Friday, 29 July 2016

Brilliantly Berlin

Last week I decided it was time to escape London and spend a long weekend discovering and enjoying the delights of the brilliant city, Berlin. Having flown into Berlin, many times, but only spending 12 hours in the city altogether, it was about time to really immerse myself, so that is exactly what I did! 

Flying in on Thursday morning I was greeted with beautiful sunny skies and hot temperatures as the heat wave in London travelled with me to Germany. Stepping off the plane at Tegel and heading into the centre I was automatically struck by the huge sense of relief,  I had left London. I haven't posted much in the last month, to be honest, I haven't had many words to describe the events of the past month, but as I put my first step onto European soil (Airport tarmac), I felt like I was home. A warm openness embraced me, a feeling London had lacked for sometime now and it made me realise just how far as a city we need to grow, I really was having a Brexit holiday!

Everyday was filled with a wealth of walking, research and inspiration. From the moment I arrived into the city to the moment I left, I soaked up everything Berlin had to offer. Thursday and Friday saw days full of culture, visiting many exhibitions, CO Berlin, with its excellent show by Adam Jeppesen to the Martin-Gropius-Bau Berliner Festspiele, and the out of this world No It Is! show by William Kentridge. The Kentridge exhibition was more than words can explain. It is as if you are transported into his mind, pushed and pulled in every direction, every sense touched and expanded. There is such energy to his work, a fluidity that is hard to beat and an awareness of how sound and visuals interlink, they draw out the deepest depths of your psyche. I was taken beyond inspiration, into a world where everything was possible. Astounding.

Saturday and Sunday saw many a breakfast, lunch and dinner with friends in the sun. From Mitte, to Kreuzberg to Brandenburger Tor to a trip to Berliner Fernsehturm I walked the city and enjoyed the wide open streets, gazed into the distant histories still present and took time to really contemplate the dark days that city had seen, through the concrete columns of the Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas. It was a trip that was filled with all the things that make me feel alive and reminds me of how dark days still linger closer than we'd like. It's why tolerance, inclusion and solidarity are ever more important in our changing political landscape. Berlin you are beautiful.

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