Since leaving Berlin, I have only been back in Germany for Christmas. White Christmases are a thing of the past now, and that time of the year, reluctantly accepts a sullen, dreary weather, as do most Europeans. This is the kind of weather that serves you as a grave reminder of the brutality of a European winter, conveniently used in those world war movies where a lone, brave soldier holds post day after day. It is that weather that once compounded the painful loss I felt, at the death of a childhood friend. I cried that afternoon, riding the tram and walking the street to my apartment in Leipzig, probably the only time tears have rolled down my face in public. It is this weather that made my steps heavier when I walked through a patchwork of stone, snow and dying grass on a cemetery floor, after bidding adieu to someone I held dear. Needless to say, I prefer Germany in the summer, a sight I hadn't seen for a while and was secretly harbouring a longing for.
So, a few months ago when I could travel to a glorious German summer, I did.
It was only a handful of days, but enough to have my heart's full of everything I love about a German summer- grilling in a garden, kayaking in the river, eating gelato in die innenstadt (the inner city), sipping wine on a rooftop with friends, walking to little castles in little towns on no one's map. I did it all this time! And I spent 2 whole days in my favourite city Berlin, a luxury when nearby Leipzig demands all my time during every visit. One of the two days was set aside for a best friend, who moved to Berlin shortly after I left the city. I can't even imagine how exciting my time in Berlin would have been, was she there the same time as me.
Nevertheless, the day I spent with her was beautiful. It started with breakfast at Linnen, a place that has featured in these pages before. A substantial part of the day was spent in the 'regierungsviertel', an area not too far from my old Berlin residence, yet unexplored in a way that I did with K. Regierungsviertel translates to the Government quarter. This is where you would find the Bundestag, the parliament, Angie's offices along with many other ministeries. It is also close to the main train station, the iconic Brandenburger Tor, the Spree and not too far away, the Potsdamer Platz. Also the Indian Embassy, one of my favourite buildings in Berlin!
K and I are conversation-suckers, the kinds that talk the world while walking, eating, changing diapers (she does, not me), shampooing the other's hair, sniffling and crying at heartbreaks, cooking, and as now proven, while photographing too. I invited K to a photowalk through the Regierungsviertel, a rich concentration of awe-inspiring architecture. While our conversation didn't suffer that day, my photography did, a bit. I ended up taking fewer pictures than I normally do. Yet, our photo walk covered Kronprinzbrücke by Calatrava, Schweierische Botschaft by Paul Otto Baumgarten, Bundeskanzleramt and the Reichstag u-bahn station by architects Schultes & Frank, Paul-Löbe-Haus and Marie-Elisabeth-Lüder-Haus by Stephan Braunfels and the Bundestag Kindergarten by Peichl. We had to leave the Norman Foster designed Reichstag, Gehry's DZ Bank and Peter Eisenman's memorial to murdered Jews for the next photo walk, all that I have seen before. Here are a few pictures of what I did manage to shoot.