I arrived yesterday at noon in Berlin for 4-month stay. It was sunny and about 15 centigrade - quite a pleasant welcome. Ben, the apartment owner was here to greet me and show me around the 4th floor apartment, not that that took very long as it's a 50 sq m studio apartment in a 1950s block on the edge of Tiergarten park, and I'd stayed there several times before. I spent the afternoon getting set up - network, writing setup, chromecast, shopping, clothes. It didn't take long. This morning I've started the planning for writing - The New Frontier - some mind maps, review of the story and characters in the last book. a review of the 20,000 words I've written so far in this book and some research plans.
I've been down to the Zoologischer Garten / Kurfurstendamm area several times since I arrived (just one stop and two minutes on the S-Bahn) as it's the closest shopping area to my apartment. Today the weather has reverted back to a cold, windy, 9 centigrade with overcast skies - just like Ireland. I went to the Helmut Newton photographic museum. Newton was a prolific photographer who specialised in fashion and nude photography from the 1960s to the 1990s. The museum also holds a collection of portraits by his wife, June, known as Alice Springs.
The Zoo Garten area is a hodge-podge of old and new buildings shops, apartment buildings, and offices juxtaposed with a street market, a central bus station , the zoo (which I have no desire to see: animals in captivity) and blighted by seemingly never-ending construction work. (reminds me of the Luas works in Dublin)
The Kaiser Wilheim Memorial Church - the remains of a World War 2 bombed out church, serving as a reminder of war, sits beside a 1960s brutalist concrete church which I think looks hideous on the outside, but the interior is surprisingly serene with it's walls lined with tiny blue windows forming a backdrop to a large, seemingly floating, golden statue of Christ (see photo). When I visited there were operatic singers, practising for a later performance which added to the athmosphere.