(An article by Julie Kim from a Berlin Travel Review, a city travelreview 2015 work/study project)
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!
(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.
(Scottish Language. An article by Lucas Ostendorf, a project member on citytravelreview work/study programme in Edinburgh, summer 2015)
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.
￼￼￼￼(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
(Article by Jasmine Richards, a project member on a citytravelreview programme, Berlin, Summer 2015)
In the district of Kreuzberg, the Museum of Things is hidden on the third floor of what looks like an ordinary apartment building. Its entrance is easily missable along a side-alley, designed with a grey, chequered sign above the door. Once arriving, you will be welcomed by extremely polite and quirky dressed staff mem- bers, willing to answer any questions you may have.
Every cabinet and shelf is neatly filled with, as hinted by its title, things. From vintage toasters, kettles and glassware, to old Barbie’s, flirta- tious computer mouses (shaped to women’s curved bodies) and rusting lamps, the museum has almost any household item and random collect- able on display. A glamourous group of water bottles can be found in the middle of the museum, proving there
is nothing this organisation won’t in- clude. A whole room has been devoted to paper and aged posters. The many collections have both been donated and bought through the years, however, it is important to note that the museum exhibitions do change, therefore some of the pieces mentioned may not be on display permanently.
A small gift shop sells a small variety of knick-knacks, great for a sou- venir to take home. The entire experi- ence is as educational as it is amusing and makes for an intriguing hour or two.
Introduction to the Travel Review produced by the work/study group on a citytravelreview project, July 2015
Made up of multiple boroughs, Berlin is a city of many characters and faces. Not as compact as London or New York, Berlin is a place where you can travel 20 minutes and feel as if you are in a completely different city. Every borough combines to make Berlin a cosmopolitan, diverse and vibrant city. Albeit a relatively new city, Berlin still has a substantial amount of history.
Berlin is such a vibrant and inclusive city, that you never want to leave after visiting. From our personal experience, Berlin is a truly great city. We have used our time to experience and collect as many fun memories, moments and great attractions as possible. Hopefully you can use our guide as a basis for your own trip to Berlin, and we hope our guide will help you realise what this wonderful city has to offer.
An article written for CityTravelReview by Janina Reiter, Edinburgh project, March 2014
Don’t think you might fancy a deep-fried Mars bar? No worries, it doesn’t taste as funny as it sounds. Basically, it’s just an ordinary Mars bar fried in batter. It is said to have been invented in 1995 in a bar near Aberdeen in Northeast Scotland. Mass media commented on the new snack, so it has become more and more popular ever since. Still it is not very common among Scottish people: According to a survey, most fried Mars bars are sold to tourists. For around £2.50 you can try one yourself, for example at the Castle Rock Take Away at the Grassmarket. It is worth giving this snack a chance. Although consisting of nothing more than warmed chocolate and caramel, it still tastes great.