Berlin Calling. Bike answering.

That feeling of goosebumps on your arms when sun and win blend while you’re on your bike. That particular feeling, that one. There. It was me a week ago under a Summer day in Berlin.

I use my bike, sport in general, to keep my mind straight. It takes constance, abnegation and respect for the rules, and I like it like that because it helps my crazy head to stay alive.

I absolutely adore when I have free time to combine bike and photography, and this is the result of my past wanderings. I mainly went South, or followed the circular road around Berlin zone A, prophetically called  “The Ring”.

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Bonus: pics taken with mobile:

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Kreuzberg, beloved Kiez

Karneval der Kulturen is a celebration for all the different cultural associations in Berlin; they come in my neighbourhood, Xberg, once a year to party and parade along the street. It’s a very nice, messy and feeling-young event.

This year all the elements were in one mix: sun, heath, crowd, music, food, alcohol and “multikulti“.

I take this space now to focus on my point of view, meaning the lonely me walking in the streets with a camera, bumping across people every second, and looking at the infinite people looking at the Karneval from a terrace. Bliss.

I hope you enjoy this different ‘angle’.

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I loved these mothers with their children. There is so much Xberg in this pic.

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Who cares if you have a party going in- and outside your terrace when your neighbour is Kanye West playing a solo guitar??

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Many old people and couples enjoyed the view: so much life going on in the street, so much youth, an unique view for the weekend. I loved to see them involved from their window.

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A cheeky refreshening service for the community: this is how Xberg contributes to beat the heat (34 degrees are no joke around here)

A special mention to: This bloke. He was having the time of his life indeed.

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Dear stranger, life belongs to the curious. Come downstairs next time, and see yourself.

Did you enjoy these pics? Please find more ones about Karneval der Kulturen, stands and its street parade here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/60353299@N08/sets/72157644743713887/

Staatoper für alle!

Good weather is gracefully adorning Berlin this June.

Good weather, warm temperatures, positive feelings around East and West B.

Last Sunday I was right in the middle, in Mitte, for a great event for free: Staatoper für alle.

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Free music is already a good thing for a city, but what gives a more interesting twist is the fact that it’s made in the middle of city centre, by blocking one of the most important street from transports etc, just for the pleasure to occupy the square, Babelplatz, its street and surroundings. I must admitI really admire how organically my fellow citizens come for this kind of events; 95% of them, moreover, come super-organised, with chairs, blankets, food and drinks. I would rename the event *Bring Your Own Camping Chair Sunday* if I could! 🙂

I love it, it’s a kind of organised spontaneity you can see vividly in Germany.

I make an album of photos during the event, available here:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/60353299@N08/sets/72157644965237065/

Here following some beautiful people I found around me: We were 42.000 at the end. Wow.

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vez

February Highlights!

Hello friends!

It is now online on its special page the complete February section of my monthly favourites! Link for lazy bums here

We start as usual with a music compilation, quite referring love, hope and patience:

Furthermore, I spoke about flowers, movies, artist, and also the  dish of the month, a pretty healthy one this time.

Thanks to your suggestions I also included some new favourites: book, radio program/podcast, tv series and photography (well, the best, or most significant, photo I took during Feb.). I hope to keep it sharp, inspiring and relevant. Oh, keep in mind that every section has a link if you want to know more about the topic. 🙂 Just click here…

Enjoy and bring joy with you, always.

Val

Berlinale Mitte

February 9th 2014 was a windy Sunday, ruled by Berlinale and spinning clouds in an intense blue sky.

I love the effect a film festival provokes on a neighbourhood, Mitte, usually runs by offices, bureaucracy and mass of tourists. This Sunday was different, with an incredible amount of young people rushing to get to the screenings, less tourists, ice melting on the lakes and a genuine, quiet, positive vibe that Spring is coming soon.

The light in ‘der Himmel über Berlin‘ was too amazing not to do a cheeky photo-session, and results were beyond my expectations, so I posted a selection on my Flickr page, the best media for sharing photos without have to lose the quality.

Here’s the link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/60353299@N08/sets/72157640746003013/

Bis bald.

Berlin Festival of Lights

It is delightful to enjoy my city in the dark thanks to this festival, running for 10 days in October every year. The buildings and monuments get a new shape, thanks to fantastic, recreational lights that tell a story, a music, facts and events connected to the city.

This year, like last year, shame that the city centre and Unter den Linden were still sacrificed and closed due to the construction of a new underground line but I found incredible the show at Posdamer Platz.

I leave you a generous amount of pictures (WordPress quality permitting) to judge yourselves.

 

Gendarmenmarkt

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Alexanderplatz

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Berliner Dom

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Brandenburger Tor (and its Microsoft-ish Powerpoint-ish show in a sea of admiring tourists)

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U.S. Embassy

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Potsdamer Platz – Yay Pop Art!

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See you soon..

Potsdam

Get on Sbahn S7 and cross the city centre, from East to West. Buildings, monuments, politics graffitis, Tiergarten, houses, railways and then BOOM: the forest. One of the best part of the trip to Potsdam is the ride, indeed.

The forest and its calm, then Potsdam and its glory.

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It is really worth a day there, even if – unlucky me – it was raining all the time.

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The city centre shows pretty little houses, delightful shops and bistros: the vibes are so amazing. And there is the Dutch neighbourhood, with its tiny red-bricks houses, ivy and flowers at the windows. LO-VE-LY.

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You can be well impressed just by the centre, and then you walk into the royal park. Oh my days. Gardens, creeks, flowers and centenarian trees. Sanssouci Palace is announced by a very beautiful fountain and stairs along the terracing hill full of fruit plants. I really like the effect of this hilly terrace with the one floor yellow castle because I think it’s a superb way to exhibit the power without being pompous at all.

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The garden then takes you to the other castle, in a delightful space: the general feeling is a very pleasant well being, without being ‘too much’.

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The tourist touch is, however, present and vivid, I saw a man playing a flute dressed up like, dunno, 1600 century gentleman. The local mill I guess it’s the most visited thing in Potsdam too. I am not a big fan of tourist stuff and queuing up activities, but this royal park offers so much space also a grumpy lady like me can’t really complain at all.

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General feedback? Go and visit Potsdam.  Really. Choose a late Spring or Summer day, enjoy a picnic, dedicate some time to the centre. And later, when you will take the Sbahn back feeling so regenerated you will feel the urge to thank me. You’re welcome.

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Apologies for the piccies, my mobile camera gives not its best during grey rainy day.