Friday – Day 29

August 19, 2012

Friday was our second, ‘last’ day with Nicole and thus we spent it in the best way possible. Walking around the city together and spending time as friends. Unfortunately for most of the day I had forgotten my memory card so some of the photos and videos aren’t mine.

First up was a visit to the photobooth to take a series of pictures in which we all scrambled to get into the frame, mostly unsuccessfully. These photobooths are scattered all around Berlin and apparently quite popular with Theresa having taken photos with every ISSI group to visit.

Following that we walked in the direction of the city, aiming for a park dedicated to the memory of the Berlin wall, with an intact section still along it. On our way we came by a fantastic market, in which there were fromageries with a gallery of european cheeses, a fish stand with fresh fish being tossed onto a grill and eaten nearby. Fruiterers, artisanal pastas and jams lined the sides and Theresa and I jumped to buy some fresh fruit for our lunch.

We walked the rest of the distance to the park carrying our load of fruit: blackberries, plums, apricots, grapes and two German squished looking peaches that were naturally fat.

When we arrived at the park we found swings lining the wall, and after a heated discussion about the benefits and costs of nuclear power we set a-swinging. After my turn on the swing I sat back to try and calculate the frequency of the swing when it was not being driven (given by sqrt(g/l) ) but the estimate was a bit far off and I left the swings dissatisfied. Maybe I should’ve taken a look at it as a non-linear oscillator.

From there we wakled to Potzdamer Platz, another big public square, and visted the Sony Center, a large construction with nice restaurants and shops inside, before settling down

on the grass nearby.

Potzdamer Platz

Much of the rest of the afternoon was taken up following round an akapella group around the U-Bahn and to tourists locations while they were promoting themselves. One of the singers was Theresa’s friend from her frisbee team and thus we were committed to staying the whole time.


The Alps – Day 5

July 25, 2012

It’s about time to describe the breakfasts I have been having every morning. They are some of the most lavish I have had in my life, replete with berries, cheeses, breads, cereals, drinks, fruits and jams. Of particular note are the cheeses visible in the photo, ranging from Tete de Moine (as in the below video), to Gorgonzola, to Brie.

The breakfast spread was positively delicious and was eaten for all five days I was there!


Each morning we consumed a good punnet of raspberries alongside a good few blueberries too! Also available were currents of both the red and black varieties. It was also at the various breakfasts that I discovered a real liking of swiss pastries, from the buttery gipfle to the brioche. Zopf, Swiss Sunday bread, somewhat like challah is delicious too.

Zopf Bread

Tete de Moine











Today was my last full day in Switzerland and it was spent traversing the Swiss country side, the highlight of which was a trip to the Alps! As it was Summer, the Emptings and I were prepared for at worst some cloudy weather. Unfortunately for us, fate had other plans and we faced a windy barrage of raindrops, pelting us as we caught the chairlift to the summit of one of the mountains. As we walked back down, we came across a little cafe which we entered for shelter. I tried a traditional Swiss drink, the Rumpunch, a very sweet, syrupy, hot drink. I didn’t like it much.

The View


Exiting we saw a rare sight: wild eidelweiss growing on the side of the road. I of course took photographic evidence and was then informed by the Emptings that it was in fact illegal to take flowers away from the Alps, and so left it there.


On the way back to Zurich we drove via a town called Elm, that was completely annihilated by a rockfall caused by over mining the mountain nearby. If you look closely in the photo below you can see where they fell from. The fall left only two survivors, who were up on the hill that day, in contrast to most of the village that was engaged in some celebration. Elm was rebuilt and is home to a factory producing some famous Swiss drink whose name escapes me, but is milk based (and awful too!)

Elm – Rockfall

The evening was spent back in Baden, with both Carmen and Eva, and we whiled away the hours recalling the times we’ve had together and the mischief we’ve all gotten up to since.



© 2012-2024 Shaanan Cohney