Berlin or Bust

(An article by Julie Kim from a Berlin Travel Review, a city travelreview 2015 work/study project)

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„Herzlich willkommen!“

Welcome to Berlin, a city with the dichotomy of fascinating history and innovative creativity! One may not quite know what to expect from this German capital; it’s not as romanticized as Paris, nor is it popularized like New York. However, it is full of developments and potential. Germany as a whole has undoubtedly become a strong European country and Berlin has been rapidly building itself as a metropoli- tan city, fit for such a nation.

What differentiates Berlin from the others? First and foremost, history. Germany has unanimously been considered as an important part of modern European history, though rather dishonorably, and the people’s effort in maintaining historical awareness shows through the numerous memorials and monuments: to never re- peat the mistakes and to promote peace, both domestically and internationally.

Does this mean that they constantly live with heavy hearts? Absolutely not. Though Germans could be considered more serious in nature than other Europe-ans, they also know how to relish life, especially in Berlin. The copious amount of pubs, cafés, clubs, and live music venues echo the spunky spirit of Berliners. Berlin is home to countless contemporary artists and avant-garde art and as the residence for the world-renowned Berlin Philharmonic, Berlin is also a hot spot for music, both classical and modern. There are a plethora of creativity going on everywhere, from street art and performances to galleries and symphony halls; there is a multitude of diverse cultural possibilities.

As we have discovered and were enchanted by Berlin, we hope this guide will help you do the same. From an abundance of attractive spots, we’ve worked to introduce the best; and also advise against the less good. Become immersed in Berlin with us, and gute Reise!

 

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What’s up, EDINBRO?

Untitled(Sample of a Travel Review created by a group of students on a citytravelreview work/study project to Edinburgh in March 2014)

What comes to your mind when you think about the Scottish life- style? Are bagpipes popping into your head, or whisky, golf, kilts and haggis? That is right! These are a few very important aspects of Scottish life, but Scotland has more to offer. Discover the interesting story about the unicorn, why a Scotsman has to get some IRN BRU after an evening with too much alcohol or what a fried Mars bar is. Go out and learn to dance at the ceilidh, so you can act like you are from Scotland. We’ve found the most important things you have to know and try when discovering Scottish lifestyle.
(Laura Sedlmaier)

Introduction: My Berlin

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(Sample of a Travel Review by Amy Turner, a member on citytravelreview project in Berlin, Summer 2005)

Tourist Tips
DO look out for bikes! The bike lanes in the city are rarely differentiated from pedestrian areas.
DO try out your German. Don’t be shy to test out your lan- guage skills. You don’t want to come across as rude!
DO Recycle. Recycling is super big in Berlin and you can even face fines if you refuse to cooperate. Another tip – If you take your used and empty plastic bottles back to the supermarket you will receive €0.25 in exchange for each one.
DO plan your journeys in advance. This is essential, especially during the night-time hours, since if you look like a confused and lost tourist, you may become vulnerable to thieves.
One of the great things about Berlin is that many of the sights and exhibitions are free to visit such as the Reichstag, the East Side Gallery and the Holocaust Memorial. A City that is certainly value for money.
If you fancy venturing to explore the nightlife, it is worth mentioning that most of clubs only get lively post 1am. Great for the night-owls, not so great for those who really like their sleep. Something else to remember if you do intend to head out, is that drinking on the streets and on public transport is strictly not allowed. Respect locals and wait until you are in a
bar or beer garden.

Edinburgh Up Close

(Scottish Language.  An article by Lucas Ostendorf, a project member on citytravelreview work/study programme in Edinburgh, summer 2015)

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Although Scotland belongs to anglophone Great Britain and Edinburgh‘s residents might easily understand your English it does not mean that you are able to understand them. It is not only that the locals speak very fast. Their dialect differs significantly from what is normally known as English. In Edinburgh people speak a mixture between Scots and Scottish English.

The term Scots describes a Germanic language variety spoken in the Scottish Lowlands. Many words are identical to contemporary Scandinavian words. This phenomenon goes back to the Viking influence on this area in the 10th century.

The famous Scottish poet Robert Burns, well known for his Auld Lang Syne, has written a lot of his works in Scots dialect. He became celebrated in Edinburgh in the year 1784.

There are many discussions whether Scots can be considered as an own language as it is still popular and commonly spoken. Many citizens of Edinburgh use it in their everyday life. Even important world literature is often translated into Scots. Travellers be aware: you should listen carefully to what the locals say. And if you do not understand very much, do not bother: a smile on a face sometimes tells more than a thousand words.

My Berlin

(Introduction to a Travel Review by project members on citytravelreview work/study programme in Berlin – Summer 2015)

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Doubtless, tales of this ever-adapting, exuberant city that is Germany’s capital have already reached you. Dating back to the 13th century, Berlin is now one of the most populous urban areas in Europe, and there is little question why: with a relatively low cost of living for an urban area; a regular, reliable transport system them covers the city and its suburbs; and a history that could never be fully covered in a school syllabus, it is arguably one of Europe’s most tourist – and migrant – friendly cities.

The most beautiful thing about Berlin is that it appeals to so many tastes. His- tory buff? Try taking in the 175 museums and countless memorials scattered throughout the city. Twenty-something on a party holiday with friends? Take a bar crawl through the wild and alluring streets of Kreuzberg,Friedrichshain, and Neukölln, then spend entire weekends in some of the most famous clubs in Europe. Art enthusiast? Make your way round the hundreds of unique, independent galleries, or simply take a walk around the city to see artwork on every other wall. No matter your interests, Berlin will match them.

Understanding Barcelona

(An article written by Ben Hogg, a member on a citytravelreview project in Barcelona, summer 2015)

APJXTE Placa De George Orwell Barcelona named in memory of Orwells service in the Spanish Civil War

APJXTE Placa De George Orwell Barcelona named in memory of Orwells service in the Spanish Civil War

Civil War City Tour


Meeting point: Outside Cafe Zurich in Plaça Catalunya 20€
At 9am the tour begins by being individually questioned as to why we had arisen so early to brave the sun. After the introductions, the first stop is just over the road in ‘Plaça de Catalunya’. If there’s a spare seat, take advantage! The lesson begins.

First off you are given a brief history of the build up to the war, events around Spain and the major players. Even the four hours it takes aren’t adequate to tell the whole story of the war, so from here on in the focus is on Barcelona. You also get a booklet containing info on the many anti-fascist organisations involved, a chronology of major events and a reading list.

Thoroughly researched and emblazoned with personal tales of key figures, the facts are diversified for the purpose of flow. If you are dedicated then bring your thinking-cap, though. The tour guide is happy to answer any questions, in fact he is frustrated when they don’t come. This is most evident at the end of the tour, sat in a bar decorated with the women of the war. After the applause, comes muted contemplation.

Edinburgh – majestic capital of Scotland

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(Introduction to Travel Review from project members on citytravelreview programme, Summer 2015, Edinburgh)

In Lothian on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, around a majestic castle, we find the capital of Scotland. A city that uniquely embodies the history and culture of its country.
From high up Arthur‘s Seat down to Portobello beach, through the Old and New Town there is much to find, whether for people preferring urban life or admirers of nature. If you are willing to get in touch with Edinburgh‘s facets and know where to look, you will be able to find new things and perspectives. It is perfect to enrich your life regarding the own preferences as well as unfamiliar, yet exciting experiences and encounters.
Auld Reekie (“Old Smokey”) is the nickname which was given to Edinburgh because of the constantly smouldering chimneys of the factories of former times. Like Rome it was built on seven hills.
With an overwhelming number of ways to be explored, Edinburgh‘s visitors should have a notion on what to do and what to expect when entering the area. Also, they have to prepare for some of the rather ‚dreich days‘ (Scottish saying for cold and damp weather).
This guide will lead you through the contorted streets where you can discover something new behind every corner.
Not only does Edinburgh offer traditional Scottish tourist experiences like haggis, pubs and kilts. It has become a venue of different generations and cultures that benefit
from each other.
After trying all the possibilities this city has to offer in every sector, you will realize that Edinburgh Castle is surrounded by as much greatness as it has on its own.
The sheer amount of places filled with history and myths still plays an important part in today‘s vibrant youth culture. The addition of influences and flavours from all around the world are a part of the special charm of the city. This should break the last bits of any misconceptions left about a raw, completely conservative Edinburgh.

Artur Sommer, Veronique Maaß