Like many German cities, Cologne (or Köln to use its German name) sparkles brightest at Christmas time, when its festive markets become the star attraction. This year are seven different markets dotted around the city, so there’s something for everyone, young and old. In each market you’ll find a happy throng of visitors and locals wandering among stalls selling wooden toys, tree decorations and woollen clothing; eating gingerbread and bratwursts and sipping from steaming mugs of glühwein (mulled wine) as they shop. Each market has its own unique glühwein mug, so you’ve the perfect excuse to try a drop...Read More
After a lunch break near the Neptune Fountain the sky seemed to clear a bit and it stopped raining. Time to move on to our last Berlin location: East Side Gallery. Two months after the official fall of the Berlin Wall, in November 1989, a project called the ‘East Side Gallery’ was started. An initiative that involved over a hundred artists who were asked to make murals on a remaining stretch of the Wall in East Berlin. It was the first time in history actually that the East side of the Wall that was painted on, something that was not possible before....Read More
Although the sun was really trying hard today, the grey clouds still filled the sky. We had to move on, leaving the Berliner Dom behind us, we crossed the road and ended up on a square. With St Mary’s Church (Marienkirche) on one side, which was first established in the late 13th century. And the Rotes Rathaus, Berlin’s Town Hall, on the other side (built between 1861 and 1869). And right in the middle…. Neptune Fountain. At first sight this baroque fountain in bronze and granite, seemed to be a little bit out of place here, not quite fitting the scenery. But...Read More
A day to explore. And for exploration you cannot go wrong from the centre of Berlin. The Generator Hostel we were based at provided us with an enormous amount in any any direction. We turned right out the door and followed our noses. Through museum island around to where the grandeur of Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom) stands proudly in its own open space. A cathedral that has never technically been a cathedral. It has actually never had a Bishop in its seat. But sure it looks grander and more cathedral-like than many in the world. In the 1400s a...Read More
It was time to catch the train this time heading further South from Hamburg to Germany’s capital, Berlin. A city that has been transformed so much over the years and still continuing to do so. Every time I visit the city landscape has changed with improvements and new buildings, yet it always manages to keep its huge diversity of culture. This really is a city for the young and old. First we checked into the next of the Generator Hostels on this flying trip around Europe. And it was one of the newest, Berlin Mitte, right in the heart...Read More
Time to explore some of the Altstadt quarter in Hamburg… Because Generator Hostel Hamburg is located in the city centre, it only takes a couple of minutes walk to visit some wonderful historical sites. Our walk today brings us first to the Binnenalster or Inner Alster Lake, an artificial lake created by the river Alster and Außenalster. It used to be the lake that was within the old city walls of Hamburg that’s why it’s called ‘inner alster’. In the middle you will see the Alster fountain. A beautiful spot to just sit down and enjoy the view for a while...Read More
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