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Monday, June 20, 2016

Ode to Joy

Euro 2016 is going on. Berlin like all of Germany has got the football fever. Arrived back to the capital last night after a week in Ireland, retracing my steps in my old haunts with my daughter. More about that later: A trip down memory lane.
Today, glorious sunshine and fresh air around 20 C awaited us; very welcome after the wet and cold in Ireland.The weather there hasn't changed that much: cold and wet--14-18 C max and a lot of rain.
So today I did a special favor to hubby who had looked after himself in Berlin and held the fort while I was away...watering plants etc.
I took him to the biggest Chocolaterie (chocolate factory/maker in the world) called Fassbender & Rausch, situated on the beautiful Gendarmenmarkt. That is an area which belonged to the former GDR (German Democratic/Socialist Republic ) until Reunification in 1990.
I was there once before and remembered the amazing sculptures they had in the window, purely made out of chocolate.Now the football theme prevailed.

Livesize! The original sized balls will set yo back by about $100. Having watched last night's match between France and Switzerland, we were surprised to see that a football can burst during a match. Maybe they should try the chocolate ones.
Other items of interest were for example the Titanic or the Brandenburg Gate. See the exact specifications for how much weight of chocolate went into it, how long it took to build etc.
And here the specs. Feel like biting into it?
Maybe you'd rather bite into the scrumptious cheek of a Cherub?
With the EuroCup 2016 taking place in France or anywhere else outside Germany, real soccer fans always can get together and celebrate in a public spot which in Berlin is called the fan mile.Here's a good view of it and the adjacent ferry wheel within the mile. Given the current political dangers, I don't have any appetite to watch a match there as we avoid big crowds.

And the second view from further away...They expect over 100,000 people there for future matches.

The official song for the Euro 2016, btw, is Beethoven's Ode to Joy.I was livid that Irish commentators (and Iranian TV as I heard) falsely named our national anthem as Deutschland ueber alles....Composed by Joseph Haydn in 1796 and the lyrics written by Hoffmann von Fallersleben, only the third verse is being sung since 1952 and become the correct version, named correctly " Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit"  which means Unity and Justice and Liberty.. So much for knowledge about European co-member states!
Here is the correct text:
"Unity, justice, and liberty
For the Fatherland!
Let us all strive for that
In brotherhood with heart and hand! 
Unity, justice, and liberty
Are the foundation for happiness; 
Bloom in the radiance of this happiness,
Flourish, 'O Fatherland!"
So far there has not been much to celebrate about our German team, the former World Champions from 2014. No Ode to Joy so far!

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