Category Archives: Germany

This weekend a quick train ride brought me to Leipzig. After waiting for 2 years I finally got to go to the Rammstein concert! I took the opportunity to check out the city and I was surprised. What a beautiful place this is! At only 1,5 hours from Berlin, it’s perfect for a day or weekend trip. The gigantic Leipzig Hauptbahnhof is right at the edge of the inner city. From here you walk straight to all the main sites, the many shops and cosy restaurants. The station is the largest one in Europe, at least by surface area, and it’s got a shopping mall hidden under the station floor. But once you leave the station, you find out Leipzig is the city of “biggest”. The tallest town hall tower in Germany stands in the huge castle-like new town hall. The old one wasn’t big enough, so Leipzig build a…

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It’s funny how you start to believe you can do something. Last August I watched the half marathon, referring to the runners as crazy. In September I joined a company 5,5 km and surprised myself with the result. At the end of that month I watch the marathon runners, calling them insane. I still think it’s crazy, whether it’s a 21 or 42 km, but slowly I felt the urge to increase my running distance, just to explore what I would be capable of. As I ran a few 10 km’s, new ideas started forming in my head. Maybe I should sign up for the half marathon… In November I started to increase my distances. 8 km. 10 km. 12 km. 14,5 km. If I could do that, then surely I could do 21 km? In December I felt comfortable enough to sign up, encouraged by a study friend whom…

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The Firmenlauf, or company run, is a 5,5km run around the Tiergarten area in Berlin, open to companies to sign up for. I hadn’t done a race since I was a teenager, so when the sign up sheet was published in our company, I decided to go for it. I picked up a number, T-shirt and tracker chip and was ready to go. On the day of the race weather had turned. After a couple of beautiful September days, there was now rain in the forecast and with it the complaints from other participants started flooding in on Slack. Once again I was surprised by the negativity of people. Because of COVID there were stricter rules at the race and you couldn’t leave your bags anywhere this year. That meant that you had to run with everything you carried. It was raining lightly as we all gathered near the Brandenburger…

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For the third year in a row I visit the Festival of Lights in Berlin. This year’s theme was creating tomorrow, supporting the climate pledge, so there were plenty of images of nature and renewable energy. The main three places displayed man, nature and technology on the Brandenburg Gate, Bebelsplatz and the TV tower. All up there were about 70 locations showing light installations varying from lit up trees and still images to video mapping. The main difference with last year was that it felt like COVID was just a figment of our imagination. It was incredibly busy, with masses of people moving along Unter den Linden. Tourists and Berliners alike had come out to see the show, even on the colder and wetter days. Bebelsplatz was one of the crowded places along the main route through Mitte. I always love Bebelsplatz since there are many installations in one place…

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The forecast showed a sunny Saturday, so I decided to sign up for a meetup. I’d been trying to find a day to go kayaking but so far it hadn’t worked out. Perhaps this was my chance. The day started off cloudy and it was the obvious first point of conversation as I met the other people at Schlesi U-bahn station. From here we walked to Freischwimmer, a quirky café along the canal that ends in the Spree river. Signs directed us through a small entrance along the back of the café, passing a little stage with a wide selection of chairs in front of it. It all felt very ‘Berlin’. At the very end was a small dock with a bunch of kayaks, canoes and old paddle boats. We sorted in some groups and the 11 of us entered the water. I was well familiar with the area, doing…

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It’s strange to walk through the city these days. Guides stand in the middle of the sidewalk, bike tours race by, people have cameras around their neck and the terraces are full of people having breakfast, even on a weekday. Tourism is returning to the streets of Berlin. It’s minimal, but it’s obvious. A lot of Germans come to check out their own capital, but there some people from further afield.  Sunday started out as an incredibly hot day. Even when I biked through the quiet streets at 9AM, it was already hot. But it was also windy. A change was coming. I decided it was about time for me to explore my city a bit more as well. I chose a small museum that perhaps isn’t visited so often by first time visitors. From my home I walked through the Mauerpark, where cheers were coming from the karaoke stage…

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I can barely believe it. In two weeks I’lll have been in my new job for half a year and my probation period is ending. My life looks so different compared to one year ago. Back then it was full of uncertainty and I couldn’t even have imagined where I’d be right now. At least I had time. Time to explore Berlin, to explore my hobbies and totally de-stress. Going back to working full-time has not been easy. I’m still struggling finding a balance between sports, household chores, shopping, friends, activities and rest. One year ago I was in Greece, taking my mind off of the whole situation. Now, well… I’m planning a trip to Greece! In two weeks I’m celebrating my new life with a well deserved holiday. I can’t believe I haven’t left this country since November! In February I started working from home in a new job…

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A trip to New Venice. Doesn’t sound so bad. After a long time of not traveling this certainly sparks the imagination. But for today no gondolas, pasta or pigeons on St. Marc’s square. Instead I took an S-bahn to the outskirts of Berlin, met up with some colleagues and started exploring the area. From Rahnsdorf S-bahn station we walked through the forest to the edge of the Müggel lake to take a peak at the ducks with their ducklings. We continued and followed a road that led us to the old fishermen’s town of Rahnsdorf. At the center of town stood a lovely church. A small alley led to the waterside where a ferry took cyclists back and forth over the lake. It was a warm but cloudy day and loads of people were out on their bikes. We were nearing New Venice. New Venice was completely in theme, with…

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It’s been a busy few weeks. I’ve moved and it feels like the last few weeks were filled with online shopping, planning, moving stuff, painting, moving more stuff and painting again. Slowly my new place is coming together and slowly I’ve got more time to do other things. As it happens the corona numbers dropped and life is slowly returning on the streets and in the restaurants. So my repetitive weekends took a turn and I’m still recovering from a jam-packed 2 days. On Saturday night I actually went to the circus. It may not sound so exciting, but it really was. After a bit of a detour we finally found the entrance of a terrain bordering the train tracks. We passed a skate park and entered an artsy world that could fit into a movie. This felt like the Berlin that’s slowly disappearing. There was art made from junk…

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It’s been a looooong winter. And it doesn’t seem to end. I look outside the window and see dark clouds looming in the sky. Summer is absolutely fantastic in Berlin, but somehow Mother Nature decided to make us wait. As if the ongoing lockdown isn’t enough… But occasionally she surprises us with a nice day. One weekend, after a Friday afternoon snow shower, Sunday hit us with 27 degrees Celsius. What an unexpected surprise! One of only 2 nice days before the forecast changed to dark clouds and rain drops. So out and about we went. All of us. The whole city! It happens to be the perfect timing to see the cherry blossoms. Berlin has several places with cherry trees, but the lane at the edge of Berlin, in Teltow, is by far the most popular. The lane stretches out for about 1,5 km in the area where the…

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