Photo Essay: Berlin in the Sun

by Ekua on July 31, 2012 in captured on memory card,Germany

Weather is treated unfairly. If you like to talk about it, you run the risk of being labeled B-O-R-I-N-G. But I am always intrigued by weather and the noticeable way it shapes the psyche of a place. It’s hard to imagine the grunge era taking root in in Seattle without its dark damp winters or the simultaneous slowness and spiciness of many tropical places of the world without the heat and wet air and the plant life that flourishes because of that.

Though I prefer mild weather, I’m particularly fascinated by the charming fervor with which cities that tend to have disagreeable weather approach pleasant days. For example, here in San Francisco, it can be depressing when the city is swallowed up by July fog knowing that 30 or so miles away, it’s 30 degrees warmer. But when the fog peels back and the temperature raises a few degrees, you know everyone will passionately take to the streets and parks and the city’s energy will be electrifying.

After having much of the first two thirds of my Berlin trip dominated by rain and a chilliness I wasn’t prepared for, the last portion of my time in Berlin was mostly filled with brilliant sunshine. Berlin seemed like a different place than when I first arrived and I loved seeing the recognizable way the city celebrated the turn in the weather. During those last few days, the sun lit up the Berlin scenery as well as the Berliners:

Bubbles at Alexenderplatz in Berlin

Kids jump with excitement as a man creates giant bubbles in Alexanderplatz.

Sky reflection on a highrise building in Berlin

The reflection of sky and clouds on a high rise building.

A scenic section of the Spree River in Berlin

A great scenic spot along the River Spree.

Alexanderplatz in Berlin

Alexanderplatz and the Fernsehturm (television tower), one of Berlin’s most recognizable structures.

Doctor's office in Rixdorf, Berlin

A bird perches on a sign in a garden at a business in the Rixdorf neighborhood of Neukölln.

Trabant on a street in Neukolln, Berlin

A Trabant, a GDR era car parked on a street in Neukölln.

Unique items at a thrift store in Neukolln, Berlin

Strange items for sale at a used goods store in Neukölln.

Grunderzeit architecture in Neukolln, Berlin

Gründerzeit era buildings in Neukölln.

Stack of cobblestone in Neukolln, Berlin

A pile of cobblestone to fix a portion of a road in Neukölln.

Iron post in Richardplatz, Berlin

A cast iron post in the Richardplatz, the Bohemian village center of the Rixdorf neighborhood of Neukölln.

Wrought iron fence in Rixdorf, Berlin

A wrought iron fence in Rixdorf.

View across a river in Berlin

We picked up sandwiches at an underground station (many of them conveniently have decent quick eateries inside) and sat by the river to have lunch.

The Berlin Cathedral

The character of the Berlin Cathedral seemed very different on this lovely day than when I saw it on rainy days earlier in my trip.

People gathering on the Berlin Cathedral lawn

Groups of friends gather on the lawn in front of the Berlin Cathedral.

Street performers in Berlin

A mother and baby take a moment to enjoy a pair of street performers.

Tango by the River Spree in Berlin

Tango dancing by the River Spree.

Museum Island in Berlin

Museum Island and the TV tower in the distance.

Man selling used goods in Berlin

A man sets up tables of used goods at Museum Island.

Vintage cameras in Berlin

Vintage cameras for sale.

Detail on the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin

Catching a moment of sunset light on the exterior detail of the Martin-Gropius-Bau building after viewing a photography exhibit inside.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures July 31, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Looks like such a beautiful city! I was all over Germany, except for Berlin.

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Ekua August 1, 2012 at 12:22 am

To be honest, I don’t think it’s that beautiful of a city overall (especially compared to some of the other big cities in Europe), but it does have its pretty spots, some of which are featured here!

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hannahinhanoi August 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Oh, Ekua! You should visit Minneapolis, Minnesota. First of all, bad weather does not keep the Minnesotans down. They have to deal with snow, ice, cold and wind for many months so, when the streets are filled unplowed, they just put on their skis and go. They’ll bundle up and ski across a lake for exercise then, the minute the ice melts, they’re in a kayak. I’m so glad I had the chance to live there; I don’t take the weather for granted and think it is a perfectly acceptable topic of conversation.

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Ekua August 6, 2012 at 1:46 am

I dislike cold and snow and I’m a wimp about it. In what you’re describing, I’d probably cry if I had to leave shelter in such conditions 😛 I stick to visiting northerly places in their supposedly “warm” seasons.

I love weather talk… it really can be the ultimate in small talk, but understanding weather in a certain spot and how local people respond to it is key to understanding certain places!

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