Last Days in Berlin

On the 26th I went to the Potsdamerplatz area and had a look at the Philharmonie before going to the Gemaldegallerie. I’d heard and read a good deal about the Philharmonie, prinicipally, I suppose, as being the home of the Berlin Philharmonic, and was curious to see it. But it’s no Musikverein. In fact it’s rather unattractive. Angular and full of concrete in 1960’s fashion, white on the bottom and brown chunks on top, it looked like a vast portion of Salzburger Nockerln as painted by Georges Braque. There was a concert going on as we went by, so we couldn’t see the hall itself. Continue reading


A Sicilian Christmas in Berlin

Here are some notes from Christmas Day.

Woke up around 8, had breakfast of pandoro and cafe-latte. Around 9:30 we opened presents and spoke to family. Then Lidia was put to bed and I went for a walk around the neighbourhood. A number of restaurants were open and had customers; a few churches I passed had some visitors looking around curiously; and saw the Lucifer Travel Agency (advertised as ‘Devilishly Good!’). I came back about 12:00 and rested a while; ate a few of Robin’s home-made cookies and prepared for lunch. Continue reading

Christmas Eve in Berlin

Brandenburger Tor.

We took a walk around the Regierungsviertel, starting from the Hauptbahnhof and walking past the Reichstag (above) and across to Parisierplatz by the Brandenburger Tor. Had lunch at a little Italian place near Potsdamerplatz and then walked down the Wilhelmstrasse. As on previous days, I was amazed at the number of bullet pock-marks that scar a lot of the buildings; some have been plastered over, but the Continue reading

A short walk around Berlin

Lidia helping me update my blog.

Stopped for coffee and macarons at La Duree in the new Galleries Lafayettes on Friedrichstrasse. Quite good. Lidia’s first taste of macarons.

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A few more pics from Berlin; I’ll write it up later.

Lidia surfing on my suitcase; Scout sniffing Lidia’s hair. For some reason Lidia really liked my suitcase; whenever I returned to our room, she marched after me and climbed onto the suitcase, either standing on it Continue reading


A few pictures from my trip to Paris in November.

This was at the huge market of Clignancourt. I went in the morning intending to stay just a few hours, and ended up staying most of the day. It’s absolutely enormous, divided into numerous sections, each specializing in certain goods. I quite liked that one little street will be lined with gaudy, glitzy antiques, Continue reading