Sunday, November 10, 2002

Berlin - Rain, sleet, and brief snow flurries all day. Took the underground out to Spandau, one of Berlin's farflung suburbs. This is supposedly the oldest part of the city: the oldest house in Berlin is the so-called Gothic House at 32 Breite Strasse. Then ducked out of the cold into the Nicolai Church, which is rather plain red brick on the outside but has a surprisingly airy and light domed interior. Nice quiet place to sit for a while. Then on the underground to the whole to the whole other end of the city, getting off at Alexanderplatz in the old East Berlin. Even after 12 years of unification there is quite a difference. The underground station is gray and dowdy and the square itself is surrounded by big grim monolithic Soviet-style buildings. Just at dusk a cold rain was still falling and a sharp east wind whipping across the square. Gloomy in the extreme. I quickly left and took the underground back to Wittenburgplatz. Spend the evening inside - tired of walking the streets in the rain.