Author Archives: Yolanda

About Yolanda

Yolanda was born and raised in Berlin and "Ich bin ein Berliner!" is her favorite quote. After graduating from school, she took an exciting gap-year for some travels and internships. She decided to return to her hometown though, because really no place could keep up with what Berlin has to offer. On the weekends you'll find her at a book store or at an art exhibition. Currently she studies American Studies and Social Sciences at the Humboldt University and lives in Schöneberg. Read her blog to get a taste of Berlin at its best.

Real Reindeers. In a Museum. Enough said.

Ever get lost in thought about where you see yourself in ten years? Or contemplating what steps to take to become a millionaire? Scheming about how to reach that personal zenith of ever-lasting satisfaction in life…? Well, I cannot tell the future, nor can I help in terms of money, but I do know the secret to eternal satisfaction in life!

Found in the Rigveda, an ancient Hindu collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns, there is the saying, “We have drunk of the Soma; we have become immortal, we have seen the light; we have found the Gods.” Now, just what IS this Soma and where can we get it?

The Magic Mushrooms

The Magic Mushrooms

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Berlin in 48 Hours

Berlin TV Tower, (cc) flickr user M Kuhn

Berlin TV Tower, (cc) flickr user M Kuhn

Is it a normal phenomenon that you don’t know the tourist sites of the city in which you grew up? I, for instance, have lived in Berlin my entire life and have never been up to the TV-Tower. Instead of writing about the sites and attractions you can easily find in your Berlin travel guide, I’ve collected some personal tips – places that I go to often and that I think show the “real” Berlin. So I’ve put together a little itinerary for 2 exciting days in Berlin, which you can follow or, of course, mix-and-match as you like.

Day 1

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The Eliasson Exhibit Will Have You in Awe!

Mikroskop

Mikroskop (this room ends at the first line...just an optical illusion ;)

You wouldn’t believe the incredible exhibition that had me in awe for days. I can’t wait to tell you all about it…

First, I would like to point out that Berlin is known for its buoyant art scene. If its antiques at the beautiful Museumsinsel in Mitte, contemporary art at the infamous Hamburger Bahnhof, or even the historical Jewish Museum, Berlin embraces art with both arms wide open.

The Martin-Gropius-Bau belongs at the top of the list of must-see museums. Located in the center of the city just around the corner from Potsdamer Platz, the large old building hosts various exhibitions simultaneously; right now there are two. On the top floor you’ll find Frida Kahlo’s Retrospective, and on the ground floor is the impressive installation that had me in awe: Innen Stadt Außen by the Danish Artist Olafur Elissaon.

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Karneval der Kulturen – Why it is a Must!

Asian Invasion-Beautiful Asian Truck

Asian carnival participants

Since my first Berlin-Blog post on Young-Germany.de, I’ve been excitedly waiting to write about one of Berlin’s particular events: the annual Karneval der Kulturen (Carnival of Cultures).

The Karneval der Kulturen stands out of the slew of cultural events held here, combining multiculturalism with international foods and music for a spectacular must-see highlight!

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Kunstschacht-Ruhr 2010

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Bergwerk Zollverein, Photo courtesy of Stefan Maria Rother

Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Central Station). The clock reads 10:27 am. My train is set to leave in three minutes, yet still I am disoriented in this maze of what seem like a thousand platforms. A sign tells me to head to the third floor, where the ICE (Inter City Express) is waiting for the last passengers to board. The door closes behind me. At last I can take my seat. A four-hour journey lies ahead of me before I can reach my destination – the birthplace of my father and the hometown of my grandparents, Essen, a city in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia. My last visit was three years ago and I’m anticipating new impressions. Especially now, during this time, in this year. In 2010,  UNESCO puts the spotlight on the ingeniously designed industrial machines and centuries-old culture in Essen’s former Zeche Zollverein (Coal Mine Zollverein), honoring Essen with the prestigious title of “Weltkulturerbe“ (World Heritage Site).

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Ich bin ein Berliner

Berlin, Ick liebe Dir

Berlin, Ick liebe Dir (Flickr: K.a.i.)

Berlin is a marvelous city. The metropolis offers an endless array of cultural events and is admired by many for its international diversity. Every year, Berlin welcomes a large number of tourists from all over the world. And sometimes, they fall head over heels for Berlin, decide to stay and call this their new home. For example the Turkish. Over the course of time, a large number of Turkish immigrants have settled in Kreuzberg, making this the second largest Turkish city by population after Istanbul. Or look at the Swabians, who’ve “invaded” the oh-so-loved Prenzlauer Berg, making it hard for Berliners to find an apartment there anymore. Nonetheless, most Berliners embrace their new neighbours, and in the future we’ll likely grow closer and all live together as one big family…

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May Day in Berlin

Music.  Street fights. Parades. Pagans. Peace.

Across the globe countries celebrate the International Worker’s Day on the first of May. In Germany, this day has a delicate background that still has a strong impact in 2010.

"May 1" Poster hanging on a building

"May 1" Poster hanging on a building

If we take a brief look at German history, May Day was first celebrated in 1919 as a one-time holiday under the leftist revolutionary government. Only in 1933 under the Nazi dictatorship did this day became an annual national holiday. After the end of World War II in 1945, the allies decided to keep the holiday on the calendar as an anti-nationalist, peaceful day.

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