Hello to you all, Berlin lovers or would-be lovers.
Our names are Shooky and Yonit. We are an Israeli couple, who fell in love with the city of Berlin, capital of Germany.
When we first got to Berlin, on June 2005, we didn’t really know what to expect. As Israeli Jews, naturally, our relationship with Germany in general is complicated. One of us (Yonit) is a third generation to the Holocaust, and always had an urge to go there. The other (Shooky) showed a bit of reluctance to spend our first overseas vacation in years there. Israeli indoctrination, you see… But as we landed (unfortunately in Schoenfeld, a mistake corrected in 2006), all the doubts were gone.
Berlin is a fascinating city, in many respects. It is, at least from our experience, an easygoing and very friendly place. And that is even though it is laden with history, some of it not very pleasant to remember (to use an understatement). It deals with its history in a most respectful way, and has so much to offer to everyone. Multiculturalism is alive and well there, and we have never felt so welcome and safe in any other place in the world (We should also mention, since we happened to meet him in person, that they got the coolest mayor ever…). And unlike most Israelis, at least one of us thinks German is a beautiful language (although pretty tough to learn).
For the record – we’re mainly urban tourists. We don’t really care for nature treks (that’s not to say we’re not environmentally aware, though), nor do we care for vacations on the beach and stuff like that. We have a beach 20 minutes walk from our apartment in Tel-Aviv. Rivers are much more exotic in our eyes…
So Berlin became a sort of an obsession to us, but in a good way. One day, hopefully not many years from now, we’re hoping to move there, at least for a few years. For the time being, we plan on going there whenever we get the chance, and share our love to this gorgeous city with the world, by sharing our experiences, insights, revelations and perspectives, and of course, our pictures.
“Berlin: Symphony of a Great City” (Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt) was the name of a silent film from 1927, directed by Walter Ruttmann, which showed one day in Berlin, starting at the earliest morning and ending in the deepest night. Berlin in the 1920s was indeed a great city, more liberal and vibrant than New-York or even San-Francisco today. That didn’t end so well back then. But nowadays, it returned to glory, without forgetting to learn from its history. This blog will try to capture this renewed symphony, mainly by words.