Sunday, 26 July 2009
Anyway, here are some photos I took today of just a few of them (I am not going to try and name them, though I am at least certain of the peacock and the painted lady ones! If anyone wants to try, you are more than welcome. p.s. click on a photo to biggify):
Thursday, 23 July 2009
Yesterday we went to see KMFDM at FritzClub im Postbahnhof. This partially bombed out complex of railway buildings and warehouses was originally built as an adjunct to the nearby Ostbahnhof in the early twentieth century in order to handle incoming and outgoing mail for the whole of the German Reich. Nowadays of course we all email, sms txt, and twitter so much less snail mail is sent by rail, and the buildings have either been left to decay or renovated into exhibition spaces or club venues.
Thursday, 16 July 2009
And rather than sheep, the main livestock farmed here is fish, as commemorated by this charming statue:
These tin statues are all over Lübbenau by the way. I don't know if the Council got a job lot of scrap metal and a bored artist looking for a commission or what, but the bizzarist collection of them is the Sagenhafte Brunnen (= 'fabulous/fantastic/fabled fountain') in front of the church. This supposedly depicts characters from the Mythenwelt of the Spreewald. Illustrated here on the right for example is the Baumkönig (= 'tree king'):
Lübbenau also has an impressive Schloss, now with a conference centre, restaurant, and 'wellness' area.
Beyond the heady urbanism of the town and castle, the land is very rural, and the water-meadows are dominated by haystacks that seem to be distinctive to the Spreewald (my Beloved, bless her, thinks that when you aren't looking they stand up and walk around!):
As you might expect, the region abounds in wildlife, including white storks such as this one nesting on top of the fire station in the nearby village of Lehde:
Lehde itself is a picture postcard kind of place which must survive almost entirely on tourism, especially through punted tours around the canals:
Ah yes, the punt boats. Probably the most relaxing way to see the Spreewald area. Or most boring depending on your point of view. Though they do usually carry a plentiful supply of schnapps and beer if you tire of the peaceful scenery.
One word of warning though: if you do go to the Spreewald in Summer, be sure to take some jungle-strength bug repellent. We did, but we still managed to be bitten and came up with red wheals on our arms and legs which lasted a week!
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Here is a photo of the water lily on our small pond. We only planted it this year as a small lump of root, and didn't expect anything until it had matured for a few years. But it has put out a beautiful flower and lots of lily pads for the water-skaters to sit on and the newts to shade under. (click on images for bigger).
No other news. Just thought I'd share this with you!
Tuesday, 14 July 2009
- any recyclable metal such as bottle tops, aluminium foil, tin cans, aerosol cans etc.
- juice, drink, and milk cartons; vacuum packaging; cellophane wrapping.
- carrier bags*, crisp packets, and sweet or chocolate bar wrappers.
- non-Pfand plastic bottles, such as shampoo bottles, washing up liquid bottles, etc.
- margarine cartons, yoghurt pots, kartoffelsalat containers etc.
- bubble-wrap, expanded foam containers, burger cartons etc.
- Zeitungen - newspapers
- Zeitschriften - magazines and journals
- Illustrierte - glossy magazines
- Taschenbücher - paperback books
- Kataloge - catalogues
- Prospekte - flyers and handouts
- Kartonagen (Pappe) - cardboard containers
- Schachteln - cardboard boxing
- Tapeten - wallpaper
- Tetra Pak - those cartons your milk etc comes in
- Plastik - Plastics
- Hygienepapiere - sanitary paper and towels
- Bücher mit Platikband - books with plastic binding
- Eirkartons - egg cartons
- sonstiger Müll - other rubbish - the getout clause so you don't put radio-active waste in
Saturday, 4 July 2009
Today we visited nine countries, namely:
OK, more accurately we visited the embassies of nine countries.
Today a lot of the embassies in Berlin (a lot more than just those we visited) opened their doors to visitors and showed off their food, national costumes, music, and tourism and trade opportunities.
This was successful to varying degrees, so Venezuala gave you free food and a tot of rum, free posters and other goodies, a tombola raffle, Venezualan music, the chance to try on Venezualan headresses and hats, and a film show about the country.
Malta meanwhile just had a man dressed rather silly (see above right).
Malaysia put on the most colourful and interesting display:
And had the most tempting food (unfortunately not free!).
It would have been better if the embassies you really wanted to have a peek inside were open. Fortress USA for example, or the magnificent gold-adorned Russian embassy. Or the British Embassy of course, just to let them know we were still here.
Just to remind you that you were still in Berlin though, between embassy visits we took the 100 bus past Tiergarten, where from the top-deck you got a view of a group of thirty or so naked people lounging uninhibited in the park.
Some of the embassy displays weren't so successful; the Zimbabwian one might have been more welcoming if they didn't have portrait photos of Robert Mugabe staring down at you from every room. And the Iraqian embassy was the only one where you had to sign in. Still, the All Nations Festival was an interesting affair, and we had a good day out in the company of a great bunch of people here to do a Masters Accountancy course (or something like that. They have exams the following week, so good luck guys!).
And the prize for the widest dress goes to ... Panama!