There was a note on my pillow, a twelve line poem, “Verklarter Herbst” by Georg Traki, about how the year ends in the “Transfigured Autumn.” One line was especially appropriate: “Mit goldnem Wein und Frucht der Gärten (With golden vine and fruit in the garden).” There was a bowl of fruit on the side table in my room next to a window that overlooked the exquisite garden courtyard of this hotel, Brandenburger Hof. At the bottom of the poem, the hotel said it wished me good night: “Wunscht Ihnen Gute Nacht.” The innkeeper added a personal welcome note in English: “Live in my urban villa for a day, for a weekend -for a marvelous time.” I told myself I might just do that.

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