Taking a kayak along the Spree

Guest post  by Euan McTear from Go with Oh

Boatzart Kayak Concert Event Morro Bay  by Mike Baird on FlickrThere are many ways to experience a new city when you arrive for the first time. A tourist bus, for example. A cycle on two wheels. Perhaps even good old-fashioned walking! However, ever since I took a kayak trip around Sydney Harbour, I make a point to kayak (if possible) my way around each new city I visit. With the River Spree stretching through the German capital, a kayak in Berlin is possible and something I’d recommend to visitors and locals alike.

The winding waters of Berlin’s rivers are the perfect spot from which to explore what people around Europe agree is a great city. Continue reading


Cool markings on the Berlin walls

Scribbling on treesI’m not a big fan of graffiti, but I have to admit that a lot of what is painted on the walls in Berlin are fantastic on so many levels. They can be either insightful, or cute, or confusing, or so detailed that it takes you 10 minutes to look at it all. There is so much graffiti even in one district, it would be impossible to capture it all.

So, when you’re walking the streets of Berlin, keep your head up high so that you don’t miss anything amazing. Check out a few samples: Continue reading

The Reichstag building

After the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag building that now houses the German Parliament, is one of the most visited places in Berlin and a symbol for German unity.

Located in the close vicinity of the Brandenburg Gate, it was originally opened in 1894, housing the Reichstag (the Parliament of the German Empire) until 1933 when it was damaged by a fire left unsolved to this day. It benefited from limited renovations since this time and was, thus, largely unused expect for military reasons during the Second World War. Continue reading

Treptower Park Soviet War Memorial

No matter how much I despise the monumental Soviet style that can still be found in almost every city in Romania, at the same time, there is something about it that captivates me. Probably it is because of the scale of the constructions or the simplicity and realism of its representations. The War Memorial dedicated to the 80,000 Soviet soldiers who died in the Battle of Berlin from Treptower Park is one of the monuments which truly impressed me. Continue reading

Berlin’s best known

A while ago, an article of mine on what to see in Berlin if you’re passing by got published on Nomadic (thanks for this, Paul!). Since the post was in Romanian, I thought it would reach a wider audience if I translated it into English and managed to have it published on an extensive blog focused on travelling and adventure, such as the very informative and inspirational Bucket List Publications. Luckily, my article was selected and can be read here. I hope the recommended tour is useful and it saves you some precious time wondering. Of course, there is so much more to see in Berlin, but for those who only have 1-2 days to spend here, the sights mentioned are among the most important and relevant for the city. Enjoy!

The Horrors of the German language Part III

 “The creator of the German language appears to have given his best to make it as complicated as possible.”

As I have promised last time I discussed the troubles caused by the German language, today I will tackle those infamous long nouns and the solutions Mark Twain proposed to make the language more coherent and easier to learn.

“In German, all nouns are written with a capital letter. This, ultimately, is a good idea and a creditable one, because this language is not rich in terms of good ideas.” Continue reading

November 9, 23 years ago in Berlin

The Berlin Wall at Topographie des Terrors

Today is November 9, a day of great significance in German history that marked both glorious events as well as dark moments. I will talk about the most recent event that marked the history of Germany and led to the reunification of this state: the fall of the Berlin Wall.

23 years ago on this very day something that many people living in the GDR or in other communist countries thought would never happen: the wall that for 28 years brutally separated families, friends, neighbours, colleagues in Berlin was opened, a move that resulted in its almost complete destruction within a few short months. Continue reading

The Horrors of the German language Part II

“The study of German is tiresome and can lead to insanity”

Continuing the discussion I started yesterday on Mark Twain’s reproaches of the German language, I will begin this post by discussing those troublesome verbs.

Even if you don’t speak German, you probably already know the curious habit of placing the verb at the sentence in many situations (most secondary phrases, after most conjunctions, most tenses etc). This effectively means that when you are speaking, you must know precisely what you are going to say and not make it up as you go along, which is what I do most of the time. Continue reading

The Horrors of the German language Part I

When Mark Twain wasn’t writing the most adventure-packed stories of our childhood, he was travelling and writing about these in his characteristics way: humorous and insightful. In one of his travels abroad, chronicled in the book A Tramp Abroad (available completely here) he ended up in Germany, where he stayed for several months. Here he studied some German in order to ease his journey and find out more about the people. While he praised many aspects of German society of the late nineteenth century, the German language was not one of them. Continue reading

A view from above

Last time I wrote about the Siegessäule monument here, I failed to include some pictures taken from above. And since the view offered by this site in Berlin is probably only exceeded only by the Fernsehturm, which is almost four twice taller, I thought some pictures could do no harm.

The narrow and winding staircase will take some effort to climb

Continue reading