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Russia in the news

Posted 21 January 2009 - Amstelveen (NL):

Even compared to the most culturally distant nations in Europe, Russia remains at least twice as different from Western Europe.

From what I have learnt, Russian culture is very passionate in both the positive and the negative sense. Traditions, etiquette and loyalty are very important. So is power. Crush the system or be crushed by it - possibly even in the most physical way.

The most dangerous jobs in Russia seem to be the ones that make their practitioners `stand out` or `stand up`. Lawyers, journalists and intellectuals, they all need to get themselves covered for what they do. They either have to operate under the radar, or they have to be so incredibly popular and well-known that they can feel feel secured by the public opinion or by leading politicians. But the public is not always sufficiently well-informed to have an opinion at all - they have got their own stuff to worry about - and leading politicians tend to save their loyalty for their superiours rather than their protegees. Complicated stuff and, more importantly, hardly predictable, for insiders as much as for outsiders.

(© Berlin - DE, January 2009)
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Lots of stuff

Posted 20 January 2009 - The Hague (NL):

Choosing hope over fear. Sounds nice and reasonable. May the choice be made collectively and may it last long. Now back to everyday life in The Netherlands.

Or maybe first to Copenhagen. My Danish colleague Simon Hoegsberg just informed me about the completion of his most recent project. It`s called `We`re all gonna die: One hundred metres of existence` and it shows random passers-by on a summer`s day in Berlin. And once you make it to Simon`s page: take care of also seeing some of his other projects. This man is producing cool stuff.

For myself: I have been allowed to submit photos for the World Press Photo competition, which I take as a compliment in itself. I have no pretentions to winning anything, just being part of the whole thing is enough.. for this time :)

Then, I recently traced down an(other) article in Czech newspaper Lidove Noviny which deals with the Us Europeans project. It`s difficult to read for non-native Czechs but my friend Pavel translated the entire (!) article and even recorded this translation in an audio-file. This is stuff for die-hard Us Europeans fans!

What else is new... I have spent most of the last days working on the finalisation of the bid book for photo exhibition Crossroad Europe. Presentations of the results are planned for Tue 27 Jan in Luxembourg and Thu 29 Jan in The Hague. In between now and then, the booklets need to get printed, stitched together, I need to be in Brussels for something else on Sunday and Monday. Anyway.. Hectic times but all very inspiring, exciting and worthwhile. Keep following!

Photo below: Tranquillizer material.

(© Berlin - DE, January 2009 )
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Even more of Berlin

Posted 6 January 2009 - The Hague (NL):

Whenever I am in a city, I always like to see things that are typical for that city.

I am thinking of the little `Amsterdammer` traffic posts in Amsterdam, marks on the road (PAYANT for paid parking in Paris), traffic signs in general and everything that has to do with the subway system: the colour of the trains, the appearance of the metro tickets, the signs indicating the entrances (as below) or even the colours and font types used at the stations.

(© Berlin - DE, January 2009)
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More of Berlin

Posted 5 January 2009 - The Hague (NL):

I`m already back home in The Hague, but here`s another photo from Berlin:

(© Berlin - DE, January 2009)
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Early morning Plattenbau

Posted 4 January 2009 - Berlin (DE):

Yesterday morning, we got up very early to be able to take photos of sunrise in the Marzahn area.

This area is known for the greyish communist buildings, also known as Plattenbau, which - according to Wikipedia - turns out to be a Dutch invention from the 1920s.

(© Berlin - DE, January 2009)
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Snowfights in Berlin

Posted 3 January 2009 - Berlin (DE):

We`re enjoying the Berlin winter weather.

Here`s a picture of one of the many snow fights between Robin and Sanne, right in front of the East Side Gallery: one of the few pieces of Berlin Wall that have survived `die Wende`.

(© Berlin - DE, January 2009)
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Hello from Dzjermeny

Posted 2 January 2009 - Berlin (DE):

Reporting from Berlin:

Here`s a photo of my cousin checking out the change of train locomotive at the Dutch-German border.

(© Bad Bentheim - DE, January 2009)
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Berlin ahead

Posted 3 December 2008 - The Hague (NL):

Another visit to Berlin ahead!

From 1 until 4 January, I will be in Berlin with Sanne and my cousin Robin (with whom I also went to Paris 2.5 years ago: archive photo). Curious to see in which ways Berlin has changed since my last visit(s) in July of this year. For sure, there will be little traces of the Palast der Republik. Its demolition was completed a couple of weeks ago (see archive photo from March 2006).

(© Berlin - DE, February 2006)
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Ready for take-off

Posted 1 September 2008 - The Hague (NL):

It`s the first of September. As it had been planned for the last couple of months, today is my first day at work. Or: at the café on the corner, because I do not have internet at home yet, and there is no official office so far.

So what am I going to do after one year of travelling around Europe? It`s one of the questions I got faced with almost as often as `which country did you like best? `..

I`m going to work as an investment consultant, scouting small companies with smart ideas . The purpose of the operation is to help them grow quicker by providing them with money. Not mine, because I haven`t got lots left.. It`s money saved up by investment funds - owned by people who want to invest money rather than save it. My job will consist of making sure that the investments yield (much) higher results than the interest rates on a regular savings account.

Of course, I also created a new website associated with this new activity: read more about it at

(© Frankfurt am Main - DE, July 2008)
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Miniature world

Posted 28 July 2008 - Frankfurt am Main (DE):

I spent most of today walking around the airport of Frankfurt, which is also where I took this photo. I like how the people look small and the world looks big.

(© Frankfurt - DE, July 2008)
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26 days of Europe ahead

Posted 5 July 2008 - Berlin (DE):

Time is ticking away for the Us European project. 26 more days to go and the simple act of knowing that the journey will be over soon is actually giving me a lot of freedom. In the same way I felt really free last year at this time. There`s no dissatisfaction, just the pleasure of being able to change to a different rhythm again, to get used to something new and to reprocess thoughts and experiences in another way than typing articles for two hours everyday. And so I am even better able to enjoy the places that I will visit in the next weeks.

I planned the following stops for the coming days: Rostock (DE), Fakse (DK - because very funny name. I will look if there are any family members of Flossekakken living there, maybe Fikse Kwinkslag or Vunze Vadzig), Kopenhagen (DK), Lund (SE), Kopenhagen (DK), Roskilde (DK), Odense (DK) and Arhus (DK). Rest remains unknown but the general idea is to head south from Esjberg.

I reported about the old American Embassy last week, not knowing at the time that the new one would be openened on the 4th of July. That`s done now. Local critics about the building are not much different from my ideas about the old building (protection, security and protection), but at least the new one doesn`t require any streets to be sealed off.

Photo: nothing straight

(© Berlin - DE, July 2008)
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Building walls

Posted 1 July 2008 - Berlin (DE):

Positive-minded people think that building walls is something of the past. It`s something evil people do, or something paranoid people do. And Embassies of the USA, everywhere across Europe. The example of Berlin no longer counts, as the building in this photo is no longer in use. It was probably not safe enough.

(© Berlin - DE, July 2008)
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All well in Germany

Posted 30 Jun 2008 - Berlin (DE):

Hello from Berlin! It`s nice to spend some time in what I think may well be the most European capital in all of Europe. The giant new Central Station is another confirmation of Berlin`s function as a Europan crossroad. I am happy to see people cycling in the streets again, to see windmills even though it`s the modern type, to see proper ice creams and to hear lots of different languages in the streets. Just about everything seems to be different from Poland here…

Photo: Entrance of Tempelhof Airport in the middle of Berlin. It was constructed in the 1930s, became famous in Western Europe because of its role in the Air Bridge between West Berlin and Western Europe. The future of Tempelhof is now the subject of major discussions. Once Berlin`s new airport Brandenburg will be opened, the very few flights that now serve Tempelhof could easily be transferred to Brandenburg.

Those who want Tempelhof to close down claim that it is causing pollution and noise in the centre of the city, while only serving a very small public of politicians and businessmen. Those who want the airport to remain open claim that the location of the airport is unique, as much as its history is. They do not want to see a city airport relocated to a major hub `out there in the province`.

My idea would be to close commercial operations, keep the buildings and especially keep the runways. Then plant trees along the runways and wait for them to grow in to a park. 20 Years of changing decors guaranteed (small trees growing big) and the end result will be a park like I have never seen before.

(© Berlin - DE, June 2008)
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Helloh from Dzjurmanie

Posted 6 May 2008 - Munich (DE):

I used a quick jump out of Austria to Germany to collect my brother from the railway station in Munich. We spent most of the day sleeping in the English park, as my brother had not slept on the night train and I had not slept to make sure I could catch the 5 o`clock train from Innsbruck. Plans for the next days: Salzburg, Graz, Vienna.

(© Munich - DE, May 2008)
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Flying West

Posted 10 April 2007 - Miami (US):

It's been a while since I last wrote a travel report. I used to do it all the time, but due to the many trips I've been making for work over the last few years, I have sort of forgotten about it. Time for a revival of a tradition! My first ever flight on a Boeing 747 proves to be a good incentive.

Yesterday night, I went to bed early after rescuing my bed linnen from a tree using a vacuum cleaner (no photos available, exciting project though). It had been there for the last couple of days but since no rain was expected, I thought it would not be such a problem. Anyway - the alarm rang at 4h30 this morning. I took a shower, grabbed my stuff and left with destination Miami. I parked my bike at Central Station, realising how awkward it would feel to cycle home on it only three days after. On such trips, it always seems like there's entire weeks inbetween leaving and getting back.

Schiphol was a barrier quickly taken. I thought back of my trip to Barcelona, of a sweet goodbye, but things were different this time and I didn't need to inform anybody that I made it to the airport in time. Mark joined me at the ticket counter, but we separated again at passport control since Mark is the proud owner of a Privium pass and does not have to wait in line. I don't mind waiting for a bit, but it did take really long this time. All the hassle, all your possessions scrapped off you and being scanned, then leaving you to put everything back together in order again. A laptop which they wish to investigate separately, liquids which pass separately, then a whole bunch of touching if you're unlucky but I must admit I escaped that part at least. After border control, we walked to gate B11 to catch the flight to Frankfurt. The Privium thing doesn't mean that he can resign from waiting for his colleague. So after all, he is waiting just as much as I am. Besides - although we do most meetings together, Mark and I do not fly together very often. I either leave earlier or later than he does, oftentimes take a train instead of flying, end zo ohn (German accent). This time I was thinking of quickly hopping over to Cuba, but that's not going to happen.

It was still dark outside when we got to the gate. Sunrise was emininent and at the time we boarded the plane to Frankfurt (Boeing 737-300) daytime had properly started. I was wondering what the -Hansa part in Lufthansa stood for. Luft, ok, that's probably just short for Luftwaffe ;) but Hansa to me refers to some kind of medieval get-together of villages and trade entities. Anyway, we were served well and I for sure had the best possible seat on the plane. Next to the window, next to the emergency exit with no seat in front of me. I stretched my legs as often as I could and then we got served a scarinly rectangle sandwich. Very German. Shortly after, we touched Frankfurt ground and headed for our connecting aircraft.

We only had a scarce 30 minutes to change planes and that proved only just enough. Not necessarily the distance between the gates was the main problem - the exaggerated border and immigration control made us wait in long lines. That's one of the reasons I dislike the phenomenon of flying. You basically spend your time waiting and waiting. Once you finished waiting for one thing, you need to rush to the next place where you will once again spend your time waiting. Border control, security check, luggage check, immigration check, waiting at the gate, preboarding, boarding, waiting in line, waiting to get seated, waiting for take-off, waiting for something to eat - if only to break up time - waiting for the start of the descend, waiting for landing, waiting to arrive at the gate, waiting for the doors to open, waiting for people to *(^^&*% get off the plane, waiting for immigration, waiting for your luggage, waiting for a taxi.... It's one big stop-and-go-penalty. As opposed to the train where you just jump on, watch out of the window, talk to people and arrive.

Our plane looked immense from the outside. Its nose was decorated as a giant football, probably still for the world championships of last summer. As large as it looked from the outside, so small it looked on the inside. Slight dissapointment there, since I expected to walk into something that would give me the size impression of a public swimming pool. Almost any other aircraft offers more individual space.. We had a small delay for technical reasons, then another delay for heavy traffic in the area. Waiting again. But then, finally the long awaited take-off! My seat location was far from ideal and I could only see wing surfaces on either side. We speeded up, not much quicker than on other type of planes though, and shaked off the runway. We were airborne nose-wise but it seemed to ages before the rest of the machine also lost contact with the ground. The climbing slope was slow, as expected. I could hardly see anything, just some houses swinging by during one of the steep curves. It made me feel a bit light in the head. I need to see what's happening, otherwise my sensatory system gets confused. Like it did.

I had 4 tv-screens in sight: one yellow, one de-saturated, one with pink spots and one normal. Maybe some special glasses would have helped me see things in 3D. The screens were showing our progress, indicating some random city names along the line. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Giethoorn. I got a bit annoyed when we flew only just south of The Hague, thinking of the detour we had made just to get there (again). We got our first drinks by 10h30 GMT, when flying over England. I noticed wodka and tomato juice on the lorry and happened to remember a tasty combination between the two. My memory proved right. Before reaching Cork, the German pilot updatumd us with the weather information from Miami, expected flying time and some random details like the weight of the fuel we had on board. Although pretty useless, I do like those pilot updatums. If they know -to-the-minute-precisely- at what time the plane is bound to arrive, they are apparently very confident that it shall arrive. Which is quite reassuring to slightly fly-o-phobic me. I did get better over the last few flights though. This trip is not bothering me as much as others have done in the past.

The remaining 7 hours of flying time seemed to take ages. I fell asleep every now and then, woke up, saw some unconvincing movie that was neither Bridget Jones (sweet) nor Forrest Gump (funny). I got up to look out the window, took a walk to see the business class area, got sent of, shot photos of sleeping people in the rear of the plane, and surprisingly did not get sent off then. I threw an entire cup of water over myself, walked off with my earphones clipped around my legs but did not cause anybody harm.

Bored with some animated pinguin movie - I don't like animated pinguins - I started thinking about my hair slowly turning white. That in itself is not a bad thing, but inspection learned that the grey hairs grow in any direction. Even more so that the rest of my hair does. Quite worrying: I may look like Einstein in only ten years from now.

The end of the trip was a bit bumpy but the landing almost perfect. I intended to take another photo of the plane, but it was hidden from us arriving passengers ever since we unboarded. The customs procedure was lengthy and complicated: left hand index finger print, right hand finger print, another passport photo, cross-check questions, forms to be handed in at various locations and then finally the taxi stop. A black / negro / afro-american man took us to the hotel and that was the end of today's big trip. I'll try to keep tomorrow's posting somewhat shorter :)

(© Frankfurt - DE / Above the Atlantic, 10 April 2007)
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Europe today

Posted 25 March 2007 - The Hague (NL):

Happy European Birthday.. Today 50 years ago, the first treaties constituting what now is the European Union were signed (apparently on blank paper!!). What has happened since? We've got the Euro, a multiplied number of members, but no real orientation towards the future.. European politicians want Europe to become something which is not based on what it is today. Diversity is a key asset as long as it's not being filtered out of the European dream, as it is today. Back to the roots!

Below photo shows the Europe in the way politicians would be happy to see it. Organised around a strong Euro, but impossibly boring and without any authentic values. Almost like the entire city of Frankfurt...

Today 30 years ago, the biggest accident in airline history took place, involving a KLM 747 (like the one in the header of this page...) and a PanAm 747. They crashed in the fog over Los Rodeos Airport at Tenerife. The accident was caused by an incredible number of unfavourable circumstances. Only 61 people, all on board the PanAm aircraft, survived, 583 did not. The accident did lead to major security improvements in aviation.

(© Frankfurt am Main - DE, September 2004)
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Moscow streets

Posted 6 March 2007 - The Hague (NL):

Nice to hear so many people asking about my Moscow experience :) Sorry that the photos are not in yet, I gave the films to Jean to have them developed but don't know when I will have them back. While anticipating the arrival of the precious material, let me explain that the streets of Moscow are not scarier than most other European cities. People don't look meaner and there are not more homeless people in the city centre or people begging. Funny how in Holland you consider the police as 'friends' as long as you are not aware of having done anything wrong. In Moscow it's the other way around.. You'd prefer to get rid of some drunk person harassing you than having the police asking for your papers. Which Did happen to us one night but we got away with it because they could cash some money from our business partners...

To insiders, and especially 'state enemies' which still seem to exist in Russia, things seem a bit different. But this type of thing exceeds the Moscow city borders by far.

(© Berlin - DE, December 2005)
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Russian issues

Posted 4 March 2007 - The Hague (NL):

Since last week's Moscow trip, I am keen to understand more about Russia and whatever is going on over there. Over the last centuries, ruling Russia has proved to be an almost impossible task. It seems like president Putin is at least able to restore the central power. He is managing quite alright in terms of giving Russia back its pride as the world's largest nation. At the same time, he is also putting in place internal structures that refer back to the old communistic era: cold-war rethoric, establishment of informant networks and re-nationalisation of formerly privatised companies. Russia is chaos in many perspectives. Revolutions and anarchy are considered state enemies number one and two.

Yesterday, counter-Putin demonstrations in Saint Petersburg were violently beaten down - just another memory of old Soviet times..

(© Berlin - DE, June 2002)
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Penny for your thoughts

Posted 9 January 2007 - The Hague (NL):

When observing the human species in its natural habitat, the best moment to do so is when the subject of your study is silent and, if possible, motionless (yet alive!). This reduces the risk of them being distracted and producing incomprehensible and senseless combinations of sounds and movements. I have been thinking about creating a photo series about this some time ago already, and was going to call it “Penny for your thoughts”.

Danish photographer Simon Hogsberg has gone a bit further than I usually do and bluntly stepped up to people asking what they were thinking at that specific moment. Although the idea is simple, I like it lots and his Thought Project is very much worth viewing!

(© Berlin - DE, February 2006)
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Democratic & Not so democratic

Posted 30 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

The Democratic Repulic of Congo is having its first free elections in 40 years. I wonder why it is that countries who call themselves democratic, are usually among the most corrupt and undemocratic on earth. I'm thinking of the former Democratic Kampuchea (Cambodia), the People's Republic of China during the student uprise and the current Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the former German Democratic Republic:

(© Berlin - DE, February 2006)
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Düsseldorf & Photos in Germany

Posted 19 July 2006 - Düsseldorf (DE):

Düsseldorf on a warm summer evening. Of all countries I have visited, I unfortunately think that Germany is the most difficult one to take interesting spontaneous pictures.

(© Düsseldorf - DE, 19 July 2006)
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Posted 24 May 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Travelling to Berlin by train will never be the same.. International trains used to halt at Berlin Zoologischer Garten (from and to West and North) or Berlin Ostbahnhof (from and to South and East). Both former terminal stations have been reconnected in the early 90s and will be replaced by one central station later this week. Former metro station Lehrter Bahnhof, directly above the former German wall and Spree river, has been upgraded to become Europe's biggest train station. The construction is completed just in time for the upcoming world cup, in spite of some harsh drawbacks along the way..

(© Berlin - DE, December 2004)
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Posted 4 May 2006 - The Hague (NL):

For the last 61 years, the fourth day of May is 'Remembrance of the Dead', followed by Liberation Day on May 5 (which is only a public holiday once every 5 years..). At 8 o'clock, two minutes of silence are observed.

The photo below is a memorial at former concentration camp Dachau. Looking at the displayed text, reality would be more close to 'over and over again', rather than 'never again'.

(© Dachau - DE, April 2001)
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Posted 25 April 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Unfavourable photo conditions: Empty sky, cars all over the place, and an inclined camera position in combination with wide-angle lense + architecture. Still, the empty skies are quite typical for winters in Eastern Europe. The type of cars are quite typical for a specific time frame - by looking at the cars in a photo, you can usually estimate the datum the photo was taken with an approximation of max 10 years. Architecture photography usually requires very sophisticated photo equipment, because of the straight lines that need to be respected. However, in this case it does reflect the impact that Karl Marx Allee is/was supposed to make on visitors: inclining walls to make the people feel small.

And that is how excuses and explanations can make almost any photo acceptable.

(© Berlin - DE, March 2006)
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Posted 16 April 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Another good example of a not-so-good initiative to provide children with useful playgrounds (with reference to my posting of 29 December 2005): just put a high fence around it..

(© Berlin - DE, 11 April 2006)
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Posted 28 March 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Professor Richard Lynn from the University of Ulster claims Germans and Dutch are the smartest Europeans, while Serbians lag behind. A good reason to dig the archives for photos of smart Germans:

(© Erfurt - DE, January 2003 / München - DE, April 2002)
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Posted 22 March 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Although digital photography is very practical and allows for quick processing, I'm still a big fan of plain old chemical photography. There's no way you can see your photos before you take your film to the shop and wait for a few days. Which forces you to spend all your concentration to a shot and really make the best out of it in one go. And sometimes, you get nice surprises when you have forgotten about the photos which are already on the film from the last time you used your camera.

That is exactly what happened with this photo. I took it on the way back from Berlin and then forgot about it. Used the same film later on and then found this image of the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, where I was lucky enough to spot an InterCity Express (ICE) after only fifteen minutes of waiting time..

(© Wolfsburg - DE, March 2006)
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Posted 6 March 2006 - The Hague (NL):

The Palast der Republik is and soon used to be a remarkable building in the very centre of Berlin. It was constructed in 1970 to serve as a status symbol for the German Democratic Republic (DDR), but also for it's people. It hosted the most modern shopping mall of that time and was also home to the DDR Parliament for a long time.

The building itself is astonishingly ugly and local politicians recently decided that it should be demolished. Which is something that will for sure be regretted in a few years time, as this was a unique building which very well represents 50 years of communistic rule.

(© Berlin - DE, February 2006)
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Posted 6 March 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Below are some more Berlin pictures. Metro station Hallesches Tor on U-bahn line 1 + a piece of the East Side Gallery along Mühlenstrasse.

(© Berlin - DE, February 2006)
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Posted 4 March 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Serendipity: to make discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things not in quest of.

Serendipity is a very interesting phenomenon and it sometimes leads to big inventions and breakthroughs. Not this time, but at least it did something cool to my photo of the entrance to an apartment building at Karl Marx Strasse in Berlin. I meant to correct its distortion around the edges and then clicked on Distort -> Polar Coordinates. And look what came out..

(© Berlin - DE, February 2006)
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Posted 3 March 2006:

Another place ex-Wall location at Gartenstrasse, underneath the old and new railway bridge.

(© Berlin - DE, February 2006)
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Posted 3 March 2006:

The cool thing about Berlin is that it's full of open spaces. Berlin seems to be on the move almost permanently, but I'm not sure it will be 'just as cool' by the time all the open space gets filled up.

(© Berlin - DE, February 2006)
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Posted 20 February 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Next week at this time, I'll be in Berlin. Back in Berlin, playing the good-old east-or-west-side-game. It's not my first time to Berlin, because I somehow managed to pass by at least once a year for the last 5 consecutive years.

2001: On the way from Prague back home, at least 30 minutes to see the Gedächtniskirche from Berlin Zoo Station and to get a hamburger at MacDonalds opposite the station. The train tracks crossing the heart of Berlin already gave me quite a good idea of what the city itself would be like.

2002: On the way to Poland, with Bas and Carin. We stayed for 4 days and did some good sight-seeing, spending most of our time in the Eastern part of the city. Also: excursion to Sanssouci park in Potsdam. I only took black and white photos.

2003: My first business trip to Berlin with colleague Bjorn. We attended the show with an exhibition booth, demonstrating special photoprinters. Highlights of the trip: music hit "Ab im Süden" which seemed to be on the ready 24h a day, the photo of a unification monument which I still use for my PhotoLogiX business cards and a visit to the Jewish Museum which was very impressive. Also memorable: the first time reaching speeds of 200 km/h in a car on the way back to Holland.

2004: Work visit to a trade show together with colleague Mark. I only just made it back in time for Sinterklaas. My brother did not like the fur/leather hat I bought for him. Also the first time I disliked flying because of some very strange manoeuvre right after take-off from Amsterdam.

2005: Not the most lengthy Berlin experience.. Just enough time to buy a sausage with curry. Then onwards to Prague.

2006 ahead, 6 more days to go.. and counting.

(© Berlin Potsdamerplatz - DE, September 2003)
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Posted 30 January 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Next trip ahead: 4 days in Berlin at the end of February.

(© Berlin - DE, December 2004)
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Posted 24 January 2006 - The Hague (NL):

A solution that doesn't exceed the problem will eventually nourish the problem rather than solve it. This happened when Russia liberated Germany from the Nazi's (see photo below) and it's still happening at many locations around the globe.

(© Treptower Park Berlin - DE, October 2003)
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