Any longtime Berliner knows that winters are for two things: Netflix and fleeing the city. We all have our own escape routes, some heading to Thailand or Mauritius, others sticking a little closer and leaving for Lisbon or Crete. And then there is that special kind of person, the wintersports enthusiast. These men and women actually seek out the colder spots in Europe, pleased as punch to get up early, spend several sunny hours on the slopes, and then zip down for an ungodly combination of carbs, booze, and Volksmusik called après-ski. Wanting absolutely none of that, but seeing the appeal of some time spent amidst majestic snowy peaks, we took up an invitation from the Jungfrau region and headed to Switzerland to see if we could not ski.
Just a small suggestion for a Christmas walk during the upcoming holidays: Tiefwerder is a small village in between Berlin and Spandau, located inside of a natural reserve of wet meadows called Tiefwerder Wiesen with a plethora of flora and fauna and well managed paths to walk around without disturbing the many beavers, herons, buffalos, and the last remaining spawning grounds for pikes.
Reachable by bus M49 from Bahnhof Zoo, or by car (may I suggest our supporting partner CarUnity, an easy and affordable way to rent private cars).
Nope, you don’t actually need a car when you live in Berlin. However, there are certain situations when you might want a car. Especially when it’s about discovering the Brandenburg fields around the city. Which is why I have teamed up with Opel’s new car sharing service CarUnity, to be able to bring you the finest sceneries, food places and hide-aways in Brandenburg (and probably Saxony, Mecklenburg Vorpommern and more). Starting with a beautiful little village in the Uckermark: Ringenwalde.
After getting lost on the steep mountain roads twining through the orchards and vineyards, it was a strange feeling, stepping out of the car and looking out over the darkened valley below, lights all atwinkle like some Tyrolean city of angels. Night had fallen as we went up, and a brook crashed loudly downward somewhere nearby. The farmhouse where we had parked didn’t look stereotypically Tyrolean, but then again, it also didn’t look like it dated back to 1318. Inside, we’d find the dining room papered in newsprint from to the 18somethings. But we didn’t come to the Schnalshuberhof for history, we thought, we came here to törggel. And there’s no other way to törggel but to törggel hard.
Seems like I spent most of my time in Hamburg in Altona – that huge district including the posh suburbs along the north shores of river Elbe as well as the crazy popular Schanzenviertel – Altona’s heart and old city center is located around the station called Altona (you can get here directly by train from Berlin) and has been suffering the same fate as so many other once busy areas after the war. Following almost complete destruction, the city tried to rebuild it as a new commercial center, remodeling it into a shopping area, but tragically failed to revive the old spirits and left the area more or less to rot since the 1970s… before it experienced a new investor’s boom in the last couple years. Today, the main street of Große Bergmannstraße looks like many other shopping strips in former West Germany, same shops, same bakeries, same same. However, it’s also home to a lovely café called Klippkroog, (which didn’t need all this introduction but got it anyway).