uberlin

Chicago in Winter

by James and Zoe

You may have noticed that überlin has been a bit quiet of late. Sorry about that! The thing is, I spent most of January in Chicago being trained for a new job :) . It was bastard freezing (-35C with wind chill!), so I spent most of the time cabbing from my hotel to the heated office to warm restaurants, eating as much as I could to insulate myself against the cold – at least that’s what I told myself. But when Zoë joined me for the last week of my trip, we managed to do some exploring. Our favourite views of city were from the shoreline of the colossal Lake Michigan (300 miles long, 100 miles across), around the campus of Loyola University and along Lake Shore Drive in Downtown. It’s been nice getting back to the relative warmth (!) of Berlin, but we’re excited to share with you these beautiful images of Chicago in winter. Enjoy.

Blowing in the wind

Reflection

Frozen Chicago lake

Frozen treek trunk in Chicago

Flying bird in Chicago

Tree veins against blue sky

Frozen footpath in Chicago

Chicago Tree Veins

Chicago skyscrapers and frozen lake

Chicago skyscrapers

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überlin does Portugal: Beaches

by Zoë Noble

Portugal has the most beautiful beaches we’ve ever seen. Drive or cycle further afield than the crowded, chatty seaside towns of Estoril or Cascais, and you have your pick of quiet bays of calm, crystal clear waters and windswept surfer’s paradises. Here’s a selection of our favourite sun/sea/sand snaps from our recent trip to Portugal.

Praia do Guincho

Portugal Praia do Guincho Beach

Portugal Praia do Guincho Beach

Portugal Praia do Guincho Beach

Portugal Praia do Guincho Beach

 

Portinho da Arrábida

Portugal Porthino Beach

20130717-Noble-Portugal-065-650px

20130717-Noble-Portugal-063-650px

 

Aldeia do Meco

Portugal Meco Beach

Portugal Meco Beach

Portugal Meco Beach

Portugal Meco Beach

Photos by Zoë Noble Photography.

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überlin does Portugal: Chapel of Bones, Évora

by James Glazebrook

We’re such goths. Who else would spend a day of their holiday in Lisbon on a three hour round trip to see a chapel covered in skulls? The Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) in Évora, central Portugal, was built by Franciscan monks in the 17th century as a memento mori, an enduring reminder of their and subsequent visitors’ mortality. They lined the small room in the Church of São Francisco with 5,000 people’s skulls and bones, hanging the desiccated corpses of an unnamed adult and child for extra brutality. The builder’s bodies are buried here, slain by Napoleon’s invading army, and the entrance to this wonderfully macabre tourist attraction is marked with the extra-epic phrase, Nós ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos – “we, the bones that are here, await yours.” Props to the visitor who turned up in a Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Show Your Bones” t-shirt!

Portugal Chapel of Bones

Portugal Chapel of Bones

Portugal Chapel of Bones

Portugal Chapel of Bones

Portugal Chapel of Bones

Portugal Chapel of Bones

Portugal Chapel of Bones

Photos by Zoë Noble Photography.

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überlin does Portugal: Sintra

by James Glazebrook

Another highlight of our recent holiday in Portugal was a day trip to the historic town of Sintra, a short train ride outside of Lisbon. We walked through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed centre of Sintra-Vila and up a winding, forested hill towards the beautiful Parque da Pena. Once there, Zoë enjoyed the amazing views of the shimmering Atlantic ocean from the ramparts of the 9th century Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish castle), while I rediscovered my fear of heights and clung onto a nearby boulder.

After I pulled myself together, we hiked to the summit of the hill to explore the Palàcio Nacional de Pena, a fantastical palace built up around a modest 16th century monastery. An example of Portuguese Romanticism, this multi-coloured magic kingdom boasts fairytale features like onion domed-turrets, a Fountain of the Small Birds, and a grotesque half man-half fish rendering of Triton.

Sintra was swarming with tourists, but well worth the trip regardless – its historical sites are fascinating, and its views are (apparently) stunning. Oh, and unless you’re ready for an hour-long trek up a steep hill, don’t follow in our footsteps – take the ten minute bus ride from the train station instead!

Sintra Castelo dos Mouros

Sintra Castelo dos Mouros

Sintra Castelo dos Mouros

Sintra Castelo dos Mouros

Sintra Palàcio Nacional de Pena

Sintra Palàcio Nacional de Pena

Sintra Palàcio Nacional de Pena

Sintra Palàcio Nacional de Pena

Sintra Palàcio Nacional de Pena

Sintra Palàcio Nacional de Pena

Sintra Palàcio Nacional de Pena

Sintra Palàcio Nacional de Pena

Sintra Palàcio Nacional de Pena

Photos by Zoë Noble Photography

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überlin does Portugal: Lisbon

by James Glazebrook

Portugal flag sun

“Lisbon is the new Berlin.” That’s what we keep hearing from people who go to Portugal to escape the increasingly-hyped German capital, if only for a few days. However, we can neither confirm or deny that concept, as we went to Lisbon to top up on everything we can’t get here, like beaches, fresh seafood and ancient European history. We couldn’t tell you what the clubs are like, or the bars for that matter, and we didn’t bother to find out what the absolute best restaurants are; instead, we treated the city like one big highlight.

überlin does Lisbon

We hiked up the city’s narrow, winding streets, marvelling at the buildings’ intricate tilework and walls painted colours we’ve never seen anywhere else, before taking a boat cruise along the Tagus river. If forced to dish out practical tips, we’d recommend getting lost in the labyrinthian Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest district, hiking to the top of the highest hill you can find to enjoy the views across the city and its beautiful bay, and hiring a car to get to some areas of real natural beauty. More on that later – for now, here are our impressions of Lisbon.

Lisbon tram streetcar

Lisbon tiles

Lisbon architecture

Lisbon bright colours

Lisbon scaffolding

Lisbon flowers

Lisbon nuns river front

Lisbon 25 de Abril Bridge

Lisbon yellow

Lisbon lion tiles

Lisbon dusk twilight

Lisbon Afalma dusk twilight

Lisbon Afalma night

Lisbon tram streetcar night

 

Photos by Zoë Noble Photography

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Palais de Tokyo

by Zoë Noble

One of the best things I saw on my recent trip to Paris was definitely the Cold Sun season at the Palais de Tokyo gallery. Featuring a huge array of works inspired by avant-garde poet Raymond Roussel, covering the 1950s to today and spread over 2,000 square metres. My favourite exhibition had to be the work of Julio Le Parc, whose studies of light and movement were simply breath taking. The piece de resistance (had to get some French in there!) was a huge red sphere suspended from the ceiling, casting the most beautiful reflections all over the walls and floor. Cold Sun ends today, but no matter who is exhibiting, the Palais de Tokyo is a Paris must-see.

Palais de Tokyo 1

Palais de Tokyo 2,p>
Palais de Tokyo 3

Palais de Tokyo 4

Palais de Tokyo 6

Palais de Tokyo 7

Palais de Tokyo 8

Palais de Tokyo 9

Palais de Tokyo 11

Palais de Tokyo 12

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Postcards from Paris

by Zoë Noble

A few weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to get out of frozen Berlin and visit err, a frozen Paris! Who’d have guessed that in March, Paris would be hit by a blizzard, but looks like the whole of Europe is in a weather funk at the moment. After a couple of cancelled flights and a shut down airport (man up Paris), I made it to the City of Light. Getting there was kind of a big deal as I was shooting a piece for Harper’s Bazaar Arabia (career highlight!) so, once I actually landed, I celebrated by eating some macaroons which cost more than a month’s rent in Berlin.

The trip was made even more awesome by my sister flying over from the UK, so once the work was fini, the fun could begin! We couldn’t stop saying, “we’re in Pariiiiiissss!” and doing a little girly dance like nobhead Carrie Bradshaw when she sees the Eiffel Tower for the first time. Our highlights were wandering around Canal St-Martin, drinking the best tea I’ve ever tasted at Galleries Lafayette, seeing the Tour Eiffel’s stroke-inducing light show at night, and visiting Palais de Tokyo to see the amazing “Soleil Froid” exhibition (separate post to follow!). Here are some holiday snaps:

Like this? Then you’ll love my photos from my previous visit to Paris, and from Paris Fashion Week. Follow Zoë Noble Photography on Facebook for updates.

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Leipzig

by James Glazebrook

Leipzig 2

We try to get out of Berlin and experience the “real Germany”, and what happens? We both get sick. But we enjoyed an afternoon in Leipzig in Saxony before the stomach bug hit, in particular the beautiful pastel interior of St. Nicholas Church, an important centre of peaceful protest in the lead up the fall of the Berlin Wall. My parents had good things to say about the Bach Museum and Leipzig Zoo, and those in the know talk about the local creative scene as rivalling Berlin’s, so we might well pack up the Pepto-Bismol and make a return visit!

Leipzig 3

Leipzig 4

Leipzig 5

Leipzig 6

Leipzig 7

Leipzig 8

Leipzig 9

Leipzig 10

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Want a free trip to Berlin? You gotta Pin it to win it!

by James Glazebrook

This is the best competition prize we’ve ever offered! Because the German capital is the most awesome city in the world, what more could you ask for than free flights to Berlin, and free accommodation when you arrive? Perhaps the chance to meet us in real life? Can do! All you have to do is join überlin on Pinterest for a fun challenge.

Do you enjoy traveling? Are you sociable? Do you like the idea of meeting people who share your interests and discovering new places with them? If so, you’ll probably dig Roomsurfer, a brand new travel platform that is offering you this unforgettable trip to Berlin. Using the Berlin startup’s site you can enter your favourite city, select your interests and find your ideal host, someone with whom you have a lot in common and who can show you what you really want to see. Pretty cool, huh? Check out Roomsurfer for more information, or just watch this cutesy little video:

Back to the competition! The lucky winner will get a flight to Berlin (from one of these 100 major European cities) on April 28th 2012, and one night’s accommodation with a Roomsurfer host. You’ll also get an exclusive invitation to the Roomsurfer Launch Party, and more importantly (?), the chance to hang out with me and Zoë. From the afternoon of April 29th, you’ll have time to enjoy Berlin and, whenever you like, you’ll be flown back home. All you have to do tell us what you’re most looking forward to seeing when you arrive in Berlin.

And now, the deets
When: From 28th to 29th April.
(Or whenever you want to leave. Your return flight is flexible, although you only get one night’s free accommodation.)
Where: In Berlin.
What: An unforgettable trip and our company!
How do you win? By proving how social you are, using our latest social media crush, Pinterest. We want you to go back through our blog archives, and Pin the thing you most want to see in Berlin. It could be a restaurant, a boutique, or something totally unique like Loxx Miniature Railway. Whatever you pick, the Pin with the most Likes and Repins by the close of the competition will be the winner. Make sure to leave a link to your Pin in the comments below this post, so we can keep track of it.
Pro tip! If you want an extra nudge, tweet us the link to your pin with the words “I want to win a trip to #Berlin with @uberlinblog!” and we’ll retweet you. You’re welcome.
Deadline: You have until the end of the day on April 7th, when we’ll announce the lucky winner who will join us in Berlin.

Good luck!

Free Trip to Berlin

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Win money off your next holiday! Just tell us where to go…

by James Glazebrook

[EDIT: This competition is now closed. Congratulations to imaginary_lines, who suggested we travel to Dubrovnik, Croatia, and won themselves a €75 voucher to redeem against their next Wimdu booking. You can browse all of the competition entries on our Pinterest page.]

Wimdu, a website for booking private accommodation all over the world, have given us a voucher worth €75 to redeem against your next booking with them. All you have to do  is tell us where to go!

Portuguese ParadiseWith Wimdu, you can find the perfect place to stay in one of over 50,000 properties worldwide, or you can earn money by renting out your own property. This makes it a great place to find holiday apartments in Berlin, or in other destinations, if – like us – you’re trying to get out of the city!

One of our New Year’s resolutions was to “get out of Berlin more”. We kicked off the year with a trip to Stockholm and Copenhagen, but we’re looking for ideas about where to visit next. To be in with a chance to win, just tell us where to go!

Some additional requirements to make your job a little harder:

  • We love cities, but only if they offer something special. Because we live in what we think is the best city in Europe, if not the world, we are no longer impressed by expensive, boring, capital cities. Required: awesomeness!
  • We like beaches, but we get bored easily. Beautiful white sands are great, but our perfect destination would offer more to do than just lying on a beach towel. And, unlike other Brits abroad, we don’t count drinking as an activity!
  • We don’t want to revisit anywhere we’ve been to recently. Check out the new Travel section of our blog to find out where we’ve been, and suggest somewhere else, bitte!

Enter the competition by leaving a comment below, with your suggestion of where we should visit next, and your reasons why. The deadline for the competition is March 31st 2012, when we’ll pick our favourite entry and inform the winner.

Good luck!

Portuguese Paradise

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