Berlin Wall Art

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the start of the Berlin Wall. For 28 years, the stark cement blocks of the notorious Berlin Wall reminded Germans and travelers to Germany that they were on the front lines of the Cold War. As the post-war western city rebuilt into its cement cage, the traumatized population began to express their anger and humor in paint.

What started out as graffiti on an architectural scar grew into extended visual commentaries on a divided nation caught up in the ultimate ideological battle. And then, in 1989, that battle ended. As Germans rushed to tear down their symbol of division, some realized a work of art was being destroyed as well – and that at least part of it was worth saving.


Krampus at the Christmas Market in Munich

Don’t miss the 2019 Krampus run around the Munich Christmas market. If you missed it on December 8, you have another chance on December 22, from 4-5 PM.

Ah, it’s December and the Christmas markets in Bavaria are in full swing. The Alps are shrouded in cool mist and half-timbered houses are decked out in twinkly lights and boughs of mistletoe. Locals are huddled ’round their fires drinking hot glühwein as holiday tunes float through the air.

Suddenly, the sound of synchronized cracking whips break the silence. Groups of Krampus and Perchten, Christmas devils and fur-clad Alpine monsters armed with bundles of twigs, rush into the crowded streets. The fiendish Christmas beasts dance through the crowds chasing rotten children and whipping them with stinging bundles of twigs. Adults laugh and stuff themselves with gingerbread as children run screaming in all directions. Yeah, Christmas in Germany has a bit of an edge. Continue…

International Berlin Beer Festival

International Berlin Beer Festival: Beer and Polish Sausage

Every August, Berliners and craft beer aficionados from all around the world flock to the center of Berlin for the amazing International Berlin Beer Festival, which – in 2017 – is from August 4 to 6. This year’s focus is on beer from the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, represented by two traditional breweries from Lübbecke and Bielstein.

Germany’s capital has been hosting this phenomenal beer fest for the last 21 years. The huge craft beer festival on Karl-Marx-Allee features over 344 breweries from 87 countries. While happy guests can sample from over 2,400(!) different kinds of beer, musicians on 19 stages entertain with everything from chill oompapa music to fiery Latin rhythms. And, there’s no admission! Continue…

Don’t Miss the Berlin Festival of Lights 2015

Berlin Festival of LIghts

The Berlin Festival of Lights just started this weekend and will continue until October 18. Although we aren’t currently in Berlin, we did want to take the opportunity to draw our visitors’ attention to the dates and encourage anyone in the area to hightail it to Berlin to check out one of our favorite yearly events. Photographers will definitely want to take in the 10-day festival… but don’t forget those tripods because all the action takes place after dark.

If you aren’t in the area or you want to get an idea of what the spectacular event looks like, check out our online gallery which is composed of shots taken during the 2012 and 2013 festivals. Very cool.

A Mad Dash to Germany

Thomas' family

Nomadic life has its ups and downs. One problem is that when there is a family emergency, we are often on the wrong part of the planet (although that is always the case for us because we can’t live in Germany and the U.S.A. at the same time.)

So when we discovered that Thomas’ dad was being rushed in for a bypass, Thomas had to catch a last minute Aeroflot flight via Moscow to Germany (when you’re in a rush, you take what you can get.) Due to delays in scheduling the bypass, Thomas ended up staying in Germany for almost a month. Luckily, he was able to stay with his sister Sabine and family, so he had the opportunity for some long overdue quality family time.

Coincidentally, Continue…

Wall on Wall

Wall on Wall Exhibition Israel | Occupied Palestinian Territories

One of the things I love most about Berlin is that every single time we go out for a walk, we discover something cool. The last time we strolled down to the East Side Gallery, we happened upon Kai Wiedenhöfer’s amazing Wall on Wall exhibition.

Kai, a photographer based in Berlin, traveled the world photographing the planet’s most notorious walls. From the DMZ separating the Koreas to the cement barriers of Baghdad to the vast stretches of wall that separate Mexico and the U.S., he’s seen and photographed them all.

But Kai needed the appropriate venue to display his photography. Where better than the world’s most beloved wall-gallery? The East Side Gallery, a living  Continue…

Further into the Reichstag

The Reichstag Dome

The Reichstag building with its massive steel and glass dome designed by Norman Foster is unquestionably the architectural highlight of Berlin. The building is also the ultimate symbol of German reunification and reconciliation as well as a profound architectural statement meant to symbolize the ideal of German governmental transparency. (Something we all need more of, right?)

Today most people make a beeline for the spectacular dome and never realize that there are several options for extended visits which include the interior of the main Reichstag building. Thomas and I took a 90-minute Art and Architecture tour of the Reichstag to delve a little further into this amazing piece of German history. I’ll admit that some of the modern art had me rolling my eyes, but the tours offer an incredible opportunity to access parts of the building that are off-limits to most visitors. Here’s a tiny sample of what we saw as well as tips on how to take an extended tour Continue…

Berlin Festival of Lights 2013

Berlin Festival of Lights 2013

Today marks the end of Berlin’s spectacular Festival of Lights, one of the city’s coolest annual events. Although the 12-day festival was marred by fairly rainy weather this year (that’s always a risk in October), we still managed to get some pretty cool shots. Potsdamer Platz, with its pop art projections, was the clear standout this year. Hotel de Rome’s classical art projections were also quite stunning. There seemed to be fewer animations and more still imagery on the buildings, which was a tiny bit of a disappointment. Don’t get lazy Berlin, get those animations ready for next year.

We’ve added eight additional images from this year’s festival to our Festival of Lights pictorial, so check it out.

Cranes Fill the Skies of Brandenburg

Cranes fill the skies of Brandenburg

The first week of October marks the beginning of one of Europe’s great spectacles as the skies of eastern Germany and western Poland fill will thousands of Eurasian cranes (Grus grus) flying from Scandinavia to North Africa. The epicenter of this natural event is Gartz, a small village on the border of Germany and Poland, which celebrates this natural wonder with its annual Crane Week (Kranichwoche in German.)

For a mere 3 Euros, local representatives of the Unteres Odertal National Park lead excursions into the surrounding countryside in search of flocks of cranes. They even provide the wildlife viewing scopes to get a good look at the cranes, which boast a 7-foot wingspan Continue…