Thomas E King, an esteemed member of Global Travel Writers, sadly passed away last year. He has left a vast collection of travel books, journals, maps and associated literature. Now, thanks to the efforts of award-winning travel writer Louise Southerden, Tom’s collection has found a new home in a cafe that will be devoting a whole room to the collection. Louise will also be giving travel writing workshops at the cafe:
OK – we can now reveal the location! It’s at Lucy Williams’ totally laidback Williamsburg Cafe, in Lennox Head NSW. You’re invited – provided that you promise not to spill your coffee on the books!
We’re staying right in the heart of Berlin, on the 19th floor of a refurbished apartment complex on Leipziger Strasse in the Mitte or Central district.
Two U-Bahn (Underground) stations lie within a few minutes’ walk. Strangely though, the 2-stop journey to the gleaming new glass-and-steel Hauptbahnhof (central station) requires a tortuous transfer at the gloomy old Friedrichstrasse station. Why so disjointed?
And whatever happened to Unter den Linden, that once-grand boulevard running east from the Brandenburg Gate? It was a mess when we came last year, and much of it still is.
Such questions do have answers. Today’s Berlin makes better sense as you come to appreciate the city’s tortured history and the apparent determination to reunite East and West. Unter den Linden remains a construction site while work continues to restore the missing links in the U-Bahn (underground train) network.
Berlin’s idiosyncratic personality is said to date back to the Cold War days, when young West Germans made their way to West Berlin to enjoy free tuition and exemption from military service. West Berliners lived day-to-day alongside a hostile presence, the Wall and the regime behind it.
Today, the Berlin Wall has all but vanished, although token stretches remain as canvasses for street artists too young to remember life in a divided city (including the East Side Gallery and the Mauerpark, or Wall Park, in the gritty Prenzlauer Berg district).
If you weren’t born yesterday, and remember when the Iron Curtain collapsed 25 years ago, do visit Berlin whilst you can still witness vestiges of the old, alongside the new.
These guys at the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre, in the green hills above Bogor in West Java, Indonesia, are learning how to play Aussie Rules football. Unless Australia changes its hard-hearted attitude towards refugees, this could well be the nearest they ever get to becoming what used to be called “New Australians”. How is it that Australia has become a world leader in institutionalised cruelty towards refugees and asylum seekers?
Welcome to the new-look Global Travel Writers blog! As we have done since the launch of our first website in 1997, we aim to bring you stories that try to make some sense of the crazy world we live in.