Thursday, 13 October 2011

Second Hand Treasure III

In the Oxfam bookshop on Marylebone High Street (thank you Miss W for making me aware of this charming street so central and still so non-touristy) I found this gem a few weeks ago. A Baedeker travel guide for Northern Germany from the year 1890 (!!!). A few pages are lose and it is not in the best condition but who cares. I'm not a collector, for me it's the history and the inside that counts.

So if you were planning to travel to anywhere north of Frankfurt you had found the perfect guide full of helpful tips, folded maps and adresses so you know what to do, where to eat and where to stay.

"..the fact that German railways are generally well organised..."

"A slight aquaintance with German is indispensable for those who desire to explore the more remote districts of Germany..."

"A waiter's mental arithmetic is faulty, and the faults are seldom in favour of the traveller."

"Large popular gatherings take place at Sternecker's Schloss Weissensee, but it is hardly advisable for ladies to encounter the crowd."

There are thousands more sweet, innocent, historically significant and entertaining facts to explore. I would have never known e.g. that already there were vegetarian restaurants and a tapas bar in Berlin, that there was a fashion for traditional Bavarian beer halls and that you needed a passport to travel in case there was the "minor state of siege" (kleine Belagerungszustand) existing...

A book to lose yourself in for days...makes you wanna time-travel, makes you dream...and makes you sad and uncomfortable when you read about a sight like the synagogue or shops called "Benjamin" and think that back then they all were unaware of all the horror going to happen 45 years later...

A wonderful find that will keep me reading again and again. Travelling through Berlin now with this book as a companion, that would be amazing.
Looking out for the Southern Germany edition now...

where: Oxfam Books, Marylebone High Street, London
price: 5£


  1. unless they change this very recently there is still a law in Germany that requires you to carry a form of identification with you at all times. I doubt it's enforced in any way, but Germany used to be one of the few countries that never got rid of this...

  2. yes indeed. And I always carry ID with me...very un-British...but I doubt the reason behind it is the "kleine Belagerungszustand" again ;-))