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Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Quirky travel tips for a weekend spring break in Berlin


Gourmet Travel, Germany, City Travel, Europe, Travel Blog 0

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It happened to us: We are in Berlin and just feel tired. Is it spring fatigue? A coming of age? Or is it (much more simply) a lack of sleep? For sure, the world’s largest travel trade show ITB Berlin has totally worn us out over a 72-hours long “trade show marathon”. Check out what we have learned, networked and shared in my wrap-up of ITB: “Of Bloggers, Book Projects And A Boosting Network Society”. The marathon was certainly worth it, somehow. But now, it’s time for the weekend. On a Friday night, Berlin nightlife calls and what do we answer?

Tired. We are happy, but just so tired. Maybe we have just become old?? Janett, Monique and I look at each other and start laughing. The comfy hug of our bedroom couch is way more tempting than those of possible strangers in Berlin bars, anyway. Sorry guys! 😀

The next morning, however, we have a good idea. The sun is shining and we make our way to Tempelhof airfield – a former airport right inside the city of Berlin!

Will this be a good idea?! It is a one-off attraction for sure: A large hole is gaping right inside the German capital city. It is the Tempelhofer Feld, an area several square kilometres large and once the city’s central airport but now taken off service. I still feel a little bit dazed, wrapped in a cosy embrace of the exceptionally warm spring sun, while our friend Monique is about to explain that many sights are given funny odd nicknames here in Berlin. At the Platz der Luftbrücke square, the monument of war is being nicknamed “lobster claw” – Hummerkralle. We also find a “Würstchenbude” sausage bin, but it is for dog poo. They do have their own sense of humour here in Berlin, don’t they? 

I smile, yawning for the fresh air and squint at the lovely warm spring sun. What a beautiful morning! We have yet to see what more is waiting for us round the corner ..

Berlins "Hummerkralle" vor dem strahlend blauen Frühlingshimmel der deutschen Metropole.

Berlin’s “lobster claw” at the Platz der Luftbrücke square against a perfect blue spring sky in Berlin.

Die "berühmte Würstchenbude" Berlins.

No kidding: The (in)famous “Würstchenbude” dog poo bin of Berlin.

Unterwegs mit meiner Freundestruppe erkunden wir - etwas "frühjahrsmüde", aber dennoch sehr interessiert! - schöne ...

Together with my friends, we are able to fight spring fatigue in turn for some happy moments together at Tempelhofer Feld.

 

A special tour called “Hidden Corners” is what you can do at Tempelhof Airfield. I really recommend it, last but not least for the dry humour of our funny guide!

If you walk up the former “Zentralflughafen Tempelhof“, head out to your right and you will find the passageway to the visitor centre. Guided tours in several languages take place regularly, we are able to join up with a group that has just started (€ 13,- per person). It leads us past the former departure & arrival halls and down into all those “hidden” corners of what used to be, a bunker during the Cold War period. I shiver: Hard to imagine the sheer dimensions of some 10.000 rooms and more than 300.000 square metres that cover the entire building mile (yes, it is that big). Every now and then, we make out graffiti on the walls “in order to pass the time while people had to hide in here from bombings during the war. Later, the Americans built entire squash rooms in here, devised archives for films and established a bug-proof command centre.” Quite unbelievable, the wealth of information (and details) we are given on this tour!

Weit, unendlich weit begrüßt uns der Rundgang über das ehemalige Flughafengelände Berlin Tempelhof.

Walking across Berlin Tempelhof former airport gives you a sense of dimension that is unique for the entire city.

Ich bin für eine Führung: Nur so werden wir die stummen Zeitzeugen lebendig sowie die Phantasie zum Nachdenken - und Mitfühlen - angeregt.

I recommend you take a guided tour: It makes history come alive through vivid and personal storytelling, and allows you to get a better impression of the past understanding why and how the building is there today.

Sogar ein ehemaliges Flugzeug der US Air Force gibt es hier noch zu besichtigen: In Zeiten, in denen wir Flugzeuge so selbstverständlich wie Busse besteigen mutet diese museale Darbietung auf einem nach wie vor echten Flugfeld schon etwas merkwürdig an.

There is even a former US Airforce plane of display for visitors these days. In times when boarding a plane has become as normal as boarding a bus, it is a strange sight to see an ordinary plane like this built into a museum.

Eines der stärksten Bilder meines Rundganges: Die vormaligen Bombenbunker im Bauch des riesigen Flughafengeländes.

One of the strongest visuals of my tour: The former bunker room where people went into hiding at times of bombings during the Cold War period.

Auch dies ein starkes Bild: Wir bestaunen ein Foto des unter reger Betriebsamkeit stehenden Flughafens aus den 1980er Jahren in einem bereits ziemlich heruntergekommenden Teil der Flughafen-Ankunftshalle.

This, too, is quite an image: We are all looking at an aerial shot of Berlin Tempelhof during the 1980s, a time where the airport was highly busy securing the supplies for what used to be West Berlin.

Zu guter Letzt besichtigen wir noch die "abhörsichere Kommandozentrale" der Amerikaner, welche von hier aus ganz Westberlin zu DDR-Zeiten versorgt haben.

Last but not least, we find ourselves in the bug-proof command centre of the Americans during wartimes …

Monique und Janett schwelgen in der warmen Frühlingssonne auf dem Tempelhofer Feld ...

… Monique and Janett certainly prefer the warm sunshine over too many cellars and past horror stories …

... und auch mir sind die ersten Frühlingsboten hier in Tempelhof dann doch lieber als weitere Gruselgeschichten aus der Vergangenheit. Zumindest an diesem schönen Sonnentag in Berlin!

… and so do I after a while, though I am a big fan of history and explaining the present through the past: Love these flowers on our first spring walk in Berlin.

!! :D

“Long live the local Berlin bars”. 😀

 

Among the culinary highlights of Berlin, we recommend you try Samowar (Russian) and Kimchi Princess (Korean). Also, combine the first with a lovely visit of Charlottenburg Palace …

Now, dear readers, I am also a 100% back on track! Food tickles my senses, having published well over 200 travel articles here focusing on “Gourmet Travel“. Yum! If good food is moreover complimented by the nice company of friends, or the visit of an exceptional cultural heritage site, then gourmet travel is what we have. Charlottenburg Palace indeed is such a site, offering a truly romantic “herstory” thanks to the owner Sophie Charlotte. She regularly invited well known artists, composers and philosophers to her palace, entertaining best relations with the nobility of her time all across Europe. The large parklands have been designed with Versailles in mind, many rooms are still heavily furnished in past splendour. The palace looks back on an eventful 300-year-history, with today’s Russian restaurant Samowar offering a welcome lunch break after a long visit. Finish your mealtime by ordering “Samowar Tea”: Instead of simple cups, they carry out a complete Russian tea set including cookies, biscuits and jam as well as beautifully carved cup holders! What a pleasant surprise – and a welcome dessert at the same time!

Los geht's mit der kulinarischen Reise in Berlin: Das Restaurant Kimchi Princess nahe des Kottbusser Tor bietet koreanische Küche vom Feinsten. Bis weit nach 22.00 Uhr ist hier alles ausreserviert, die Tische enorm nachgefragt ...

Off we go on our culinary travels through Berlin: Kimchi Princess restaurant near the underground station Kottbusser Tor offers top Korean cuisine. All tables are booked until at least 10.00 p.m. so make sure you book in advance …

... wir aber haben reserviert und schlagen uns auf koreanische Art den Bauch voll: Herzhaft gewürzte Teigtaschen mit allerlei leckeren Beilagen erwarten uns.

… which is exactly what we did: Tasty Korean dumplings complimented by lots of spiced vegetables are served to us.

Köstliches Teeservice im Restaurant Samowar in Berlin Charlottenburg. Zum Haupttisch gab's unter anderem köstliche Bliny (würzige mit Käse, Champignons oder Spinat gefüllte Palatschinken) sowie Elch-Steak. Lecker!

What a lovely tea ceremony at Samowar restaurant in Berlin-Charlottenburg! Main course tip: Try the beautiful bliny savory pancakes as well as the elk steak – it is yummy!

In unmittelbarer Geh- und Sichtweite zum Restaurant erhebt sich das bezaubernde Schloss Charlottenburg.

Just across the street from Samowar restaurant, you will find Charlottenburg Palace. A charming “little place”, about 10 times smaller than its big sister Versailles near Paris!

Der Besuch des Parks steht Besuchern jederzeit offen ...

The park as well as the courtyard are always open for visitors …

... wir entscheiden uns für einen romantischen Frühjahrsspaziergang ...

… we decide to take a romantic walk in the spring park after our visit of the palace …

... inklusive Schlossbesichtigung, die sich samt Audio-Guide und vielen Informationen zur (Kunst)Geschichte des Schlosses auch wirklich lohnt ...

… which is really worth your while, including lots of information through guided tours or audio guides that we had …

... nur um an diesem See Platz zu nehmen, welcher gleich hinter dem Schlosspark beginnt. Was für ein wunderschöner Tag in Berlin!

… while finishing our trip here at the lake. What a nice start into spring right here in Berlin!

 

Keen to see more? Check out the following photo album for more impressions about Berlin as well as this year’s ITB travel trade show:

 

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
#ITBBerlin 2014: Of Bloggers, Book Projects And A Boosting Network Society
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