Black Sheep Athletics Berlin – CrossFit in der Mutterstadt

Wie kann man sein tägliches Training abwechslungsreich und ausgewogen gestalten und dabei viel Spaß mit Freunden haben? Ganz einfach: Mit CrossFit! Ich habe für euch Black Sheep Athletics Berlin besucht und Mark, einen der beiden Gründer, interviewt.

Mark, the founder of Black Sheep Athletics Berlin
Mark, der Gründer von Black Sheep Athletics Berlin

Berlin Kreuzberg, ich fahre auf den Hinterhof eines alten Industriegeländes am Tempelhofer Berg, am Rande des bekannten Bergmann Kiez. Hier möchte ich etwas über CrossFit lernen, eine Fitness Bewegung, die vor ein paar Jahren den Weg aus den USA zu uns gefunden hat. Mark, einer der beiden Gründer von Black Sheep Athletics Berlin, ist ein alter Freund von mir und steht mir in diesem Interview Rede und Antwort, zu CrossFit, einem gesunden und ausgeglichenen Lifestyle und was ihn dazu motivierte, Fitness Trainer zu werden. Ich tausche mich gerne mit ihm aus, denn er ist seit Jahren in der Branche unterwegs und hat mir auch in vielen Gesprächen den Paleo Lifestyle näher gebracht. Wir haben unser letztes Zusammentreffen in der Gym gut genutzt und gemeinsam für euch den Kern der CrossFit Bewegung und – in einem zweiten Teil, den ich nach Abschluss der Paleo Challenge veröffentlichen werde – seine Sichtweise auf die Paleo Ernährung erarbeitet.

Was waren Deine Beweggründe in die Fitness Branche zu gehen und hier Pionierarbeit zu leisten?

Olaf, ebenfalls Gründer von Black Sheep Athletics Berlin, beim Power Liften
Olaf, ebenfalls Gründer von Black Sheep Athletics Berlin, beim Power Liften

Wie du weißt, bin ich Wirtschaftsingenieur und wollte nach dem Studium eigentlich in die Wissenschaft. Leider wurde mein Forschungswunsch zu dieser Zeit nicht erfüllt, es gab keine geeigneten Stellen. Wie es immer so ist in der Weihnachtszeit, damals 2011 auf 2012, kam dann die Entscheidung, dass ich etwas Anderes machen muss, zumindest zur Überbrückung. Ich habe zu der Zeit selbst CrossFit gemacht und dann entschlossen, zumindest vorübergehend, in die Selbstständigkeit zu gehen und das himaxx® Höhentraining™ in der Sportoase Berlin zu übernehmen. Neun Monate später hatte ich dann ein Angebot, meinen Doktor in Leipzig zu machen, mit einem Thema, dass mich nicht 100%-ig überzeugen konnte. Für mich wäre es ein nicht tragbarer Kompromiss gewesen, denn es wurde vorausgesetzt, dass ich meinen MSc in Physik noch hätte nachmachen müssen und das alles ohne Bezahlung. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt war ich der Selbstständigkeit schon zu sehr verbunden und das „Tun“ war mir wichtiger, als nochmal in die Theorie einzusteigen. Das hat dazu geführt, dass ich mich entschloss in der Fitness Branche zu bleiben. Ich lernte Olaf kennen, mit dem ich heute Black Sheep Athletics Berlin leite. Ein Jahr verging noch, mit viel Tüftelei und Marktforschung, bis wir unsere Idee aus der Taufe hoben.

Wieso ausgerechnet CrossFit? Man kann auf eurer Homepage einen guten Eindruck gewinnen, aber was bedeutet CrossFit für Dich und Deinen Partner Olaf persönlich?

CrossFit bedeutet für uns in erster Linie Spaß am Training, bei der die Optimierung deiner Trainingserfolge und deine persönliche Entwicklung durch die Community angetrieben werden. CrossFit ist ein Lifestyle der dich herausfordert, jeden Tag etwas besser zu werden. Das Training ist sehr hart und deine Motivation soll ebenso groß sein. Ein CrossFit Motto ist „Don’t whine, bitch and complain – Do something!“. Damit ist ersichtlich, dass es nicht bloß ums nackte Training und die Optimierung geht, sondern auch darum, seine eigene Motivation in Angriff zu nehmen und dabei gesünder zu werden. Wir wollen in Zukunft auch das Höhentraining™ mehr in das CrossFit Training implementieren.

Warum nennt Ihr Euch „Black Sheep Athletics“ – normalerweise ist das schwarze Schaf ja negativ behaftet?

Cross Fit is a new setting of Fitness to contribute to a healthy Paleo lifestyle and keep yourself in shape with the help of friends in a community
Cross Fit is a new setting of Fitness to contribute to a healthy Paleo lifestyle and keep yourself in shape with the help of friends in a community

Das schwarze Schaf ist anders – es sticht aus der Menge hervor und hebt sich so von der Masse ab. Damit wollen wir zum Ausdruck bringen, dass wir hier die Dinge bewusst anders angehen, als der 0815-Rest an Fitness Studios und Marken, die es da draußen gibt. Es war für uns auch reizvoll, eine Marke zu schöpfen, die nicht auf den ersten Blick mit Fitness in Verbindung gebracht wird. „Black Sheep“ steht somit als Marke für sich selbst.

Wenn ich nun das Probetraining bei Euch absolviere, was erwartet mich?

Du wirst es gleich erleben und fühlen können! (Er lacht) Wahrscheinlich hast du nachher Muskelkater, morgen denkst du, das war ja alles gar nicht so schlimm und übermorgen brauchst du eine Gehhilfe und denkst, du bist von einem Truck überfahren worden. Der Effekt nach einem harten CrossFit Training kommt immer etwas zeitversetzt und ist sehr intensiv. Ich wünsche dir viel Spaß dabei, es heraus zu finden.

Der Community Gedanke wird bei Euch groß geschrieben – wie viel trägt er Deiner Meinung nach zum Trainingserfolg bei?

Die PR-Glocke
Die PR-Glocke

Ein sehr großer Anteil des Trainingserfolgs bei uns geht auf den Community Gedanken zurück. Alle Leute, die hier trainieren sind sehr motiviert und sympathisch – ein freundschaftlicher Umgang ist das Ziel unserer Community. Die Stimmung im Training reißt dich mit, motiviert dich weiter zu machen – da wo du normalerweise aufhören würdest, wenn du dich alleine den Übungen stellst. Siehst du die Glocke da hinten? Die darf man läuten, wenn man eine persönliche Bestleistung aufgestellt hat. Es ist die „PR-Glocke“, die Personal Record Glocke – wenn du die läutest, dann bricht hier ein Jubel aus und die Community feiert es mit dir.

Wen sprecht Ihr an – welcher Typ Sportler passt gar nicht zu Euch?

Sportler ist das falsche Wort. Wir sprechen Leute an. Leute, die neben ihrem Job einfach Spaß daran finden sich auszupowern, die einfach mehr wollen als im Fitnessstudio auf einem Fahrrad zu sitzen. Man muss schon eine Neigung dazu haben, sich selbst pushen zu können und auch durch die Community gepusht zu werden. Alles was jemand machen muss, ist 2-5 mal pro Woche zu uns zu kommen und am Training teilzunehmen. Den Rest machen wir. Leute, die bloß ins Fitness Studio gehen, um abzuschalten und auf dem Laufband oder dem Stepper ihre abendliche Soap-Opera zu schauen, werden vermutlich keinen Gefallen an unserem Konzept finden.

Als wie wichtig schätzt Du die Ernährung für den Trainingserfolg, die Leistungsfähigkeit und das allgemeine Wohlbefinden ein?

Meiner Auffassung nach hängt ein großer Teil deines Wohlbefindens von der richtigen Ernährung und dem passenden Lifestyle ab. Das ist schwer in Zahlen auszudrücken, wir sind ja keine Maschinen, aber ich würde so weit gehen zu behaupten, dass es ca. zwei Drittel ausmacht, wenn wir es numerisch ausdrücken wollen. Der Trainingserfolg ist ebenfalls davon abhängig. Um Muskeln aufzubauen, muss man sehr viel essen, zum Teil mehr, als Hunger vorhanden ist. Nur so wird man erreichen, dass die Muskelmasse zunimmt und der Fettanteil im Körper schwindet. Wer abnehmen will, darf nicht zu wenig essen, sonst stellt der Körper auf Notfall um und macht die Fettzellen dicht. Das ist der klassische Diätfall, bei dem man am Anfang etwas abnimmt, dann aber schnell ein Plateau erreicht. Ziel der Ernährung muss es sein, dass der Körper das zu viel vorhandene Fett freiwillig abgibt.

Gibt es eine Ernährungsform die Du bevorzugst, eine spezielle Diät, die man einhalten sollte?

Es gibt in der Tat eine sehr ausgewogene, in meinen Augen gute Ernährungsform. Sie nennt sich Paleo Diät (Paleolithic diet) oder auch Primal Diet, wenn man Milchprodukte ebenfalls zu sich nimmt. Es gibt hier verschiedene Ansätze, einen Low Carb und einen High Carb Ansatz, der gewählt werden sollte, je nachdem wie man trainiert. Wichtig ist dabei vor allem der hohe Grad an Individualität, mit dem es möglich ist, sich auf die Umstände einzustellen. Dabei ist Paleo viel mehr als eine Diät, es ist wie CrossFit ein Lifestyle, der neben dem Essen, auch Bewegung, Stressmanagement, Schlaf, Spiel, etc. umfasst. Ziel ist es bei Paleo im Einklang mit seinen Genen zu leben. Man könnte auch sagen, die Paleo Ernährung ist eine artgerechte Ernährung. Dazu aber gleich mehr, wenn du dein Training absolviert hast. Schau, sie warten schon und wenn du zu spät auf der Matte bist, dann müsst ihr alle 20 Crunchies machen…

Cross Fit is a new setting of Fitness to contribute to a healthy Paleo lifestyle and keep yourself in shape with the help of friends in a community
Der Autor beim Training. Es ist schweißtreibend und anstrengend, aber sehr belebend

Er lacht und ich trete mein Training an…  Das Training ist hart, die Übungen sind simpel. Unser Coach grinst die ganze Zeit, korrigiert hier und da unsere Haltung, gibt Anweisungen wie wir verfahren sollen, macht es uns wieder und wieder vor, wenn wir Übungen falsch ausführen. Man braucht nicht viel, um dieses Training durchzuführen aber man merkt jeden einzelnen Muskel und es dauert nicht lange und der Schweiß rinnt mir in die Augen.

Nach dem Training bin ich wirklich fertig. Man muss dazu sagen, dass ich eigentlich recht viel in den Alpen unterwegs bin und dort Sportarten mache, die sich durchaus positiv auf die Kondition auswirken. Lange Wanderungen von mehr als 20 km, Mountainbike Touren, die gerne mal einen Tag dauern, Skifahren im Gelände, Skitouren gehen und Joggen… Dennoch hat mich keine meiner ausgeübten Sportarten so sehr gefordert, wie dieses einstündige Training. Ich kann einfach nicht mehr, die Beine zittern und meine Arme sind schwer und es ist alles andere als einfach, sie anzuheben, als ich mich aus der Dusche heraus schleppe und abtrocknen möchte. Ich wünsche mir nichts sehnlicher, als jetzt in das warme Meer zu springen und mich dort treiben zu lassen, fast schwerelos. Nach etwa einer halben Stunde hat sich der Körper ein wenig von den Strapazen erholt und Mark grinst mich an.

„Wie war‘s?“

„Siehst du doch… Ich kann nicht mehr!“

Wir setzen das Interview fort, sobald sich mein Kreislauf beruhigt hat und ich nicht mehr nachschwitze, was einige Zeit dauert. Ihr bekommt es zu lesen, sobald die Paleo Challenge beendet ist, der ich mich seit Mitte Dezember stelle.

Am folgenden Tag habe ich wirklich heftigsten Muskelkater. Am stärksten haben sich die Übungen ausgewirkt, bei denen wir mit einem Medizinball – immer über dem Kopf gehalten (Armtraining) – in den Ausfallschritt mussten, über eine Strecke von ca. 50 m hin gehend zu einer Zielscheibe, die auf 2,50 m hängt, dann den Medizinball 10 mal auf diese Scheibe über unseren Köpfen werfen mussten und wieder die 50 m zurück durch die ganze Gym, wieder im Ausfallschritt, auf die Trainingsmatte. Ich wundere mich nicht, dass dieses Training so erfolgreich ist, man merkt es und eine Gehhilfe wäre jetzt wirklich nicht unangebracht. Was man aber auch merkt und das ist vergleichbar mit einer Langstrecke beim Laufen: Totale Zufriedenheit, die den Schmerz und die Erschöpfung durchdringt. Es ist immer das gleiche, fordert man seinen Körper dermaßen heraus und besiegt seinen inneren Schweinehund, dann erhält man als Lohn einen unvergleichbaren Schub an Endorphinen. Nicht nur deshalb kann ich euch den Besuch bei Black Sheep Athletics Berlin empfehlen. Mark, Olaf und die Coaches machen ihre Arbeit mit Herzblut und ihr habt dort alle Möglichkeiten, eurem Körper den notwendigen Ausgleich zum Alltag einzuräumen. Es macht Spaß, es tut weh und ich bin mir sicher, hätte ich die Möglichkeit, häufiger dort zu trainieren, so würde sich auch rasch ein Erfolg einstellen.

Falls ihr Interesse an einer Kooperation habt, möchtet dass ich euch besuche und über euch schreibe, oder ihr mich für ein Fotoshooting buchen wollt, dann kontaktiert mich bitte.

Christmas, time for family

I want to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone reading this blog! The most valuable institution in our life is our family. This is why I dedicate this entry to my family and its history that nothing will be forgotten and the history can be passed on.

I want to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone reading this blog – or in German Frohe Weihnachten! The most valuable institution in our life is our family. This is why I dedicate this entry to my family and its history!

Merry Christmas to all of you!
Merry Christmas to all of you who follow the entries on BeNicoMa.com and many thanks for your support, I am glad to have you here and wish you peaceful Christmas holidays!

Many conflicts divide our society, the different peoples of the world and the family as an institution suffer from restrictions, which are caused by our economic interests and the pressure, built up by our society… This should not be the case since the family is the only institution in life, that is not exchangeable and if you are peaceful and in harmony with the ones you are related to, everything is so much better.

With this entry I want to remember my grandparents, who both were Chinese, coming a long way during the time of Nazi Germany. This entry is dedicated to all relatives, as a source of history that our ancestors may not be forgotten …

Madga 03
The inner family on a glance: Madga with Teh Wei on her lap, besides my father Teh Li, Teh Dscheng (Ted), Teh Ko and Teh Hsing – from left to right. In the back is my grandfather Ting Sheng. The picture is from 1944 or 1945, and was taken in Germany.

The name of my grandmother, Chao Ti Ling (that is her maiden name) and later Ma, means as much as “Call me the little brother” since Madga (mother) as we used to call her, was born into the Chinese part of my family solely with sisters. The name implies the wish for a son. She was from Wenzhou in China and was born in 1916.

Chao Ti Ling, with 16 years in China - We just called her Madga
Chao Ti Ling, with 16 years in China – We just called her Madga. For what she achieved in those tough times, she is one of my alltime idols, may she rest in peace!

My grandfather Ting Sheng Ma was merchant and much older than her. He was born in 1898 in the region Chekiang (Zhejiang) in China but I couldn’t get more detailed information about him from my uncle. Here you see some pictures of family members from China but my uncle Teh Ko couldn’t provide more information about them since he doesn’t know better. The pictures are all what is left as a connect to the Chinese background of the family in China and albeit from him, nobody speaks Chinese anymore, which is a pity.

BeNicoMa
I use the Chinese letter for Ma as signum for my photography and in future I will apply it as a seal in all official purposes.

Our last name Ma is written like depicted here and the meaning is “Hemp plant under the firmament“, if you translate it into a western meaning. The name is rare in the meanwhile, since most Ma‘s are derived from the meaning horse. We don’t know much about our family background in China. My grandparents came alone in 1933, when my grandmother was 17 years old. They came with the Transsiberian train, via Russia, to Dingen in Poland as their first home in Europe. I could not find the Polish name for it nowadays but have the names of the other cities where my family lived in those times. They moved several times in between Germany and Poland.

All my uncles were born in Europe. My grandparents moved from their first destination Dingen to Łódź – which was called Litzmannstadt by that time. In Łódź, which belongs to Poland again after the end of WWII, my uncles Teh Ko (1935) and Teh Hsing (1937) were born. Most of the provided information was given to me by Teh Ko, who remembers lots of details, despite his age. Teh Tscheng (1939) – who was just called Ted later, because he moved to Canada to found his own family – was born in Poland as well. The family wanted to return to China in 1939 due to the ongoing and developing war on the countryside in the East. My grandfather was quite successful with trading by that time but the Germans took everything, which made their return impossible. A relatively big Chinese community lived in the Łódź area and many of them returned to China if somehow possible. In 1939/40 the family moved to Berlin. Their first home in Berlin was in Wallner Theaterstrasse 26, in district C2 in 1940. My father Teh Li was born in Charité in 1942.

Madga in Germany
Madga in Germany, before the times of color photography

In the winter of 1942/43 the bombings of Berlin started and Teh Ko remembers that they have been heavy. He remembers that the windows were clotted and covered with paper everywhere to prevent the breaking glass, due to the bombings, from scattering as dangerous slivers. He also remembers, that he was once hit at the leg by a shrapnel while leaving the bunker. In general he reports that they had relatively few problems with the Nazis. The only thing he mentioned was, that my grandfather should get retracted by the Nazis to fight for the Wehrmacht in 1942/43 – In contrast my father and my Canadian cousin Oliver claim, that my grandfather was forced to leave for compulsory labor in a camp but Madga prevented his vitiation by arguing with the Nazis how she should be able to feed and raise four boys without a father, that’s what she said herself. Maybe the truth is somewhere in between… It will be tough to reproduce the true happenings.

Due to the massive bombings families with many children were evacuated to the countryside – as Teh Ko states on a tractor – in the year 1944 and in a measure called “Storch“. They were moved to Dahlhausen in Brandenburg, about 110 km North-East of Berlin, close to Wittstock / Dosse, and lived initially in the house of Pastor Schmidt in the year of 1944. They were looted again, this time of the Russian red army, although the grandfather had buried everything. On the countryside they were shifted several times and in the same year 1944 my youngest uncle Teh Wei was born in Kutno, which was called Schröttersburg by that time and was part of Schlesien, but belongs to Poland again today. 

Madga 04
On this picture are Teh Hsing, Teh Tscheng, Teh Li, Madga and Teh Ko from left to right and some unknown friends of the family.

After the war in 1945/46 the family returned to Berlin and lived in the Auguste-Viktoria-Strasse in Berlin-Grunewald. The children received Chinese lessons from their private teacher Gau Guan Shi. My grandfather didn’t return with the family, he traded with slippers in Poznan (Posen) of Poland, where he lived and worked in Loketka 26 to support the family, and while in Berlin, he carried luggage and traded carpets and china porcelain together with Teh Ko. The both were hawking, traded in the streets and in restaurants, my grandmother took care of the children by that time and the family did alright – both, my uncle and my father confirmed that, independently from each other.

In 1947 my grandfather moved to Frankfurt / Main and Teh Ko followed him in 1949, while the rest of the family remained in Berlin. In 1961 Madga opened the first Chinese restaurant in Müllerstrasse, Berlin-Wedding. Another business of hers was a shop for Chinese wares in Hauptstrasse, Berlin-Schöneberg…

To be continued!

If anyone can and wants to contribute to add to the puzzle of family history, please contact me via my contact form. The attached gallery shows different members of the family and the names and relations to me are given as far as I know. The idea and task to create this entry was granted to me by my cousins Oliver Ma from Canada. I met him, his sister Stephani Ma, and my little cousins Savanna and Etienne, his kids for the first time (that I remember) in 2013, during my Eastcoast Roadtrip. An awesome experience and we will see each other again! I wish happy Christmas Holidays to everyone and hope to be able to gather some more info during the time. Take care!

Berlin Special: The 25th anniversary of re-unification

The re-unification of Germany is the glorious history of November 9th in German History. There have been different times at this date, but today this entry brings some impressions from my childhood in West-Berlin, some thoughts and of course photography of the 25th anniversary celebrations.

“I’m a child of an island in the red sea.” That’s what I always stated, when we had discussions about East vs West in the past. This is a long topic and the re-unification was not always as smooth as it might seem to you.

We had many discussions with our East German counterparts, because we – from the West – had everything and were arrogant – from the point of view of East Germans. Heard that the last time, when the East Germans behaved exactly like that, getting everything we prepared as group work and being arrogant when questioned for doing so in the studies of Pharmacy in Berlin“Now it’s our turn, you had everything, all the years before” was the unacceptable answer. Maybe they have been right, but it was not my fault or the fault of my colleagues from the West, we have been small children by that time. That’s already nearly ten years in the past – and the sad thing about it is, that all the glory of a moment and all the hope and good will is replaced by routine – getting back to the routes, forgetting what was important, all too fast.

Today it’s hard to distinct who is East and who is West German – it does not matter anymore or the importance vanishes more and more, at least in my generation. It’s good like that, we are one people. 

“I’m a child from an island in the Red Sea.”

By employing this phrase I stated, that I am from West-Berlin, I was born and raised there. Former West-Berlin to be adequate. The place in Germany which was surrounded by the soviet occupancy – the red and since it was a big area surrounding West-Berlin the metaphor “Island in the Red Sea” made sense to me. The DDR (GDR, i.e. German Democratic Republic) was under Russian patronage, but still controlled by their own East German people – the secretary general and his executive the VoPos (Volkspolizei, i.e. peoples police). West-Berlin was a spot of Western life in the middle of the communistic driven DDR – connected to East-Berlin via closed bridges everywhere, with the most prominent Oberbaumbrücke, Bornholmer Brücke in the inner city and Glienicker Brücke towards Brandenburg – those are bridges over the rivers Spree and Havel.

I come from the former British sector, from Berlin-Wilmersdorf. I still remember radio stations like RIAS which means Radio In the American Sector. I still know the surveillance station on Teufelsberg as a guarded stronghold of the American – or allied – forces. I know the term “Rosinenbomber” and connected to that, the importance of the Airport Berlin-Tempelhof, which was the only airport in the beginning, right after the wall was built in August 1961, to bring supplies and food to West-Berlin. Visit the memorial park while you are in Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie and Brandenburger Tor, to see the most popular places, where the separation was obviously visible – and Eastside Gallery to see authentic left overs of the Berlin Wall.

While for us in West-Berlin traveling was possible during the whole time, it was not as comfortable as today. We had to pass the DDR, on the corridors that were open to the West-Berliners and Western Germans to enter Berlin. This act – yes it was! – was called Transit. You had to wait at the border leaving West-Berlin and again at the border to enter BRD, or Western Germany, as it was called in the past. And this Transit was not always smooth, some days you had to wait hours to be allowed to reenter or they didn’t let you at all. I remember one night in winter, when I was a small kid. We have not been allowed to enter BRD and had to wait at the border for ten hours, before it was reopened. The allied forces handed soup and sheets for the people waiting and the VoPos checked every car with dogs for fleeing people. That was reality and I still have this image on my mind of soldiers digging our luggage, a submachine gun over the shoulder, the dogs in the car. On the highways of DDR, the speed limit was 100 km/h, unimaginably slow compared to today – for Germany, that is known for the fun Autobahn experience. When you took your pets, you had to present them to the veterinaries at the border and pay a fee. When you wanted to enter the DDR to visit relatives or friends, you had to pay a fee and change Deutsche Mark into Ostmark. Life was certainly different.

I was six years old, when the wall fell on November 9th 1989. I don’t remember too much anymore. I just remember everyone went nuts. There was a great excitement in the air. My mum went alone, she left us at home on this night. I think it is a pity. I think we would still remember what happened nowadays. But a couple of days after the fall of the wall, we went into East-Berlin to discover it. What I remember: The smell was so different! It smelled like coal, burning coal. The wall must have prevented the smell to come over. And the Trabbies smelled horrific by that time as well. Everything was grey and rundown, compared to today where the eastern parts of Berlin shine so beautiful. You could still see the bullet holes in the walls of many buildings, the holes which date back to WW II. 

This is a shot from November 9th 2014 in Berlin Mauerpark, exactly 25 years later, on the minute, after the wall between former Western Germany and GDR fell. You see the moment when the balloons got released – they built a wall of light all along the former border of Berlin and in the moment the balloons took off the light faded. You can see this moment in long exposure. Many people have been around to witness this event all along the former wall. A special feeling was in the air, of joy & happiness, as of hope and expectations. ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ #ig_worldclub #igworldclub #ig_clubaward #featuremeinstagood @instagood #loves_world #insta_crew #ig_exquisite #ig_masterpiece #ig_costarica #IG_EUROPE #igs_europe #ig_europa #igs_world #theworldshotz #artofvisuals @artofvisuals #timelight @timelightinceptions #worldbestshot #instafameshots #exklusive_shot #hot_shotz #superhubs #superhubs_shot @superhubs_shot #dream_image #jaw_dropping_shots #igglobalclub #iggloballife #tv_longexposure #tgif_longXpo #throughanewlensecontest @natgeotravel #diestadtberlin

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We visited Friedrichstadtpalast and witnessed a suite of Tschaikowski, played by the former East-German variete, and we visited the Naturkundemuseum in Mitte. That have been the first two events respectively places I remember in accordance to the re-unification. And today?

Everything seems normal! Berlin is one, no doubt about that. But I still have the feeling it is different when you hit the East German countryside in Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. But it is good that it is like it is and our children will hopefully realize, that times have been different, will hopefully understand, that everyone can be thankful, this never ending cold-war is over, once and for all. What we should learn out of that? Make Love not war, everywhere on this planet. It might be a special case in the history of Germany, with all the guilt, the forgiveness, the separation and finally the re-unification – November 9th is a dark and a glorious date – has both sides in German history and a date which will always be bound to that history. But the principle I address of making love and not war is the same, no matter about what wall we are talking, no matter which religion we believe in and which economic interests are on our list. People have to understand that, finally, once and for all. 

And to visualize the celebration of the 25th anniversary of this epic event, I took some pictures, mainly in Mauerpark of the event itself, some close to Bornholmer Brücke and some the days before along Oberbaumbrücke and Eastside Gallery, as well as at Brandenburger Tor, where the rests of the inner Berlin wall can be found. I wrote about the area between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain – including Eastside Gallery – a couple of month ago and you can find the entry here.

Berlin Special: Autumn in green metropolis

Autumn in Berlin is mostly grey and wet. The colors of the leaves bring some welcome change and when the sun comes out, Berlin offers some most beautiful going places, which you should not miss. In this entry Charlottenburg Castle and the Teufelsberg are presented.

Over the last time lots of reports and pictures of the Alps in autumn colors could be found here. Now it is time for a little round-up from Berlin. The autumn in Berlin is mostly grey and wet, as the winter is. The summer time is certainly the more beautiful time in this city. Still, Berlin is a place with lots of parks and green areas, so you find the autumn colors as well, like in the forests and on the mountains of Austria.

This is the castle 'Schloß Charlottenburg' which was built to honor the Prussian Queen Sophie Charlotte. It's a beautiful and stunning place, together with 'Schloß Sanssouci' in Potsdam. The autumn still is over the city and the last colorful leaves are still on the trees. Glad that I made it to depict that, the whole forest looks like a colorful landscape #travel_magazine #GreatestTravels #EarthMagazine #earthpix #natureaddict #ig_masterpiece #AOV #igrecommend #ig_latinoamerica_ #ig_all_americas #igmasters #master_shots #exklusive_shot #special_shots #ig_mood #theunderrated #superhubs #super_germany #hot_shotz #elite_shotz #ig_captures #ig_today #ig_cosmopolitan #Europe_Gallery #transfer_visions #tv_travel #zamanidurdur #diestadtberlin @diestadtberlin #berlinthroughmyeyes @berlinerpost

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Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace) is a beautiful place and every season offers another point of view. In autumn, the many alleys in the park – which is still free of charge – and in Schloss Strasse, leading towards the castle, are colored in yellow from the Tilia trees. Those trees produce an awesome smell in spring, with pale green, new leaves. They offer shadow in summer and in autumn they draw a colorful component into you photos. You should visit the palace, when you got time to do so. In winter, starting from Advent, a great christmas market takes place on the grounds in front of the main building. It’s a beautiful christmas market and besides hot wine you get treats, souvenirs and good food. And if you are first time visitor to this palace, make sure to take the tour. The description, of what you can see, is linked above.

This is the view over Berlin‘s biggest forest, the Grunewald. You will have a great overview from Teufelsberg, a hill built of debris after WW II, today a green oasis with top notch views over the whole city, predominantly former West-Berlin, but at night or when the sight is clear, even deep into former East-Berlin. You will see all the main sights of the city sticking out, a skyline per excellence. The depicted view is towards Wannsee and on the right you can see the Grunewaldturm. This is a classical November depiction, if you are lucky and the sun comes through. It’s certainly beautiful, when it does.

And this is a forest closeup taken with a 50 – 200 mm objective. It shows the autumn colors in detail. Attached you find the obligatory gallery, with many more pictures of Berlin‘s autumn. Expect another Special later today about the re-unification of Germany, 25 years ago and for next week an entry about the street art you can find on Teufelsberg.

OH WIE IST DAS SCHÖN!

GERMANY is worldchampion in football and won the finals against Argentina in the World Championship in Brazil 2014.

This night will remain in our memories. This night caused us lots of worries, lots of joy and happiness. The Football World Championship in Brazil 2014 ended this night, with a close but deserved victory of our team, of my team, Germany, which we lovingly cheer to as SCHLAND – against a very strong and minimalistic Argentinian team!

Me and my friends supporting SCHLAND!

The game was so close and Argentina really played strong, so strong that my friends and I jumped up from the couch several times, shouting at the screen. Imagine this scenery, it is somehow really ridiculous, but that is football! After the game’s end there was no time to waste to get into Berlin’s epicenter to Zoologischer Garten.

Jan and me, not really able to believe what just happened

WIR SIND WELTMEISTER! WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!

The way to Zoo in the S Bahn was memorable, all the people were singing together and jumping in the wagons. Thousands of people were on the streets celebrating. Fireworks exploded every second. The cops controlled everything, without showing emotions.

WIR SIND WELTMEISTER 2014! Without words! BERLIN!

In the middle of all the festivities a good amount of palestine guys celebrated with us, reminding of the the war which goes on between Isreal and the palestine people. Over all everything was loud, happy and very peaceful, just epic!!! It is an incredible feeling to be part of it and a long time, since 1996, that we were allowed to celebrate our football team again, how beautiful. Berlin is, not just because of the diversity, a great place to celebrate an event like that! Thank you DFB-team, thank you Brazil for all the beautiful images during the last four weeks. May the next Championship be as epic as this one!

Berlin Special: The area around Oberbaumbrücke

This is my first entry about Berlin. My homecity, the place where I grew up. Since I don’t live there anymore on a regular basis, I see the vast difference and the progress, which changes the city the whole time. I will continue to give some insight into my city, give recommendations to visit places which are off the cultural or nightlife track.

Since I am a Berliner and always will be, I want to take my time this time I visit my hometown, to capture some beautiful pictures and give some recommendations for you, to explore this city aside the endless cultural program and aside the overwhelming nightlife opportunities.

Berlin Skyline
This is the skyline of Berlin seen from S Bahnhof Warschauer Straße. Yesterday was a great sunset and I took this picture, while the clouds opened up a bit. I overworked the picture with GIMP to give some more focus on the contrast.

I visited the Eastside Gallery, since I was there already. Haven’t done that for a couple of years! The Oberbaumbrücke, connecting former East- and West-Berlin, is a sight for itself, as are the wallpaintings all over the former Berlin Wall. In the evening hours you can listen to artists, playing their music directly on Oberbaumbrücke and at U Bahnhof Warschauer Straße. The Matrix, which I visited back in the day, when I was 18 years old, still exists and seems to be a classic for the American tourists. The Club of Visionaries is a very nice place and it is reopened. Make sure to bring ladies, when you go there, it is much easier to get in.

The Eastside Gallery, rest of the Berlin wall, covered all over with beautiful and theme related graphiti – Peace, Reunition and Love.
Oberbaumbrücke connecting Berlin-Kreuzberg and Berlin-Friedrichshain

The whole area offers plentiful Bars, Cafes and Nightclubs. The Watergate, which is popular with tourists, the classic partly open air, partly inside Club Lido, where you can witness cool Bands playing. Some Jazz Bars, like Badehaus in Friedrichshain, and many restaurants can be found around this area. Just go there and get inspired, don’t plan too much, just follow the flow and enjoy this part of Berlin. And take a closer look at the rest of the German Wall, this is true history that you just find in Cypress, Pjönjang and Israel to the Palästinian parts… The advantage of the German wall… It is past and gone.

As a great place for your fast food on the way visit Burgeramt Frühstücksklub. You will find a big variety of burgers, veggie included. A great place for Kafta, arabian meatballs with salad, is Kreuzberger Köfte Burger in the Wrangelstraße. Get it without the sauce, since you will experience the spice of the meat better.