pots and cushions and glasses and forks. All of the stuff that exists was in some store designed by some designer. We looked at all of it.

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doro!

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Building! I think this is the old high school of copenhagen, where all the kings and queens went until they constructed a new one further down the road.

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I hardly remember how, but we got to

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Christiania! The place were pot and dope flow like honey. In this lawless community tolerated by the danish government photography was strictly prohibited. So I was a good non citizen and did not take any photos. It was strange to see all the banned stuff lying around in the open, with price tags. Everything smelled of weed and everyone was relaxed. Maybe a joint would have reduced my fever. I didn’t try. The downside to Christiania are the tourists. Tourists are the downside to everything. It looks kind of like Amsterdam with dozens of pubescent girls and boys looking at all the joints and marihuana while giggling hysterically. We soon had enough and continued our way.

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We got the munchies. Probably from all the passive smoking. So we got pizza while having a view on this tower that you can climb up to look down.

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Then there is a another gap in my memory. We somehow managed to get to this nice lake with fountains where I fell asleep on doro. That was nice. I like sleeping.

We then got back home where I fell asleep like a stone. Poor doro had to take care of an ill joram instead of enjoying the city.

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As shitty as I felt on sunday, the next day I woke up feeling great. Apart from the runny nose and the permanent urge to sneeze and cough. But no more fever! YAAAAAAAAAAY! waving arms

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We went to an area southwest of the central station close to Istedgade. Very nice living area with lots of green stripes and amazing little cafés.

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and street art, sort of.

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Behind this wall lies the former meat packing district that is now also a residential area filled with playgrounds and children.

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Hipster-Heaven! Coffee and Vinyl! But as I do not have a vinyl player we skipped that place and instead went into an ice cream shop in the area that had amazing ice cream.

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Real street art.

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This place was in the french district which consists only of a few streets. Apparently french style is considered to be kitschy and christian. There were tons of baby jesuses in the arms of mother gary or whatever.

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my favorite place. ever. I want to live there. I would go gay for any of the waiters. They were just so proper manly. Beards, healthy looks and sandals.

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This place has the best egg benedikt I ever ate. Beautiful roasted dark malt bread with fresh ham, baby spinach, two poached eggs and homemade sauce hollandaise. Heaven. Since the day we had the ambrosia like dish I crave for egg benedikt and try my best to repeat that at home. My poached eggs are quite good already, but the home made sauce hollandaise needs some practice. But I will get there.

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The place from the outside.

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We slowly ended our tour through copenhagen in preparation for our departure back home. Somewhere we got some more danish pastries, some dinner and then we packed again.

I really enjoyed copenhagen, the people, the food, the sea. The prices not so much, but in Berlin you really get spoiled with food for about 5 eur and beer for under 3 eur. We will definitely go back there.

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Lies I’ve told my 3 Year Old Recently

Lies I’ve Told My 3 Year Old Recently

Trees talk to each other at night.
All fish are named either Lorna or Jack.
Before your eyeballs fall out from watching too much TV, they get very loose.
Tiny bears live in drain pipes.
If you are very very quiet you can hear the clouds rub against the sky.
The moon and the sun had a fight a long time ago.
Everyone knows at least one secret language.
When nobody is looking, I can fly.
We are all held together by invisible threads.
Books get lonely too.
Sadness can be eaten.
I will always be there.

Raul Gutierrez, “Lives I’ve Told My 3 Year Old Recently” (via words-in-lines)

Tiny cats

These are the cats. Lilu and Loki. The black and white beautifully underlines the red color of Loki.

Mamiya 67 pro
Kodak TriX 400
Ilfotec LC29 1+19

Copenhavn dag tre

Day three of our infamous weekend trip to the danish capital!

We recall: Doro and I flew to Copenhagen to meet Katja to look at a number of buildings conveniently placed together to house a mass of people that live together and proclaim their settlement as a capital of a land mass limited by invisible borders.

The third day started with a nice breakfast provided by the generous Katja. We had fruits. We hade vegetables. We had bread. And stuff. 

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If this arouses you, you not only have a problem, you’re also lucky to get more food porn later in this post.

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Ewww, who let this in?

Off we went, to see some part of the city, that is not that much overrun by tourists. We wanted to be the only tourists, the two to rule them all.

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We started in an area that featured several nice large places, each themed differently, but all provided some recreational facilities for the local people. The first place was called “The black Place” which described it pretty well. The only better name would have been “The black place with white lines, a small hill and some barbecue places. Oh and Chess sets”. This is a bit long, but forms the nice acronym TBPWWLASHASBPOACS. Much better.

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The next place was red. Fittingly, it had some Cyrillic lettering, a sparring ring, some other sporting sport stuff sports, and swings. It was fairly crowded, so I guess the danish people do not miss any grass, as Doro was pointing out. The whole area was mostly covered in concrete. Good for skating. Not so good for sand castles. image

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I messed around with this one to edit it to a more russian look. I doubt that I succeeded.

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Skate parks!

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Katja, hiding from the vicious sun (that is the yellow ball hiding behind the grey clouds, in case you live in Berlin)

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They let nature destroy perfectly good concrete. Fools.

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During winter it gets so cold, that danish people have to knit protection for trees.

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This is so underground.

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This was in small street that featured several nice restaurants and small shops. This specific one had about a dozen people in chef outfits sitting and dining. And it smelled incredibly good there.

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There is no way a shop window could be better decorated than with a bunch of action man figurines.

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A sign in the small street. Everything you could ever want is there.

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This is the national flag.

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Street art!

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Near the center is a nice park, that only at second glance is in fact a graveyard. People are picnicking, walking their dogs and taking sunbaths on top or near the graves. The grave culture is also quite different. Having a set of clay penises on your grave is just as normal as laminated photos of the deceased and large columns. And we saw Hans Christian Anderesen’s grave. It was made of stone.

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See? Gulls!

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The bike is dead, jim.

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Food porn. Finally. I’ll give you a minute.

Done? Good.

This was at the place we stayed the day before, the bookshop/library/bar/restaurant/working space. Really good salmon, smorebrod and eating stuff to eat.

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We made again some good mileage that day. It was a nice day. It was our last day with Katja as she left for Amsterdam.

Little did I know what happened the next day.

Rezension/Rant: Katzen würden Mäuse kaufen von Hans-Ulrich Grimm

Seit fast einer Woche ist unser 2-Personen-Haushalt um 2 junge Katzen angewachsen. Weil das Thema Katzenfutter durchaus komplex ist, habe ich mal bei meinen Kollegen rumgefragt, was die so ihren Katzen geben. Einer war so nett und hat mir gleich am nächsten Tag einen Stapel Rezepte und HIntergrundinformationen gebracht und das Buch “Katzen würden Mäuse kaufen – Schwarzbuch Tierfutter” von Hans-Ulrich Grimm. Der Rückentext verspricht “Ein brilliant recherchiertes Buch über die Tierfutterindustrie.” Was Grimm uns sagen möchte, bleibt offen, was ich sagen möchte, folgt nach dem Klick.