November 23, 2011

Week 3: Change, Renewal and a trip to Berlin

I: Week 3 In Weitsche

In week three we saw life and death on the farm, the process of renewal and change. Two pigs, Pinkie and Blackie (a different Blackie from Blackie the rabbit) were relieved of duty, while two goats showed up, as did a few baby chickens that were born in a tucked away corner of the barn.  Ben, the Lufts' youngest son, found them nestled in the hay.  Our Australian friends Sean and Larissa also left us; they've moved on to Majorca for another workaway stay and then on to the rest of the world.   We furthered our appreciation of the Lufts home brew by witnessing the early stages of its production in the Witch's Kitchen (Ute's laboratory anex. It is here that soap making, wool preparation and beer brewing all happen).  Although it has grown colder, there is still much to prepare on the farm. This week we also planted trees, prepared a barn room for new construction and took part in a good ole fashion community rake fest. Life in Weitsche is never dull.

After a bolt to the head stunned the pig, our new butcher friend delivered a single knife incision to the heart and it was over in 20 seconds. Cleaning and scraping ensued. 

Having removed the insides our friend delicately splits the pig in two halves. We are two shots of schnappes in at this point.
Christina raking madly at the town raking party. Note the banner in the background. It speaks of the nuclear waste storage issue at hand in the upcoming protest. A story about last year's protest.
The tractor stops and the rakes go up for a coffee break (with maybe a little bit of rum and beer).

Some of the new additions to the farm; Bill, Barry, Bart, Bonnie and Bertha, clockwise from left.

Ute's beer workshop. Here she is putting water through the boiled barley to remove all the starch, which will ultimately be converted to sugar and then eaten by the yeast (we think).

The payoff. Beers and books by a bonfire. Thursday happy hour in Weitsche.

II: A Weekend in Berlin

Shortly after the pig slaughter, we showered and headed off to Berlin for the weekend.  Carrying our guide book, a small backpack and our respective reading material, we arrived in Berlin eager to explore the city.  Our experience in Berlin was exciting, thought provoking and at times intense.  

We stayed at the Pangea People Hostel just a few blocks from Alexanderplatz.  Our hostel was in many ways everything we'd hoped for and everything we expected. The rooms and bathrooms were wonderfully clean and the staff friendly and helpful. We did end up in a room with eight early-twenty something's and were privileged to their post discotech drunken singing at 5:45am, but it was a hostel after all.  The location of Pangea People turned out to be ideal as we were within a short walk of an internet cafe, several restaurants, and most importantly a public transportation hub. Berlin is a city composed of several neighborhoods. There is no official city center, and we did our best to explore as much of the city as possible.  Berlin is rich with history. We walked aside the Berlin wall, visited the museum of the famous artist - Kathe Kallowitz, walked through the Brandenburg gate, fell silent over a powerful exhibit on the site of the former Secret State Police headquarters, and blushed at exotic art from across the world. We were not at a loss for ways to engage with the city.  And in many ways the city left an indelible mark on us. After our trip to Berlin, and specifically The Topography of Terror museum, we are eager to engage in the necessary battles.

We couldn't quite figure out what was wrong with this picture, but it's two small things really....the younger German drinking age and no open container laws. Cheers boys.

Christina, always ready to cross divides. Here at the Berlin wall memorial.
The memorial had one of the longer preserved sections of the original wall. Though we made light of the situation at this moment, such activity would have gotten Dave shot in the 1960's.
Part of the preserved wall, including a watch tower and the demilitarized lane down the middle of the barrier.

One of the more moving pictures from the Topography of Terror  museum exhibit about the Nazi regime. Ask us about our book.

The Erotik Museum, the largest in the world. Also a shrine to Beate Uhse, the world's first (female) adult entertainment mogul. It all started as a way to inform 1940's women in rural Germany about contraception. 
One of the Erotik Museum's more tame exhibits, a legit, preserved tiger's penis. 

Over a memorial at the Babelplatz in Berlin, the location of the infamous Nazi book burning. The room below is filled with walls of empty bookshelves. 
The plaque at the Babelplatz book burning memorial with a quote by Heinrich Heine; "wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings."

So many great spots in Berlin to have a Pils and a sausage.

An interesting difference between East and West Berlin is the walk signals... we believe the rigid, blocky guy is for what was formerly East Berlin...

... and the more accurately proportioned guy is from West Berlin. At the old Berlin Wall memorial this actually changes on a specific street corner. 
The Brandenburger Tor ("Gate"). This is a storied structure that serves as an entrance to the city of Berlin, and which every armed force (domestic or foreign) has accordingly marched right through anytime the city has been sieged or taken over throughout German history. Here, Dave storms through and makes his claim.

The Bundesteige, Germany's government building. Oddly, the hardest tourist attraction to access in all of Berlin.

The Hotel Adlon, opposite the Brandanburg Gate and otherwise not worth noting except to point out that it was the site of Michael Jackson's baby-dangling incident. R.I.P. Michael.

No comments:

Post a Comment