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Meanwhile Back in Berlin

All bus stops list all the S and U station connections. Every station has public transport and local street maps. To figure out which platform to choose, look for the end point on your train line based on where you are and where you want to go, and then you know what platform to choose. For example, the S-1 runs from Wannsee in the south to Oranienburg in the north. So if you are heading in the direction of Wannsee, look for the platform that says Wannsee.

Bikes are Best: Berlin is extraordinarily bike-friendly, especially in the suburbs. The city is flat, built on a marshy plain, and specially designated bicycle paths are everywhere. This time we rented bicycles from Zweirad Taberski & on Machnower Strasse. These sturdy bicycles, designed specially for Berlin, were simply magnificent, and cost less than eight euros a day. Lightweight with comfortable seats, our rides offered outstanding shock absorbers and wide tires for bumpy cobbled streets and unpaved paths through woodlands and parks.

Photo caption:

Biking in Berlin by KPBS, on Flickr

Since our last stay here, a small additional cost now is required to take bicycles on the S-bahn, but the convenience is worth it. From our home on Clara Zetkin Strasse we rode to the Zehlendorf station, where we boarded with our bicycles destinations throughout Berlin, from the fresh water lakes in the south to the marvelous Honigmond Garden Hotel , the Magical Mystery Literary Tour's home in Berlin.

Speaking of which, I promised you my sister Trudi's final report from the Tour. Trudi joined the first Kafka Project in Berlin in 1998, spending two months as my research assistant and helping me with German translations. Born in Germany, Trudi earned her degree in German Studies from the University of Alabama-Hunstsville, where she studied under Kafka scholar Rolf Goebel . She is not only my sister, but also one of my best friends, who shares in the new family connections that the search for Dora has created. For example, the connection to Dora's in-laws, the Lask family of Berlin: &

From Trudi Diamant : My last night in Berlin was happily spent in the home of Ruth Lask-Kessentini and her husband Sami, along with their two children, five-year old Elias, and Nadja, age two. The dinner party consisted of Dr. Ulrike Eisenberg , a neurosurgeon, her husband Christof, and their nineteen month old daughter, Katarina, my cousin Karen Willis and her husband Bob, and of course, Kathi and Byron. It was Ulrike who put Kathi in touch with Ruth Lask, ten years ago. Ulrike was conducting research on the ground-breaking work of Dr. Louis Jacobsohn-Lask (Dora's father-in-law) at the same time and in the same archive as Kathi was conducting her research on Dora in Berlin in 1998. Ulrike noticed that a person by the name of Kathi Diamant had checked out all the same documents she herself was reviewing. She left a note for Kathi at the archive and the two later met. Ulrike had met and become friends with Ruth Lask earlier through her own research, and offered to introduce Kathi to Ruth. Ruth, who is a librarian for the Max Planck Institute , had carefully catalogued pictures of Dora Diamant and her family, photographs which were immensely helpful to Kathi in putting together the pieces of Dora's story.

The dinner was fabulous. No more beef and dumplings drowned in gravy for us. As the youngsters developed their social skills at a nearby children's table, the rest of us gathered around the adult's table where we were treated to a feast. Sami prepared a tasty Tunisian dish called Brek, a pastry shell stuffed with spinach, mushroom and cheese, then lightly fried and topped off with a squeeze of lemon juice. That was complemented by humus and bread, tomato and mozzarella salad, and a layered vegetable salad with a yogurt cream dressing. & And that was just the appetizers! We were then served a vegetarian lasagna and sausage cannelloni. & It was scrumptious. After all of that, we made room for Ruth's luscious, moist chocolate cake for dessert. & Schmeckt gut!!! &

Photo caption:

Lask-Diamant Reunion by KPBS, on Flickr

A big Danke Sch & ouml;n to Ruth and Sami for welcoming us into their home. & It was the perfect way to end this very special tour. & &

Respectfully submitted by Trudi Diamant, a proud member of the first ever Magical Mystery Literary History tour. &

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