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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)

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

Brandenburg Gate

An article by Alison Bouchard, a project member on a CityTravelReview programme, Berlin, Sept 2014

This majestic monument is Germany’s most important landmark as well as the city’s biggest tourist attraction. Built by Carl Gotthard Langhans from 1788 to 1791, this former gate to the city was once a sign of peace. Since then, the
Brandenburg Tor (Brandenburg Gate) has survived the biggest conflicts in the history of Germany including WWII, when it suffered considerable damage. Following the war, the 85-foot tall gate was closed off when the city was split into East and West-Berlin in 1961. During that time it became a symbol not only for the division of the city but for the division of all of Germany. It would not be open to the public again until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Since then, the gate has come to symbolize the new reunified Germany.

The neoclassical masterpiece comprises 12 massive Doric columns and five passageways, the biggest of which, located in the centre, was once reserved for royals only. The gate’s most striking element, however, is the magnificent Quadriga, a statue of Eirene the Greek goddess of peace, on a chariot drawn by four horses. The ornate, green statue made of bronze is now a symbol of victory.
Stop by at night time for a breathtaking view of the glowing gate.

Madrid – Chocolateria San Gines

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The humble façade of Chocolateria San Gines belies the scene that awaits inside. From the modest signage to the authentic, rustic exterior, you wouldn’t believe that this was Madrid’s most famous churros house. On entering, expectant visitors are greeted with a spacious hall flanked by a high, marble bar spanning almost the entire interior. Upon this sit rows and rows of coffee cups waiting to provide a sweet, chocolate-y experience. Here, you can either order your churros to eat in while soaking up the surprisingly un-touristy atmosphere or, alternatively, grab them to take away and head to nearby Puerto del Sol to combine churro chomping with people watching.

From an article by a member on a City Travel Review  project in Madrid

Lomography Gallery Store

 

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Why capture the world, as it is, when everybody can? The art of Lomography is the art of seeing the world, as it is not. This shop, found next to the U–Bahnstop XX, is a cool hang–out, art gallery and camera shop, all in one. Why not buy a Coloursplash Camera, which turns the world into dreamy pastel colours, a Camera Fusion Split Cam which divides your picture into different frames, or one of the more popular Holga Cameras that gives your photos a more old–school feeling. The retro cameras are to be found around the neck of every Iphone bored hipster of the area, but this doesn’t stimulate its trendiness – every picture is new and inspiring – even though when you get the roll back it might not turn out as expected. If this is too risky then buy a new lens for your digital camera that makes the pictures look old, cool and blurry. Workshops are held continuously in this shop, where you’ll learn to appreciate a more analogue lifestyle; the wild life of a Lomographer.

 

Article written by a City Travel Review Guide student, Berlin 2013