From the Archives: On an Excursion

Each fall break, BCB students disperse from leafy Pankow into the city of Berlin and beyond. While some students travel home, others take trips around Europe, and some use this valuable week to rest after midterms and explore Berlin. In this edition of “From the Archives,” we take a look at various excursions and adventures documented by students, from a decaying railway yard south of Berlin to the in-between places of Budapest, Hungary. We hope these articles provide some inspiration for your fall break travels and discoveries. 

Artwork by ODIOUS collective in Südgelände park (Credit: Liza Ostrovska)

March 2018 – Schöneberger Südgelände: In Search of the Sun by Liza Ostrovska

… Zoom-in: beads of red and green — wild rose berries, promise of life in the bud still unbroken, three days until the end of winter. Zoom-out: industrial wall marks the horizon. I see steaming pipes, Opel, rows of toned glass; further ahead — Südkreuz Ikea, strangled by a web of highways. And a few hundreds of meters away — a place where no traffic lights or cyclists condition your pace, where there is no danger in (Socratically) halting in the middle of the road to devote full attention to a strange and important thought, one that tends to enter the mind when least expected… 

View of a medieval look out in Sion, Switzerland. (Credit: Maggie Berke)

April 2015 – Notes on Travel by Maggie Berke 

… I think I’ve found the lowest part of the city. I say this because it felt like the metro was falling as we rode downwards in a dark tunnel. The Swiss must be very accustomed to traveling up and down the mountains. I am not. I run out of the Metro and look for flatter ground… 

View over the Danube river in Budapest (Credit: Tanya Sharma).

April 2016 – The Budapest Diaries by Margarethe Hattingh

… Lately, I’ve been fascinated with the concept of in-between places. Take a bridge, for example, or a windowsill; hallways, doorways, sidewalks, metro-stops, Margaret Island, train compartments, to name but a few. I like to sit in these places to do nothing strictly useful. There’s something special about them. It’s got to do with how they are neither here nor there yet exist everywhere; somehow integral to both the spaces that they border but essential to neither. One wonders what they’re meant for. They make for good thinking spots. I wonder, sometimes, if Berlin would make this list….

February 2011 – A Fragment from Rome by Bardhi Bakija

… Our next stop is Chiesa Sant’ Antonio dei Portoghesi. The sounds of a Bach fugue clear our ears filled with the noise of motorinos. It is like traveling in a time-machine back in the days when music had a home; my friend however thought it was a pity that it was the preacher’s home… Being overwhelmed by all these churches, it was the perfect timing to put forward another point: ‘Do you know, my friend, that many saints came to die here, in Rome?’… 

From the road, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Credit: Claire August)

October 2017 – From a Day or Two in Sarajevo by Claire August

… You don’t feel like you know the place– I don’t feel like I know Sarajevo– but I felt like I knew the time that I was there and that it was long and deliberate: I recall sitting and eating a ball of crushed walnuts covered in chocolate and watching men on the other side of the street drink coffee from small cups and smoke; I recall leaning out from the windows to try to hear what they said on the loudspeakers of the cruise ships. Despite my heightened attention I still managed to cut my finger on a can of tuna. We ate it anyways… 

November 2018 – Mediocre Artists by Erick Moreno Superlano 

… The point of the trip was to break with the sedative routine of daily life in Buenos Aires and become full-time artists. Eugenio was going to compose music every day and I was going to read and write every day. So, we borrowed a tent from our friend Martín, we sold the few valuable things that we owned, and we bought two train tickets. Eugenio packed his guitar and a sound recorder and I packed my books and notebooks, and we took a train from Retiro Central Station. We didn’t know exactly where we were headed, or for how long, or even if we were coming back… 

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