Berliners don’t like to be tourists in their own city. But, conveniently, there are Babelsberg and Potsdam. These towns are Disneyland for all Berliners who want to see a nice castle up close. There are as many castles as there are lakes. And neither seems wrong for a Sunday outing in the first place. A few weeks ago, we decided to check out a few of the highlights for you and write up a little tour for you.
photos: Roger Sabaté.
Back in March, right before the lockdown, I had the opportunity to try out a new retreat concept that brought me to the countryside of Brandenburg to the charming Neuhausen castle.
I haven’t done any retreats so far, so I was curious about this invitation and happy to confirm. One of the key aspects was the digital detox element which meant that for the entire stay all guests had to give up on all of their electronic devices including smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, computers. Considering how attached I usually am to all of these and how I often feel almost enslaved by the connectivity they offer, I felt it was about time for me to try out something like this. It was a test on how strong my addiction to being connected and constantly checking my phone I actually am.
Be Retreats is a project by daughter-mother duo Laura and Kathrin from Berlin who found there to be a great need for stressed-out Berliners to get out of the city and get away from the habit of being glued to their phones. Apparently, we grab the phone on average 200 times and spent 7 hours consuming various types of media per day. That sounds like a lot, but it also sounds pretty realistic.
We get it, Berlin has gotten boring without the clubs, concerts, and festivals that you are usually on to get yourself busy during the summer. Since corona has made us re-appreciate time spend outside and in nature, we thought about quenching your thirst for nature and giving you guys some ideas what to do on your weekends, in order to get out of Berlin and do something new and exciting. Stay tuned!
Summer is here and we could not be more excited to finally go out again and enjoy what the city has to offer. This year everything is different and we kinda have to rethink the way we spend our time. But we’re up for the challenge and ready to get creative.
Having lived in Berlin for 20 years you would think I’ve been everywhere in town. Well, I have not! And I’m kinda glad Berlin is so large there still remain some places that I hadn’t heard of before or never managed to visit. One of these corners of Berlin is Köpenick. It’s in the B zone, so it’s technically part of the city, but it pretty much feels like a separate little town, much like Potsdam, but smaller. And there are quite a few things there to discover, so a couple of friends and I decided to embark on a bike tour there.
Now that Corona has thrown all our annual plans completely over the edge, after an understandable phase of disorientation and a pinch of healthy self-pity, it is time for a new orientation.
Since long trips, festivals and clubbing are canceled for the summer, we have to get creative with what is left for us to do. After endless weeks locked down in our own four walls, most of us are drawn outside into nature, far away from our well-known quarantine station. We want to get away, get out, and experience something new. So we have been thinking about how you can make this year’s weekends a little more exciting.
photo: Alina Rudya.
The times when travel photography – or any other field, for that matter – were strictly men’s’ domain are gone. And yet there are still instances when following your passion as a female is synonymous with challenging the status quo. The new photography book by the Bell Collective is a celebration of 14 bold women who are truly carving their own paths across the globe and documenting this journey with pictures on Instagram.
A week ago I had the pleasure to join a press trip organized by my friend and colleague Katja from Travelettes that led us and a group of fellow bloggers to beautiful Bordeaux. When I researched the location of the city on a map I realized that France pretty much reads like the menu of a Gourmet restaurant with Bordeaux not being the only delicacy on the list. It made me realize how much this country is about good food and drinks – sometimes I tend to forget when I just go to Paris.
I’m glad I finally had the chance to see another part of France other than the capital. It’s such a different world really. Not just because of the more Southern weather, but also because of the beautiful landscapes, the charming people and generally more relaxed vibe. When you drive through the area it feels a lot like you are in Tuscany with the charming old limestone buildings, vineyards as far as the eyes can reach lined with cypress trees and rose bushes. It really is the backdrop for romantic movies.
On our trip, we had the chance to visit a lot of places, try a lot of wine and food and discover all the special highlights of the area. It’s a place that I can warmly recommend to anybody – regardless if you are into wine or not. I certainly want to come back here – to explore the city of Bordeaux more and discover more of these incredibly dreamy Châteaux.
When I travel to foreign continents and get asked where I am from, my answer is often: “I am from Europe”. I never really thought about what this means until the Brexit vote. It’s not that I don’t want to say that I am from Germany (because whoever asks is probably going to demand a more precise answer anyway and I will give it). It’s not a lack of national pride; it’s more a sense of international unity within my own continent. I am happy to be German, but I am proud to be from Europe. Being born and raised in an isolated country like the GDR, the sense of freedom after the reunification was amazing.
I grew into an adult benefiting from the bond that the European countries had formed with one another after being in conflict for centuries. For me this became the status quo. I could travel, study, live and work in all of the other countries without problems, which many of my class mates actually did, going to France or the UK after school. When many of the countries even started to share one currency it became even more united. Going to Madrid or to Rome over the weekend to visit friends or just have a good time, this no longer felt like taking a vacation in a foreign country. It felt like something else…
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.