For a long time, I have been hearing murmurs of an island with sand so white, it’s blinding. Of an island where wealth abounds, of an endless stretch of beach-baskets, lapped by the North Sea. Sylt, the people whispered, Sylt.
Others told me it was a snobby haven of tax evaders, ridiculously expensive and there are spots as nice as Sylt on the North Sea, minus the pretension.
I wasn’t going to write about Berlin because, it’s Berlin. And there are people far better equipped to write about a city that’s name and reputation precedes it so thoroughly it is nigh on impossible for a passer-through to do it justice. And Berlin, like Hamburg, is one German city that I’ve been fortunate enough to get to a few times. So I reconciled myself to two days of wandering around, a spot of light shopping, some good old fashioned eating and precious time spent with my intrepid Aunt and Uncle who are currently on a road trip around parts of Eastern Europe.
This is a preview of Visiting Berlin: Villenkolonie.
It started snowing as I walked (minced through the grey slush) to the Hauptbahnhof, tiny little pellets that stung on contact. My face did its hardening trick so it felt like stone about five minutes into the walk. The morning, which dawned pretty in pink, had an air of quiet excitement about it. The Deutsche Bahn and I, after a long hiatus we sorely needed from each other, were about to be reunited. I had a 7.53am train to Leipzig with my name on it. The last time the DB and I had cavorted, it was in Bavaria, puffing between Weiden and Nürnberg in sub sub temperatures.
This is a preview of Leipzig, Wifi, and the Deutsche Bahn.
Fernweh is another one of those German words that just doesn’t exist in English. It’s pretty much the same as Wanderlust, a yearning to be away, to travel, see different places, et cetera. Heimweh on the other hand is the yearning to be at home, or simply put, homesickness.