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"During his six years working for St Helens Council Education Department, Paul was, among other things, our in-house "languages expert", doing the translating, interpreting and liaison with our twin towns in Chalon-Sur-Saône, France, Stuttgart, Germany and El Prat de Llobregat, Spain. His participation has enabled us to maintain strong links with all three towns, particularly in the field of education, where he set up and managed a very successful work experience programme for sixth formers"
Brian Mainwaring, Director of Education, St Helens Council, August 1995

White Christmas PDF
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 00:00

We’re spending Christmas and New Year in Germany. We flew into Berlin Schönefeld airport on Monday and everything was white! It’s been snowing here for a few weeks and is very very cold.

I've never been to Berlin before. It looks very pretty with its covering of white snow, I must admit, though I’m told it’s normally a pretty ugly city, compared to, say, Madrid, Paris, Prague, London or Rome.

The run-up to Christmas has also made the city very bright and lively with its Christmas lights, shop window displays and the famous Christmas Markets.  These are pretty impressive, I must say. We went to what's supposed to be the best one yesterday and passed through another today on our way to KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens), the Berlin equivalent of Harrods in London. A very dear shop, but heaving, tho' I reckon most people were in there to get out of the freezing cold outside!

We've done all the main sights, which tend to be to do with the Wall, the War and the Holocaust, but it's all quite fascinating. I find it unbelievable that you can build a wall down the middle of the street to keep East Germans from escaping to the West via West Berlin. In so doing this draconian Communist policy divided families and communities and cost the lives of several hundred people shot while trying to cross from East to West. The Berlin Wall lasted 28 years (1961-1989).

One more day in Berlin tomorrow then we're off down south to stay with the family until New Year.

Tags: Christmas, New Year, Berlin Schönefeld, Christmas Markets, KaDeWe, Kaufhaus des Westens, Harrods, Wall, Berlin Wall, War, Holocaust,


Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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