Hello readers! Today finds me having my weekly dose of Mondayitis in Berlin. I like Berlin, having been here a few times before. It’s quite an interesting place, steeped of course in quite recent history, but also a place with some interesting new and old architecture. One of the main draws to this city is the Berlin Wall, I guess, and the various sites and museums dedicated to this very strange era in Berlin’s history. There are plenty of opportunities here to see lumps of the old wall, or to follow its route through the heart of the city. I do have to say though that ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ is quite a disappointment as far as tourist attractions go. The old black and white photos of this once main crossing between communist East Germany and West Germany are filled with interest and intrigue – conjuring up romantic stories of spies and deserters; people risking their lives to flee the communist regime and escape to a life of promise in the west. So what’s there now? The old hut and some actors dressed in ‘Hollywood’ army uniforms! Oh, and don’t try too hard to get a photo of it – you’ll end up with a photo of a small hut with a huge McDonalds behind it!!!!! Is that what the wall coming down was all about? Bloody McDonalds???
I am also a big fan of Leipzig in the old East Germany. We were there for a day off last week and it’s a really bustling, cosmopolitan town. Again, lots of history and lots of new buildings, museums and generally nice places to wander around. It’s got a nice ‘feel’ to it, which is hard to explain – best see for yourselves if you ever get the chance.
As most of you know, I’m a big fan of nice hotels, and we’ve had a couple that rate very highly in Germany. The Radisson Blu hotel in Leipzig is fantastic., right on the doorstep of the central shopping part of town and beautifully appointed. Also, the Cosmo hotel in Berlin – lovely if you’re not looking for old-world charm and if you value things like comfortable beds, clean well-appointed bathrooms with hot powerful water, and just – well, just designed by somebody who knows how to make a hotel room feel comfortable and relaxing. Days off on tour are so much nicer when the hotels are good!
On a final note, I find look-alikes of people fascinating! Don’t they reckon that there are only so many different types of face, which is why you’re bound, occasionally, to see somebody who reminds you of someone else? The other morning when we were checking out of the Raddisson Blu in Leipzig, a funny thing happened. I was asked to go check around the corner of the lobby to see if any of our party were in the lounge area. As I turned the corner, I was confronted by a person who for a moment I thought was our very own Dave Fowler. On closer inspection, and luckily before I said anything, I realised it wasn’t him at all but a Doppelganger!!! Here’s a photo of said Dave Fowler later that morning sitting next to said Doppelganger!
So, with just 5 more shows to do in Germany, we’re all looking forward to a three week break. Germany has been great and next year’s dates are already on sale, so there’s not much to complain about there. Next Monday’s Mondayitis is therefore cancelled as I will no doubt be asleep, or more likely trying to tame my garden which by now should be fully into spring mode – and that means everything is growing, including the weeds! Wish me luck….. (Good luck... -Ed.)