Sunday Funday in Berlin: now & then

Today is one of these days one can only expect the unexpected in terms of the weather in Berlin. Intervals of sun, rain, storm and wind vary and it is rather difficult to plan anything outdoor. But the summer has been pampering the Berliners so far – even to the extreme.

Sundays are never boring: either you go on with the party mode or you go on a nature retreat. Alone or with friends – up to you, this city adjusts to all prefered options, be it brunch by the river channel, sunbathing in one of the public swimming pools or city beaches, visiting museums and galleries or cycling around the city.

It’s fun to see that the city was very active and alive on Sundays many years ago too, in the pre-Nazi era in Berlin. A light-hearted film made by Robert Siodmak in 1930 shows a group of the amateur Berliners in a very Sunday Funday mood. Many of the places pictured in the movie are still a very popular locations for hanging around on a sunny Sunday. However, it’s very interesting to see how the city looked before the WWII and live the spirit of the epoque: strolling down the Nicolassee, falling in love and chilling by the lake shore with a gramophone, or play with the sausages (just check this out!).

The movie will be shown in the Freiluftkino Friedrichshein next weekend (25th July) but for those that for some reason won’t make it, or are stuck at home on this rather rainy day, I attach you below an English-subtitles spoiler. Happy Sunday everyone!

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New Year’s on the Devil’s Mountain

On a sunny 1st day of January together with my visiting friend, we decided to discover one of the most quirky building in Berlin: Teufelsberg Abhoerstation. Back in a day it used to serve as CIA’s listening station, even though it was maybe not the most discreet Cold War time place one could imagine. Nowadays it’s owned by a private investor, turning slowly but surely into a derelict building.

Located in the Western part of the city, it is easily accessible by S- and U-Bahn (the closest station: Heerstrasse) and 30 minutes walk through the Grunewald forest. Teufelsberg (literally translated as: Devil’s Mountain) is an interesting place itself, given its origin. This highest peak of Berlin was constructed on the ruins dating back the II WW.

The easiest but not cheapest way to access the Listening Station is to take part of the tour which gathers every full hour and costs 7 EUR per visitor. There are also night tours offered with a more detailed description of the history. During the tour one can enter the building, including the highest standing tower. From my perspective, I would recommend wearing warm clothes and a lantern as there are strong winds and not all the staircases are lit up by the daylight.

This mysterious, abandoned place leaves our imagination play with what sort of messages were circulating in the Station back in the day, and offers spectacular views over the magic skyline of Berlin. Way to start 2015!