Although we deeply love Berlins every corner, from Wassertumplatz to Grunewald, we sometimes feel the need to get away for a weekend. Especially when the temperatures are as promisingly high, as they will be the upcoming May weekends. When Angry Chicken is no longer an option, clubbing grows redundant and meeting your friends at Holzmarkt really starts to bore you – we are right here for you to get you out of your Berlin blues. We thought about 5 charming cities to visit on the weekend, that are just 2 hours or less away from Berlin and interesting to explore. So, get your bus ticket or carpool organized, we’re going to get you going!
International travel videographer Alex Soloviev has already blessed us with his two stunning Berlin travel videos The Inner Layer and Everyday Berlin. Now, on the quite sad occasion of the fire at Notre-Dame, he released a beautiful tribute video of the French Icon that he shot on the roof of the famous church – a place that is probably not going to be accessible for years to come. From here you see those parts of the church that were probably the most destroyed by the devastating fire earlier this week.
As shocking as the fire and its damages to the beloved building were – it’s a relieve to know that it was not completely lost and can be rebuilt again. In Berlin, most of our major sights were also quite heavily destroyed by fires at some point in the past – for buildings this old it’s just always gonna be a part of their history.
For some Berliners, Brandenburg feels like Mordor from Lord of the Rings. A dark place you are not supposed to go. But our recent discovery will make this assumption disappear even for the most sceptikal ones: An Alpaka farm with the most fluffy creatures of the world
Just one hour from Berlin by car is the little village of Börnicke near Nauen. There you will find the privately run Alpaca farm run by Nora and Joachim. Both are big fans of Alpacas who normally live in South America. They decided to build a little stable for these incredible animals next to an idyllic forest.
When we arrived we did not really know what to expect. But as soon as we stood in the middle of the field the funny animals avidly came towards us eating crispy bread from our hands and cuddling with us. We instantly got high of joy. I would have never believed it myself, but playing with these animals gives you the absolute feeling of happiness. When they look at you with their cute big brown eyes you cannot avoid feeling a deep warm sensation around your heart.
photo: HappyGoLucky Hostel
With all the stories depicting Berlin as a modern day Shangri-La (which we can be innocent of spreading a little bit), you might be one of those happy-go-lucky expats arriving here with very little idea as to where they’re gonna rest their bones after their tendency to doze off at a club becomes rather a nuisance. But scoring a place of your own is no easy feat in the super competitive Berlin real estate market. When all your struggles have been in vain and you still haven’t found a flat, always asking your one night stands for a sleepover, it’s time to temporarily let down your arms and check out some affordable hostels before fortune finally smiles back at you:
Even if you live a healthy lifestyle between yoga classes and Quinoa Avocado bowls: a big city like Berlin with its hustle and bustle is surely not beneficial for our health. Air pollution, sound pollution, electric pollution are just a few annoying things. Where I suffer actually the most are bars that feel like a deep dive into an ashtray full of cigarettes or the typical 12-hour working shifts sitting in offices destroying your eyes in front of a flickery computer. Of course, Berlin has beautiful nature with plenty of lakes and forests just outside the city. But the landscape is flat and boring like a pancake. So if you want to breathe pure mountain air and get an eyegasm while checking out the curvy Dolomites you have to follow us on our little Berlin escape down to South Tyrol.
We have been a fan of this region for several years now and try to get there as often as we can. This time around we had the chance to try out some specific health and balance activities the tourism office of South Tyrol is offering. Not only the pricing of this program is more than fair. On South Tyrol Balance you have the chance to choose from so many different activities that you will be surprised how many diverse experiences you can have in just one region.
Below we will guide you through our 7 favorite South Tyrol wellness experiences with some pretty awesome pictures we took over there.
This past weekend I had the pure pleasure to celebrate Midsommar in Sweden on a beautiful estate in the countryside near Ahus. We’ve all heard of this holiday here because of all the Swedish people living here and the Germans generally being quite into Swedish things. For the Swedish this is really a big deal, it’s like the next big thing after Christmas. It was my first time, and considering how amazing it was, I hope it won’t be the last time.
The Midsommar Weekender was initiated by Absolut, and knowing how elaborate their events are from previous ones (see here and here) we knew we were in for a real treat. The three day affair pretty much incorporated all the traditions of Midsommar, including flower crows, maypole dancing, a big lunch banquette and outdoor games. Mixing it with what Absolut does best – cocktails, concerts and great parties – it turned out to be pretty spectacular weekend. We totally want you to start celebrating Midsommar here too, so to wet your appetite we brought you some photos from this lovely weekend in Sweden.
Not so long ago, I used to spend two hours on a train to get to my high school in Warsaw. The long commute and initial alienation were worth the thrill of being surrounded by a strange crowd. I got engrossed by it. Every morning, I’d spent at least 10 minutes of my ride in the joyful anticipation of the moment when the train rolls onto the station and I get lost within the urban flow.
This notion of pure excitement and longing for some big city action accompanies me to whatever metropoly I visit, and obviously New York was no exception. I wanted to find out if the famous city that never sleeps could cast a spell on me quite like Berlin did – getting off the plane, I was wondering if I might end up feeling like I want to stay.
The end of the world can be a beautiful place sometimes. At least that’s the case for Apulia the high heel of the boot of Italy and the little village of Castro at its bottom. There you really feel you have reached the end of all the worlds you know. No big city, no hustle and bustle, no futurism, no minimalism and certainly no cold. Neither the weather nor the heart of the welcoming people cheering travelers and tourist alike.
To give you a more unconventional description for this beautiful place we had the pleasure to experience for just two days, we will tell you more about the 4 unique colors we saw.
What can you do when Berlin gives you -2 degrees in April? We decided to give ourself a break from this great city with the ass-cold (free translation of the German term arschkalt) heart and start the season of Spring properly while escaping to Milan and visit the Milan Design Week. Sounds pretty spoiled, huh?
Well to be fair and square, Milan Design Week is a posh event only in certain ways. First of all most exhibitions and events are for free and without any guestlist involved. Secondly, flights from Berlin to Milan are more than affordable even close to Design Week. But mostly I think the event is so enjoyable and down to earth because the whole city with all inhabitants are curious about it and love to spend time visiting it. So you might enjoy the giant cockring designed by Hermes next to the Italian grannies from the neighborhood, or you might be playing in the playground of Toilet Paper Magazine or Marni with toddlers and battle for the best selfie poses with Italian high school kids. And I can promise you, you won’t win that battle.
So we were spoiled with good weather, nice Aperitivos and lots of playful design but were kind enough to come back to Berlin with lots of beautiful photos by Alicia Kassebohm. So after the jump we show you our favorite design highlights and trends we picked up there.
photo: Andre Ligeiro
The wild colorful Carnival might be over in Brazil but I want to introduce you to a place where the carnal sins don’t need glitter or costumes to be celebrated during night and day: Sao Paulo. Maybe New York never sleeps but Sao Paulo never stops to fuck. The two times in my life I have been to Sao Paulo I felt every time like falling through Dantes Inferno and seeing devils, demons, witches and pagan gods celebrating love and lust to their fullest. This megalopolis, this biggest city in the whole South American continent is a safe haven for the artists, the crazies, the queers, the rockers and everybody else who does not want to conform to religious rules or a closed minded society.
But wait! What about Berlin you might say? Well, of course the apple of sins in the neighbor’s garden looks always more delicious. While Paulistas and Brazilians in general love the open mindedness and carelessness Berliners tend to have towards sex and sexual relationships I definitely enjoyed the way Paulistas flirted and interacted with each other. Much more warm and friendly, still carnal and maybe even more body-centered then in Berlin.
Last time, three years ago, I danced inside an abandoned skyscrapers turned into a cultural center in the middle of the city. This time around I visited a former brothel turned into a night club called L’Amour. A place that is so small that most part of the party crowd is actually enjoying and celebrating each other on the street in front of it. Fortunately, there were a couple of photographers taking shots of the crowd (that enjoyed their presence while posing to the death).
Have a look on how the wild kids in Sau Paulo enjoy their nights and let’s hope for some good street parties in a much more warmer Berlin soon, too.