Hackeschen Höfen

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For me, travelling is about happenstance. I will plan only for a few must-sees, but the aimless wanderings are my greatest pleasure.

In Berlin, I came upon this Hackesche Höfe when I went in search of a cabaret show. I’d seen the impressive Australian circus troupe, Circa, back home earlier in the year, so was thrilled to see they were previewing their new show at a 1920s cabaret venue called Chameleon. This happy coincidence would have been enough for me. However, when I sought out the somewhat hidden box office, I wandered through these beautiful, recently-refurbished courtyards, ripe with complex history, as is the case with most of the city.

What struck me most, though, was how these 300-year-old courtyards had breathed and huffed and heaved through their lifetime, and now, with compromise and thoughtful consideration, are filled with arts venues and greenery and community.

It seems, sometimes, like we’ll never get to a certain peace. Reading the story of the Hackeschen Höfen, the notion of “peaceful” reveals many faces.


IMG_1269A year-and-a-half ago, I was in Tennessee during an ice storm. My first ever experience with one. All the residents assumed that, as a Canadian, I was familiar with such phenomena as iced-over cars and below-20 temperatures. Most didn’t believe me when I said the west coast rarely sees such cold. I was surprised to learn snow in Tennessee isn’t uncommon.

Despite an almost entirely closed-down state, I and my companions had an incredible time. And we learned the best way to get private time at Graceland is to visit in the middle of calamitous weather patterns.