I'm just wrapping up three weeks of filming in Germany, and I'm impressed by the souvenirs of its tumultuous history. Doing TV shows on Frankfurt, Nürnberg, Dresden, Leipzig, and Hamburg, you can't avoid the flip side of Germany's greatness.
Like the USSR had the KGB, East Germany had the Stasi. This amazing museum smells like the musty files that it kept on its citizens. The old vinyl floor is yellowed, and the camera lenses actually look like buttons.
In Leipzig, a city that helped lead East Germany to freedom at the end of the Cold War in 1989, the excellent Contemporary History Museum gives a fascinating insight into the 40-plus years people spent under communism.
I keep seeing examples of how our aggressive, high-powered, corporate-driven society is just accepting the reality that the climate is changing. Flood gates are being built on streets that never needed them before, in anticipation of storm surges becoming more common and damaging.
This is Cardiff Castle's original motte-and-bailey (keep on a mound). Arundel has the same kind of historic core. In both cases, the 11th-century original fort is almost like a garden ornament for a much bigger and more fanciful 19th-century, Neo-Gothic palace.