With moving on the horizon, I’ve suddenly found myself drawn to many of Mainz’s landmarks. Some I’ve revisited one last time, while others I’ve rushed to for the first time, unwilling to leave without having at least briefly seen most of what the city has to offer. (Like the church with stained glass windows by Chagall.) This week I took a walk through the city—what was once a regal religious capital and now is mostly boxy buildings thrown up after the bombing during World War II—to Mainz’s most prominent landmark: the Dom.
I am now writing my thesis, and what better way to proceed than taking a break in between? It was a coincidence that we traveled from the capital of then West Germany (Bonn) to Berlin which is now the capital of unified Germany. My first time in Berlin last March was marked by helping out a friend move in, and of course, taking the touristy route. This time, I spent the first day touring the city with my Ozzie. The days after were dedicated to discovering more of the city and its history.
There are many great things about living in Hamburg, and one of them has got to be the harbour. Another is that people never tire of coming to visit me. Having said that, when they come, it’s really the harbour they want to see, not just me. That’s no surprise, since this famous stretch of the River Elbe really has got it all: and we’re not just talking gigantic industrial cranes and tremendous sea-going boats, either; no, we’re talking nice bars and even beaches from which to watch these exciting machines.
The real charm of the Hamburg Harbour, however, is not watching it: it’s getting out and about on the water.
A tug of shame bugs me in conversations concerning Berlin. Who wouldn’t be embarrassed if you had been in Germany for almost two years but had never set foot in the capital. But now, this is true no more. Thanks to my friends Omar and Billy who sought my generous umzug service. After ten of hours in and out of the autobahn, three stops, and driving through six German states, I felt worthy of proclaiming, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!’