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Berlin’s Festival of Lights

October 26, 2009

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Berlin is truly growing on me. Yesterday I checked out 3 markets: Arkona Platz; the flea market at Mauerpark; and the Kunst und Nostalgie Markt (Museuminsel/Museum Island). I had a mild panic attack when I saw a cute little retro chair that nodded towards Eero Arnio’s Pastille Chair. I don’t know who the designer is or what it’s called, but the guy wanted €350 for it… which is about, oh, €345 more than I can afford to spend on a chair at the moment. For pictures from the three markets, click here.

It’s my first ‘real’ autumn and I am loving it. It really is pretty; all the leaves turning mellow yellows, bright reds, and various shades of greens. Plus, Berlin has thawed slightly and I actually had to take both my jacket and my coat off whilst roaming yesterday; it was too warm!? Today is 13°C, whereas when I arrived, it was an unwelcoming 4°C or so. ‘Woo hoooo!’ I say.

The Festival of Lights 2009

After the markets, I decided to wander around the city. It was the final evening of the Festival of Lights (which started on the 14th of October and has nothing to do with Diwali apparently!). It was literally a festival… of lights. Not anything more or less really. They beamed coloured lights onto the plentiful monuments and places of interest that Berlin is home to. My favourite wasn’t actually one of the buildings, though; it was Unter den Linden (one of the main roads). Down the centre of this long road is a wide path banked on each side by linden trees (‘Unter den Linden’ literally translates to ‘under the linden trees’; notice a trend here? they don’t muck around with names and titles!). They lit up every tree from below, so that each tree was coloured differently to those next to it. Nothing garish; all greens, yellows, deep purples, reds and greenish blues.

….Unter den LindenThe lindens lit up

‘Twas very pretty and my crap camera did none of it justice. So frustrating!? Am psychotically bidding on DSLRs on eBay now. I’ve had enough of waiting. Can I afford it? Nope. My irrepressible, unchallengeable justifying abilities, however, have countered this question with a pivotal one of their own: ‘Can I afford not to?’ Aha! Good question! You see, I’m not going to be in Europe (let alone Berlin), forever, so really… I really should be taking advantage of the opportunity to photograph Berlin and all the other places I visit now… plus, even if I did return, these places will most definitely have changed in some respect or another. So really, the benefits do outweigh the costs… and hey, it’s not like I hate instant noodles…. Mmmyumm! Camera!

….Berlin's Fernsehturm (TV tower) lit up for the Festival of LightsAlex's giant lamp

….Brandenburger TorFestival of Lights - Brandenburger Tor

For more information on Berlin’s Festival of Lights, check out their website.

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