Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Day 62: Rainy Day

It's that time of year when it's cold enough to snow, but when the precipitation comes, it warms up. That's the forecast for this week. 30s and cold, but when the rain comes, it'll be in the 40s.

So, what happens to all the wonderful sidewalk-dining in the winter? I see most restaurants have awnings that they lower down to help keep patrons dry. I have seen a few heaters, but mostly, I see blankets on the backs of chairs. To the left, not the best photo, sorry, is a café that has white blankets and British-flag blankets set out on the backs of the chairs. This way, patrons can sit outside and snuggle under a blanket if they are cold. This seems to be very common at all the restaurants that have outside seating.

When we completed the audio tour at the Reichstag, we heard that there was a stone path from the Reichstag to the Brandenburger Tor that represents where The Wall used to be. We haven't seen this yet. But, as I was on my morning walk, I noticed a stone path crossing the sidewalk. Another reminder that I haven't seen it all even though I've been walking this way for months! I'm guessing this is similar to what the audio tour was talking about.

As I continue to walk, I see a couple looking down at a spot on the sidewalk. Over what looks like a mini-manhole cover (12 inches in diameter?) I have walked passed these as well, not really noticing them, thinking they were some sort of utility cover. But, as I see this couple intently looking, I take a closer look at another one up the block. They represent successful escapes. They have the date of the escape and name of the person/s who escaped (and a reference number).

The stones representing The Wall (left and middle)
B338, Flucht (middle-right)
C400 Flucht eine Person (a person)  (right)

Random: There are a lot of birds helping to "clean up" after the weekends of crowds that frequent Mauerpark. The love to pick through the trash. I keep wishing a dog would run through the massive bird groups, but they don't (darn trained dogs). So, I tried to walk through them to get them to fly. Kind of funny.

Remember the woman's face painted on the wall at Mauerpark? When I first saw it, I overhead one guy tell another that it was already there for two weeks (with the impression that this was a "miracle" because none of the art ever lasts that long on this part of the wall). Well, it has only NOW been painted over. So, that was 2 months of it being virtually untouched. Someone finally had the nerve to paint over it.. and then a day later someone painted over THAT person's art. So, it's gone in a blink after lasting so long.

Top left and middle = 2 months ago
Top right = 1 month ago
Bottom left = two days ago
Bottom right = today

Here's the iconic Fraternal Kiss recreation that exists at the Ost-West-Café (East-West). The East Side Gallery painting inspired by the 1979 photograph. Anyway, I missed it at the East Side Gallery, but I walk by this rendition almost every day. Along with the image is an orange Trabi and Polizei car.

Fall colours are becoming more vibrant.

And I just want to take a moment to talk about parking, here in Berlin. I a soooooo glad that I do not drive here. I have not missed a car. Not once. And I definitely don't missing trying to parallel park. I see what these Berliners have to do and I can't even imagine trying it myself. There are other streets where you park perpendicular to the sidewalks, but there are many of these parallel situations where I just don't even understand how they do it (all with the pressure of the tram coming down the street along with 20 bicycles). Just look at the photos below and tell me if you could get in or out of that tight spot? Side note: I have seen lots of drivers go onto the curb to help them park in these tight spots. But still, crazy.

So, I am, gratuitously showing a few photos of my new boots (with me in them). And a photo of my new maroon jacket from Patagonia. AND, a shot of what I'm now wearing during my morning walks. I did not bring enough cold weather items for exercising, so I'm wearing Chris' running gloves, his running-rain jacket, my compression socks under my knicker-running pants. And my puffy vest underneath it all. I look silly, but it helps my legs from freezing and keeps my chest, arms, and hands nice and warm. I just pretend no one can see me... or that I'm about to go play baseball.

Green boots (left), maroon boots (middle), jogging-basballer (right)

So, today was a rest day. Venice made more Bubble Tea creations. I caught up, mostly, on the blog.

I did get a notice that Chris' coworkers will NOT be coming over this week. But before I could feel sad that I went through all that cleaning effort, we were asked by management if they could show our apartment to a prospective renter (who wants it for 6 months) tomorrow at 4:30pm. So, it's a good thing I did clean! Phew!

The kids and I decide to go to Tommie's Burgers (a favourite place, for sure). They do make the best milkshakes in town (that we've tried thus far).

Seriously, that's all we did today.

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