This is post #15 of our Dublin-Berlin trip, for Friday, September 21, 2018.
Today is Evelinde Day!
Since I am an avid quilter and traveler, I like to combine the two when I can, so several weeks before I traveled to Berlin, I posted this query to Instagram:
I had several responses, which led me to Evelinde, a bi-lingual quilter living on the outskirts of Berlin. We corresponded and made arrangements to meet. I admire her courage in accepting my proposal that she meet up with a total stranger, albeit a quilter.
She’d sent me directions, so I got onto a train and traveled out of the city center, surprised at how quickly the view out my train window changed from underground/city/dense urban views to greenery and lush terrain.
While this was the route home as I took a slightly different train when outward bound, it gives you a sense of where I was. I had no idea of what Evelinde looked like (my photo is splashed all over Instagram and my blog), but when I came off the train into her city, a smiling woman came up to me: “Elizabeth?” and we hugged and met properly for the first time.
Then I got to be a tourist in her city, looking at all the typical things with a visitor’s gaze. She said she found it interesting the things that I would stop and take photos of, such as the gelato cooler being fixed at the ice cream store (above), or a rack of heather plants (below).
We walked past the center of Tegel, her little town to this huge lake, Tegeler See (upper left on the map below).
On the way, I’m still snapping photos, including the door of this church, Dorfkirche Alt-Tegel (seen in previous post).
When we arrived at the See, we took a left turn and walked down this huge and beautiful lakefront walkway, the Greenwich Promenade. Although it was a bit windy this day (we had tried to capture photos of ourselves and our hair was blown all over), I could imagine coming here on a glorious summer day, and perhaps eating at the lakeside restaurant:
Or maybe a lunch on Moby Dick, while cruising around the See?
Evelinde took me to Hobby and Handarbeiten, a Patchwork shop (as quilting is known over in Europe); more photos can be found on this Instagram post. While we drove around and I was able to see her town, she told me stories of going into the militarized area of East Berlin (she lived in the West Berlin area). One was to meet a friend, and she was terrified she would never get out, as there was some controversy over her student status on her passport. After another separate, frightening visit, she vowed never to go in there again.
I loved seeing her work–all of it was really impressive in both the piecing and the quilting. I wish I could have brought a few treasures for Show and Tell, too. Before we left, I asked a woman passing by if she could take a photo of us together (the one at the top of the post). It turns out she was from a wedding party having lunch there in another room, and she was the bride! Of course, this conversation went on in German, with Evelinde translating, then the woman speaking to me in English.
Soon, it was time to leave as I felt like I’d taken up enough of Evelinde’s day. She brought me to a different train station, and showed me the photo (below) of a Scottish musical group that played in the pub at the station; one of them was her husband. It made me smile that she would share this with me.
Unlike the undergound city train stations back in Berlin, I felt like I was in a forest when I was on this platform. No electronic signs to guide me as to stops and directions, so I was glad Evelinde got me to the correct place.
Two different groups of school children got on the train at the next stop, and I got a kick out of them, laughing and teasing and enjoying each other’s company. I tried not to stare, but instead occasionally caught their reflection in the window to my side. It was normal and natural for them to ride the train on their way home from school. I couldn’t imagine our American children in our suburbs doing any such thing, given that we Americans spend a lot of our time being frightened about things we can’t quite control, especially now, as are submerged in the constant barrage of scary talk in our political discourse. Berlin has had very frightening episodes, and perhaps will never be free of them–given the stories I continually hear–but to see those children jump on the train and ride to their next stop, unfettered and free, was a lovely thing.
I think the days of trip were catching up to me, for I slumped into fatigue on the way home. Instead of stopping off at the Mall of Berlin at Potzdamer Platz–a planned excursion–I kept going to my regular stop and went back to the hotel room for a break. After a short nap, I went to LIDL for groceries, buying one of their shopping bags for my usual souvenir, then crossed under the old train station portico back to the hotel, as it had started to rain.
Back at the hotel, I opened up the hotel window and watched the passersby in the rain. It was an interesting scene, both with the rain (we are having a drought back home) and the urban setting, plus the interesting buildings. Here’s another video of the busses arriving at our local bus stop.
Dave arrived home after his meetings, and we walked over to the Indonesian Restaurant, but it was full and they turned us away.
We walked to the Italian restaurant, and although the evening was late, the parade of children, dogs and families in the restaurant kept us entertained while we waited (and waited) for our food to arrive.
And from our hotel room that night, somehow, Dave snapped this photo of the moon directly over the Tempodrom, like it could drop into the center.