Between Gothic churches, socialist buildings and abandoned houses, there are also shiny glass malls in Frankfurt (Oder). On top of those are restaurants with nice views. And on the other side of the river is Poland.
Like an idiot bird, I fly North in the winter. To the Baltic sea, in East Germany. I do like the melancholy atmosphere of the winter sea, the empty beaches and the feeling of being in a tourist destination, not just in the off-season, but in the dead season. In the this-shouldn’t-even-be-called-a-season season. The town, which I am sure is bustling with people in the summer months, is surprisingly normal in December. Like a cat, alone at home, doing its own thing, before the humans come back from work and start bugging it.
The first time I was in Berlin was 6 years ago.
The second was last week.
The first time I didn’t go in the Berlin Cathedral and up to its dome, I don’t remember why. Maybe there was no time, maybe it was closed. Regardless of the reason, I got the chance to correct my mistake this time.
I am in my boyfriend’s home town with him during a beautiful autumn weekend, with the leaves a shade of yellow and orange that I haven’t seen in Vienna yet, and the reason for me being there isn’t a happy one, but it’s important, and through my eyes he sees his city anew, he travels back in time with a fresh perspective, revisiting old memories which jump out at him from each street, each park bench and each bar, while I feel like an observer, like a messenger from his future, coming to take him away and to tell him that the road ahead awaits, full of adventure and pain and so much more. We are at the edge of Germany, we cross a bridge and we are in Poland with no border control, no one to look at our id and no one to stop us, we buy some beers, go look at a Wikipedia statue next to a sleeping homeless man and we cross the bridge back into Germany, me laughing about how this is the shortest time I’ve spend in a country and him telling me how he used to go out drinking, casually leaving the country for a few hours and I think what kind of an idyllic world is this, my parents would never have allowed me to pop in a different country like that, at that age, but then again, I didn’t have a different country half an hour away from my home, so we walk some more and talk about life and death and borders. And time. And what time can do to a place. And what a place can do to a person. And what a person can do with their time.
You can rarely visit a place more idyllic than a baroque palace, surrounded by a lake. Even writing these words I hear the birds chirping and the wind rustling the leaves of the royal trees. And while I’ve already visited plenty of castles around Europe, there won’t be a day where someone asks me “Hey, do you want to go check out this castle?” and I roll my eyes and answer “What? Another one?”. Which is why when my boyfriend asked me this question when we were visiting Dresden I answered “Pfsh, of course” and got on the bus.
Moritzburg began as a modest hunting lodge in the 16th century and grew from that. In the 18th century, the garden was added. There, you can really feel like a royal while eating your sandwich.
Last month I was invited by a company in Munich for a job interview and seeing how I didn’t have any other offers thrown at me at the time, I had to go and see if that could work out.
Continue reading “An autumn walk in Munich”