TRAVEL NOTES::DAY 4 | AN AFTERNOON AT WITTENBERGPLATZ

saffron by ivy

The cloudy weather begs for one to stay indoors and curl up in bed. For a while after breakfast we did just that until I awoke from a long nap at 14,00. I had to open the windows and let the cold air in. Then I dialed down the radiator and decided the maximum amount was simply too warm and possibly furthering my sleepy tendencies.

I warmed the lentil soup from last night's dinner and Saffron and I sat at the table indoors for lunch before heading out somewhere. Anywhere. I told Saffron we would get on the U-Bahn and go wherever it took us. I intended to go to the Krumme Lanke station for cake and coffee at a place I've been before. We decided we would go there tomorrow. Today we would ride in the opposite direction.

As I remember from years ago, the ticket system for the U-Bahn changed to where you now are no longer able to use the same ticket for a return trip. This can become limiting if one wants to ride multiple times during the day. My daughter was able to get a monthly student ticket since she resides here. I will have to purchase a 7-day ticket tomorrow so we are able to go to more places during this next week.

yellow leaves close up

On our way to the U-Bahn station, we spotted a green bike. Not wanting to be obvious about making a photograph of someone's bike, I had Saffron stand to one side as if I was making a photograph of only her.

saffron and green bike

Then I had her move to one side so I could make a photograph of the green bike. After my experience with the lady at the farmer's market two years ago who chased after me for photographing the eggs at her stand, I am more careful about my choice of subjects to photograph in Germany.

green bike

Wittenbergplatz was our destination today. It is a place we never miss on a trip to Berlin as the toy section on the fifth floor of KaDeWe is one of the best I've found. Our first stop was the Ravensburger puzzle section where I found a 500-piece puzzle for my son. Today was merely a window shopping day as I needed ideas for Christmas presents for my children.

wittenbergplatz station

Books are something I've given my children every year for Christmas and a tradition I intend to continue. I do not believe in overindulging the children with toys. When they are given too many options they are overwhelmed and start tossing toys all over the place. Now that I have a place of my own, I can control what comes into my home.

With fewer toy options, the imagination is expanded as I have seen with my two youngest. At first when my kids started staying with me, my middle daughter complained of being bored because she didn't have anything to do. In reality, she was used to the closets full of toys at the old place and had to readjust her thinking to use what she had available. My son, on the other hand, rarely appears bored. He seems to find something to do with anything at his disposal.

My oldest is into anything crafty and was perusing the craft section whilst I walked over to the book section. I flipped through several bake books but did not find anything to my liking. I then walked over to the children's book section and decided I need to expand my German children book collection which is essentially non-existent.

ka de we

We also made our way to the Lego store nearby and browsed the various sets. Saffron pointed out a set she'd like for Christmas. I saw one I wouldn't mind building with my son. Since we would not be spending Christmas together, I told her she could open her present when she returns home in February. The younger two will open their presents after Christmas since this year is not my year to have them.

lego store berlin

Before heading to either of the two stores, I noticed the broken link sculpture. One that was not surrounded by fences as in August. My intent every time I've been to Berlin was to photograph the link sculpture. Not merely a pass by photograph, but one up close.

It so happened this group of three Germans beat me to the sculpture and stayed a long while filming some sort of travel documentary. One girl on the bike rode toward the links as the guy with the video camera and the other lady with the sound equipment captured her riding through the links. All I was able to understand was "Charlottenburg ist...".

I took hold of Saffron's arm as we backed away from the sound lady in case Saffron started talking as they filmed. I would wait as long as it took to get my photographs. And we did as we sat on the nearby bench.

chain link sculpture berlin

At one point, the three Germans moved back out of the way and I inserted myself between them and the sculpture. I was able to make a few photographs but will most likely return with my longer lens another day for more photographs. Today I did the best I could with what I had.

link sculpture close up

Saffron is always a willing model and I'm happy about finally getting to make photographs of her.

link and saffron diptych

One can go to Berlin many times and yet every time is a different experience. I'm glad to have the chance to share this experience with Saffron.

saffron link close up