Having been to Eskişehir (January) and Manisa (February), having explored new corners of Izmir (March) and travelled to Lisbon (April), Osnabrück (May) and Potsdam (June), it’s now time to dedicate a post to the wonderful city I live in: Berlin.
I had a visitor in July whom I showed around my favourite corners of the city and who made me fall in love with Berlin all over again, pointing out the many advantages and fun sides of living in such a diverse and crazy city. Having a visitor around makes you discover new parts of town, notice some details and appreciate your city from a fresh point of view. That’s how it was for me, at least. Here’s a little compilation of our time exploring my home town of choice:
Have you ever been to Berlin? What did you particularly like?
You’re walking down the street – in Istanbul, Izmir or any other Turkish city – and you spot them all over the place: Open air sport parks. They’re often located next to children’s playgrounds and they’re free to use for everyone. First I thought: Who wants to do sports in this summer heat? But trying them out myself, I found the various devices to be quite some fun. It’s like a playground for adults. So you can work out while watching your kids play. And you save yourself the gym fees. We should have these parks in Germany, too!
As one of my 2014 projects, I’m taking at least one trip every month. This can be far (e.g. to another country) or near (within the country or city). In June, I went to Potsdam, a city southwest of Berlin. The Sanssouci Palace and its beautiful garden parks represent Germany’s largest World Heritage Site.
I had been to Potsdam before to visit the palace and other touristic sites. This time, I had a mission of a different kind: Trying the famous cheesecake at Das Käsekuchen-Café in the Dutch Quarter. It had been highly recommended to me and I was not deceived. Their cakes are absolutely delicious and so generously portioned that I couldn’t even finish mine. Whether you prefer fruity or nutty tastes, they have a large variety of ingredient choices. The café is small and cozy and the staff is particularly friendly. So, all in all this was quite worth a visit.
What was your last memorable palate experience in your city or elsewhere? Share your experiences with the rest of us.
It’s summer – that special time of the year. Days and nights tend to be longer and brighter, the warm air caressing your skin and your senses. People smile, people enjoy themselves. Out in the sun, in a park, by a lake, in cafés… The feeling’s all over the place.
Having a stroll around one of Berlin’s popular districts the other day, I came across a torn poster that caught my attention, clearly stating to follow the heart. Only later did I notice the pair in the background.
For other interpretations of Summer Lovin’, have a look here.
… since I first set foot on Turkish ground. I remember it was a Sunday. I’d been anxious for this day for months. Nervous and excited alike. My one and a half year study abroad adventure in Izmir started later, in September 2012, but I had signed up for a language course in Istanbul before that. So, on July 29th 2012, I first fell in love with Turkey. Read more…
What we leave behind is never gone
Things we start we should get done
By the time we know our path
We’re fairly close to the aftermath
Live intensely, do it now Read more…
One of the many things I miss about Turkey is the daily call for prayers. The muezzin’s voice echoes from every mosque in the country five times a day, according to the position of the sun. I got used to this reassuring background sound, to these cyclical religious hymns, even though never understood the texts since they’re in Arabic.
Friday is the Muslims’ holy day. Around noon, all religious men gather in and around the mosques and engage in prayer. I often saw them during lunch breaks in the area near the office. They would lay out their carpets, take off their shoes and bow their torsos. There’s something peaceful about these collective praying ceremonies. Read more…
Travelling in Germany has become so much cheaper and convenient since the liberalization of the long distance bus system. Up until the end of 2012, you had to make use of the expensive rail way network which often included over-crowded trains and considerable time delays. But now it’s possible to take busses within Germany, just the way I’m used to from my Turkish travels. You hop in, you lay back and a few hours and some mini breaks later you are at the destination of your choice. Travelling by bus may not be the fastest method of getting from A to B but you may certainly gain quite some insights into a region’s countryside as you can see the fields and towns passing by your window.
In May, I went to visit my sister in Osnabrück, a medium-sized university city in Lower Saxony. One of the highlights of my visit was that I got to try Schlecks – the best ice cream creation I’ve come across in my twenty something years as a gourmand. Read more…
Last summer, I set myself a challenge: Not taking in anything sweet during the holy month of Ramazan. Time flies and the moment has come again. Tomorrow marks the first day of this religious month and Muslims all over the world will fast from sun rise to sun set, until July 27th. Not eating anything sweet is my very personal way of participating. Others call it a diet, for me it’s fasting. No chocolate, no cookies, no sugar. I must admit that given the weather conditions over here in Germany, abstaining from ice cream will be much easier than it was last year. Let’s see how it goes. I’m having my last dose of favourite Turkish chocolate and cookies today. May the holy month of Ramazan bring reflection, peace and self-restraint to all of us.
Turkish breakfasts are the best. They are simple but complete. Your palate will fall in love with the incredible green and black olives, simit (sesame ring), fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, various types of cheese, sucuk (a kind of sausage – not my favourite though), fried vegetables, egg creations, jams, honey and lots of çay. You might even get used to the French fries.
Sundays are particularly suitable for an extended breakfast with family and friends, either prepared at home or served in a restaurant.