überlin

Who let the dogs out? At Grünewaldsee…

by Zoë Noble

Last week was our 13 year anniversary (eeek!), so to celebrate we packed up Olive and her friend Edna, and headed to Grünewaldsee for the day. We’ve been there a few times and the Hundestrand is one of our favourite places to go in Berlin. You can let the dogs off the leash so they can frolic with their furry friends while you chill and eat guacamole like a boss. Below are a few iPhone snaps of the day – dog pervs, enjoy!

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Walking the Berlin Wall

by James Glazebrook

When Context Travel invited us on one of their walking tours, we chose “Walking the Wall”, and then immediately regretted our decision! As tourist attractions go, we’ve always found the Berlin Wall to be a deep disappointment – after all, it’s only steel and concrete, daubed in hippy-dippy murals. And surely, as Berlin residents and bloggers, we already know everything there is to know about this part of the city’s past?

It turns out we needn’t have worried, because our guide Rasmus brought to life the human history of the Cold War era, with anecdotes gathered from unique sources like his older colleagues, stories running from the tragic to the ironic. We were particularly fascinated by the city’s struggle to preserve a lasting legacy while balancing the interests of the people whose properties line the memorial site, and the broader population whose taxes are paying for it. True to the travel company’s name, we got context in spades, and learned a great deal more about the history of the Berlin Wall. Choose a day with guaranteed good weather (if that’s a thing), and book a “Walking the Wall” tour here.

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Blub

by Zoë Noble

Berlin is bursting at the seams with amazing abandoned buildings and it’s pretty shocking how few I’ve actually visited. I’ve no idea why, because for a photographer they’re so bloody interesting to shoot. Rotting away and ripe with the stench of history, it’s hard not to feel a bit creeped out walking around them, all the while snapping colourful glass crystals and eye-popping graffiti. Well I got off my arse a few weeks ago and visited a deserted leisure centre called Blub, and it didn’t disappoint. Check out my photos below (plus Danilo’s lovely portrait of yours truly!) and read more about Blub and how to get there on Abandoned Berlin.

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Gassi gehen in Grunewald

by Zoë Noble

If you go down to the woods today… you’ll see wild Bullies scurrying through the undergrowth! We took Olive and her bessie, Frenchie-pug mix Oskar, back to Grunewald for an epic dog walk (auf Deutsch: Gassi gehen). The weather may not have been as good as the last time we were at Grunewaldsee, but our silly dogs and their idiot owners had a ton of fun. Release the batpigs!

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Grunewald Map Hannah Graves

Olive in Grunewald

Grunewald Trees Sky

Grunewald Walk Dogs

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Grunewald Lake Olive at Water Edge

Grunewald Lake Olive at Water Edge

Grunewald Lake Houses

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Fantastic photos from Berlin’s biggest Christmas market

by Zoë Noble

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Tis the season! While all the other bloggers are seeking out the quaintest, most traditionally festive Weihnachtsmarkts in Berlin, we thought we’d go to arguably the worst and take the best photos of it! Wintertraum, which stretches from Alexanderplatz to Jannowitzbrücke, bills itself as Berlin’s biggest Christmas market, but really it’s a funfair – complete with candy floss vendors, vomit-inducing rides to test the stomachs of adventurous candy floss eaters, and what seems like a billion flashing lights. So what better place to test out the steampunk-y Petzval lens I had on load from Lomography?

The Petzval comes in stunning gold, and apparently “is a stunning reinvention of the legendary Petzval Lens, which was first conceived of in Vienna, Austria, in 1840.” It works with both analogue and digital cameras, and allows you to take photos with a narrow depth of field, producing a trippy bokeh effect in the background. I really enjoyed using it to capture the insanity of the Wintertraum Christmas market, including the creepy clowns, retro rides like “BREAK DANCE”, the possibly-BER-inspired “Chaos Airport” … and James’ beard! A photo opportunity if ever there was one. 😉

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Der Adlershofer Fundus: Prop House

by Zoë Noble

There are some places in Berlin that you can’t quite believe really exist. The Museum of Things is certainly one of them, Spreepark another, and now… Der Adlershofer Fundus. This prop house is completely unassuming from the outside, the exterior giving away nothing of the size and scale of what lies within. Walk down a few flights of stairs and the first thing you’re greeted with is the cutest little dog called Fundus… awwww. Once Fundus gives you the OK, you head into a warren of corridors. Filled to the brim with objects, clothes, set pieces and weird oddities from almost every decade, the sheer scale of the collection is jaw-dropping.

We wandered for hours, soaking it all up – around every corner a new era or object or mannequin to be terrified of. It just kept going, so I kept snapping. If you’re in the film industry or you need to build sets, then this place needs to be on your radar. I will most certainly be coming here when I need props for my next photo shoot, that’s for sure!

Der Adlershofer Fundus Telephones Der Adlershofer Fundus Terrier Dog Der Adlershofer Fundus Soldier Der Adlershofer Fundus Bottles Der Adlershofer Fundus Stuffed Grizzly Bear Der Adlershofer Fundus Clocks on Wall Der Adlershofer Fundus Retro Cameras Der Adlershofer Fundus Typewriters Der Adlershofer Fundus Milk Pales Der Adlershofer Fundus Wall Hangings Der Adlershofer Fundus Knomes Der Adlershofer Fundus Doll Der Adlershofer Fundus Lights Der Adlershofer Fundus Retro Televisions Zoë in Mirror Der Adlershofer Fundus Bags Der Adlershofer Fundus Stuffed Crocodile Der Adlershofer Fundus Medical Area Der Adlershofer Fundus Doctor Mannequin Der Adlershofer Fundus Prams Der Adlershofer Fundus Books Der Adlershofer Fundus Antlers Der Adlershofer Fundus Chairs Der Adlershofer Fundus Pottery Der Adlershofer Fundus Vintage Clothes Der Adlershofer Fundus Wigs Der Adlershofer Fundus Vintage Clothing Der Adlershofer Fundus Disco Ball Der Adlershofer Fundus Vintage Clothing Der Adlershofer Fundus Batman

 

Around Rügen: Exploring the Island

by James Glazebrook

James and Olive in Jasmund National Park

It feels like a lifetime ago that we got back from our trip to Rügen. The highlight of our island experience may have been the Nazi ruins of Prora, but every day was like a little adventure. Olive may have been happy rolling around in the grass around our holiday home, but somehow we managed to tear ourselves away and explore Rügen to the fullest.

Jagdschloss Granitz
If there’s one thing we learned on Rügen, it’s that Germans really believe that getting there is half the fun. All of the island’s landmarks are situated a good few kilometres from the nearest car park, just so visitors can fit in a decent hike while they’re sightseeing. Jagdschloss Granitz, a pretty pink confection of a hunting castle, is fine – but the walk up, through unspoiled fields and forests, is sublime.

Cat resting in the sun Couple sitting waiting for the train Jagdschloss sign Jagdschloss forest Jagdschloss

Sassnitz
We came to the port town of Sassnitz for the Fischbrötchen – the same reason we didn’t stay long! As North Sea natives, we thought we liked fish – until we sunk our teeth into Rügen’s local delicacy. Turns out we need our seafood to have at least been kissed by a grill before it enters our mouths, but don’t let that put you off.  Get yourself to the wind-battered harbour of Sassnitz for taste of something super-fresh.

Sassnitz pier Fischbrötchen Sassnitz harbour

Sellin
The next stop on our tour of Rügen’s seaside towns took us to Sellin, worth checking out for the longest pier on the island and the old-fashioned Strandkörbe (“beach baskets”), available to rent for pooped-out visitors. When we were there, a couple were taking wedding photos running through the south beach surf. Cute!

Sellin pier

Jasmund National Park
This nature reserve on the Jasmund peninsula is Deutschland’s answer to Dover, home of the largest chalk cliffs in Germany. A peaceful hike through a beech forest brings you to Königsstühl (the King’s Chair), and a vertigo-testing climb 160m down rickety wooden stairs finds you on a rugged, undisturbed beach, with epic views out across the open sea. Unmissable.

Jasmund National Park forest

Jasmund National Park cliffs

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Jasmund National Park

Boat in the ocean

Olive and James looking out at the ocean