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Schloss Charlottenburg

Posted on August 30, 2014

Over the last few months, we’ve found ourselves sticking mainly to the East side of Berlin. So today’s field trip was a trek to the West to visit Charlottenburg Palace. This ornate royal residence was built at the end of the 17th century in baroque and rococo styles. It even includes a room called ‘the Porcelain Cabinet,’ which holds thousands of porcelain objects as well as a stuffed deer hanging from the ornate molding. Outside are formal gardens and walking trails surrounded by beautiful woodlands.

Deutsch lernen

Posted on August 29, 2014

Ich bin jeden Tag im diesem Sommer Deutsche Sprachschule gegangen. Heute war meinen letzten Tag und jetzt ich fertig bin!

Deutsch ist hart und zu lernen eine neue Sprache schwierig ist. Ich habe mich zu viel durch die Sommer darüber beschwert. Am Ende, bin ich mit die Herausforderung zufrieden. Deutsch Grammatik ist ärgerlich, aber muss ich es los lassen. Dafür muss ich immer meine Haupt Punkt sprechen und nicht an der Grammatik zu konzentrieren. Mein Freund ist immer geduldig und hilfreich mit diesen Sachen!

Ich freue mich mit unsere Pläne für die Zukunft, aber bin ich auch ein bisschen traurig meine Sprachschule verlassen. Ich glaube ich muss wieder Deutsch sprechen, üben und lesen während wir in Indien sind. Ich möchte mit meinem Deutsch fließend zu werden!

Hinterhöfe und Hinterhäuser

Posted on August 28, 2014

Old Berlin buildings were constructed to account for the city’s extraordinarily deep blocks. As we walk through Prenzlauer Berg, Mitte or Kreuzberg, we peek through the main building carriage doors into these beautiful courtyards and Hinterhäuse hiding behind.

When these buildings were erected, the front houses were built as spacious apartments for officers, civil servants and ‘higher’ society. These Vorderhäuser open up to beautiful courtyards and then another set of buildings which were workers’ dwellings, garages and shops in the wings and rear houses. And in certain cases, there is yet another courtyard and a third or even fourth set of rear buildings, all completely hidden from the street.

We love walking the cobblestone streets of Berlin, spying through doors to see how deep some of these Höfe go into the block. We’ve spied the most beautiful ivy climbing the sides of Hinterhäuser, visited secluded courtyards filled with wildflowers and stumbled upon quaint restaurants nestled between the third and fourth set of rear buildings. All are little treasures we’ve loved discovering.

Biking in Berlin

Posted on August 25, 2014

This city was made for biking. In addition to riding my bike to class each day, Thomas & I tour all around Berlin to discover each of its different quarters. The city is pretty spread out, so some days we find ourselves on our bikes for hours. Our favorite spots are our neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg, Mitte and of course the beloved Tiergarten with its wooded trails, English gardens and scenic lakes. Biking has certainly been a highlight over the course of our 2 1/2 months here!

Field of stelae

Posted on August 24, 2014

Michelle came to visit from London and we took one of our favorite sunny day bike rides through Berlin. We walked around the Field of Stelae, a somber memorial to victims of the Holocaust.

The monument is laid out over 19,000 square meters and includes 2,711 concrete pillars – called stalae – that create a grid-like structure. We walked through the unevenly sloping field and got lost among the gray forest of concrete. It created a slightly disorienting, wave-like feeling as we made our way through the columns, all slightly different in size.

Friends in Berlin

Posted on August 9, 2014

We’ve been lucky to have quite a few friends & family members come visit, which is wonderful because we love sharing our new (temporary) home with others. Frank & Louis came to Berlin from Cologne and we met up with them at a lovely Friday night picnic. It was another beautiful Berlin weekend, so we met up at the Tiergarten and strolled through a flohmarkt, the park and discovered one of the cutest biergartens in all of Berlin.

We’ve seen Raimond a handful of times, and were able to spend the weekend with him & Stefan brunching, shopping & sightseeing. My friend Taleah came from New York, and we used her visit as a good reason to be a tourist in our own town too, going to museums, parks and restaurants we hadn’t discovered yet.

Thomas’s sister Susanne came from Essen so we biked all over town, showing her our favorite flohmärkte and parks. And of course, we have Alexandra, Ben & Christian who we see nearly every week. We’ve loved spending Saturday nights at their See House, grilling and enjoying the beautiful Berlin summer weather.

Bunker art

Posted on August 9, 2014

Housed in this old air raid shelter is one of Berlin’s largest private collections of contemporary art. We’ve ridden by it on our bikes dozens of times and only recently realized it was home to an art collection which we’d heard about through friends. Visits to the bunker are by appointment only, so we decided to check it out this weekend.

The bunker was constructed in 1943 to shelter up to 3,000 people during air raids. There are 120 rooms on five floors, and the walls are up to two metres thick. At one point, the bunker became storage for tropical fruit – it was once called the Banana Bunker – and then a hardcore techno and S&M club in the 1990s. It’s now a fascinating space which houses sculpture, installation, painting, drawing, video and photography.