Last Encounter

Alt Tegel, Berlin

Treat every encounter as if it was your last – for one day, it will have been.

Tegel Sechserbrücke
Tegeler Hafenbrücke (also called “Sechserbrücke” which you can roughly translate to “5-penny-bridge”). Here seen from the Tegeler Hafen

Alt-Tegel is a place I called home for 95% of my past life.

Last autumn, we travelled back to Berlin to clean our old apartment, cancel the contract and say goodbye.

Ducks at Lake Tegel in Gänsewerder
Ducks on Lake Tegel in a part that is called Gänsewerder (Goose’s Ait)

Shortly before the trip, I read about how by the time you’re 30 years old, 95% of the time spent with your parents is already history.

You already spent around 25.000 hours with your parents. And you likely won’t get more than 1.000 hours from here on with them.

Typical cobblestone street in Alt-Tegel, northern district of Berlin. On the left, you see a historical freshwater pump (it still works as of 2022).

This made me realize: It may very well be that I will never see this place again in autumn colours.

Tegel is a place I took totally for granted most of my life.

A place so normal for me – and yet so beautiful.

Moby Dick Boat Dampfer at Tegeler Hafen on Lake Tegel
Moby Dick Boat Dampfer at Tegeler Hafen on Lake Tegel

I decided to live this week as if it was my last time visiting Alt-Tegel.

Hoping to return, but not counting on it.

To capture memories, I want to cherish forever. To take in the moments fully.

Greenwich Promenade Tegel
Cannons at the Greenwich Promenade in Alt-Tegel. They have been a present by the London district.

Two days after I shot my first photos of this series, my grandma suddenly died.

She was in Berlin. We were scheduled to have lunch. On the morning of that day, she died.

Sechserbrücke in Alt-Tegel from a central perspective at sunset
Sechserbrücke in Alt-Tegel. Built in 1908 and probably the most symbolic construction of Tegel.

 I didn’t have a chance to see her again. Our last encounter was in spring.

Dorfkirche Alt-Tegel
Dorfkirche Alt-Tegel, church of the old village. I used to go here when I was a small boy.

Thankfully, it was a very loving encounter. I remember the laughter we shared.

And a small thing, like extending my time with her to help her with the groceries. Despite me having had other plans.

Something in me told me, “This is more important.”

But I would not have thought that this was the last time I would see her.

Malche in Tegel- Tree at Tegeler See in Berlin
My favorite tree – located at Malche (or Großer Malchsee) on the Tegel lake in Berlin, Germany.

Treat every encounter as if it was your last – for one day, it will have been.

And you may not know it beforehand.

Thank you, Tegel. For many wonderful years of my life, I called you “home”.

This series was also published on Behance.

Next photos to discover:

Nico Trinkhaus

Nico Trinkhaus

Nico Trinkhaus is the mind-blind photographer, using cameras to create visions and memories that otherwise would be lost to him.

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