Berlin Writing Trip - March 2018 to August 2018

4th March to 8th March 2018

 Alexanderplatz, my first stop coming from the airport

Alexanderplatz, my first stop coming from the airport

On previous writing trip, I've posted a blog entry most days and occasionally posted on Facebook. This year I'm reversing that process, so I'm posting on Facebook most days and then every five or six days I'll gather all Facebook posts into one larger blog post with lots of photos and post it here to a wider audience.

 I like to travel light, so this is all I'm taking with me for my 5-month trip: 1 carry on duffel bag for clothes and a small backpack for MacBook, iPad, Sony Camera and some chargers. It's surprising how little you really need.

I like to travel light, so this is all I'm taking with me for my 5-month trip: 1 carry on duffel bag for clothes and a small backpack for MacBook, iPad, Sony Camera and some chargers. It's surprising how little you really need.

I was supposed to fly into Berlin on 1st March but due to a snow storm in Ireland, my flight was cancelled and the next flight I could arrange was on Monday 4th March. So I flew into Berlin on last Monday evening.  This time I'm staying on the East side of Berlin in Friedrichshain. I know this area has a name as being party central (and I'm not really a party guy) but the apartment is in a quiet enclave but with lots of restaurants and (clubs) close by.

 Flying over snowy Ireland on my way to Berlin on 4th March 2018

Flying over snowy Ireland on my way to Berlin on 4th March 2018

I'm staying about 5-minutes from  Warshauer Straße Station and it's good for train shots: This was on a cool crisp bright morning. One of the things I like about Berlin is the grunginess of it and you certainly get that at Warshauer Straße.

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 "Into the Light". Exiting Warshauer Straße S-Bahn station, construction tunnel into the light of the streets.

"Into the Light". Exiting Warshauer Straße S-Bahn station, construction tunnel into the light of the streets.

I like to walk around the city taking shots of people, buildings, objects, anything of interest. This trip I'm mostly using my iPhone X as the camera and the ProCamera app, both are excellent. Of course, I also have my trusty Sony RX 100 III which is a super high-quality compact camera in my backpack. It's small, light but perfectly formed - I prefer it to my Sony A7 full frame camera because I always have it with me, whereas I only occasionally bring the A7 as it's bigger and heavier.

 Vintage camper at Boxhagener Platz park.

Vintage camper at Boxhagener Platz park.

Two painted mannequins in the window of a quirky little cafe called “Weinerei” where I had lunch today with some of the people from the Writer’s Meet-up.

I was at my first Writer’s Meet-up today on this new writing trip to Berlin where I’m writing the third book in my crime/spy trilogy.

Writers from Germany, Poland, USA, UK and Ireland joined the meeting where we wrote for about 90 minutes. As I was well prepared, I wrote about 3000 words (12 pages) today, which is twice my daily target of 1500 words.

It was great to catch up with my friends who I met here last year when I was writing Book 2. I’ll be going to the meet-ups three times a week for the next few months.

 Two painted mannequins in the window of a quirky little cafe called Weinerei

Two painted mannequins in the window of a quirky little cafe called Weinerei

One of the countless alleyways in Berlin which are covered in posters, murals, and graffiti tagging. It feels like there is a vast population in Berlin which wants to communicate by public images, despite the fact that it is illegal and punishable by fines of more than €7000. The murals are great but I’m not hot on the senseless graffiti tagging.
On my way back to my apartment yesterday evening I took a detour along the East Side Gallery, the stretch of about a mile of the Wall which is painted with murals. Many of them have been repainted recently as they had been covered in years of tagging.

 Alleyway with layers of murals and graffiti 

Alleyway with layers of murals and graffiti 

 Freshly re-painted murals on the East-side gallery

Freshly re-painted murals on the East-side gallery

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 One of the many new building opposite the Berlin Wall East-side gallery

One of the many new building opposite the Berlin Wall East-side gallery

More images from the Berlin Wall East Side Gallery: A car breaking through the wall and a locked gate giving a view of the Spree river at the other side of the wall.

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One of the paintings on the Wall which they haven't repainted yet. As you can see it's suffering from terminal graffiti tagging 

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When I looked down that street today all I could think was Van Morrison “The Bright Side of the Road”

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In summary, things are going well here and I wrote about 50 pages (12000 words)  of the new book this week, and I'm also getting to do a bit of street photography.