Saturday, 31 October 2009

Autumn Gold

A tree flaming with awesome autumnal colours. Liepnitzsee, by Wandlitz.

As usual, click for bigger and (c)opyright me!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Festival of Lights 2009

Not very nice evenings to be out taking photos of the Berlin landmarks lit up for the Festival of Lights - a bit cold and wet - but here are a few I took anyway!

The Kaiser William Memorial Church, Kurfürstendamm:

Berlin Hauptbahnhof:


Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin:

Berliner Gruselkabinett:

I noticed that this year they were using mostly energy-saving LED lighting, so at least the carbon-footprint of this annual spectacle is diminishing, thank goodness!

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Die Riesen Kommen! The Giants Are Coming!

The past four days have seen two giants wandering around Berlin searching for each other: a giant deep-sea diver and his niece, a kleine Riesin (small giantess).

No, I'm not making this up! The amazing spectacle was performed with two gargantuan puppets - the deep-sea diver is 9.5 metres or 31 feet tall and weighing 2.5 tonnes, the smaller girl only 5.5 metres or 18 feet tall and weighing 800kg - operated by a series of pulleys and cranes and a large team of liveried 'Lilliputian' puppeteers.

The event was part of the celebrations in Berlin for Germany's national holiday, 'der Tag der Deutschen Einheit', on 3rd October. Because this year is also the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the giant puppets enacted out across the city an allegorical tale about Berlin being torn in two, and one part being walled up, and uncle and niece being separated ... and so on. As allegories go it was all a bit straight forward. Anyway, today saw the two giants reunited and travelling to the river to then sail off down the Spree to live happily ever after in their newly constructed giant's house, or something.

If the fairy tale aspect of the spectacle got a bit lost between conception by the artist Jean-Luc Courcoult and realisation on the streets of the capital, nobody was complaining. In fact, hundreds of thousands of people (some reports say two million) came to cheer the lumbering procession of the giants who were deafeningly accompanied by clashing symbols, live music, and the periodic blast of a cannon by the giantess, which cascaded a shower of confetti and undelivered postcards and letters she had found after waking up (don't ask).

Here are some photos from the final day, which unfortunately was a bit overcast and showery. Not that the deep-sea diver giant, or the giantess in her sou'wester and raincoat, minded a bit of rain.










Adieu, Kleine Riesin!
Adieu, Tiefseetaucher!

Viel Spaß!

More photos of the giant marionettes in Berlin at jwoodhouse.com