A bit of history (apologies to history scholars)

(Lunch)

Ok we’re in Berlin… on the west side… not that it matters any more. But it used to matter. Back in 1961 they built a wall, the Russians did, all around west Berlin. Yes, the wall wasn’t just along a border between the two sections of Berlin, it went all around. So that the west bit was like a little island of democracy within the Russian territory (the Russians also owned east Germany).

(Checkpoint Charlie… it’s the little hut in the middle of the road… what can I say bad camera day…)

This all started after the second world war. Bits of Berlin were given to America, Britain, France and Russia. Then at some point before 1961 Russia fell out with the others and gave them the cold shoulder.

At the same time the bits that were not Russian were German and they began to rebuild after all the bombing and destruction. But the Russians didn’t have a lot of money to be building. So they patched up.

(If you push your nose up close to the screen and squint your eyes you might be able to see an old Russian Go Workers! mural)

Funny thing….. today that means that the east side (the poor side that didn’t rebuild) has beautiful architecture, while the richer side has architecture from the fifties (concrete and glass… and not in a good way.)

So, having money can be a block (of concrete) to creativity.

Embrace your poverty, Mairead.

Ps Up since four, forgot to pre-charge camera battery so only these photos! More tomorrow.

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