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.

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.

Treasures of the forest – Time for Mushrooms

This is a very short guide to collect mushrooms with some of them depicted. If you want to know more please leave a comment and I will add it to this entry.

Summer in the alps is always time for delicacies. You can go hiking and collect a great variety of mushrooms on your way to sweeten up your cuisine. Yesterday I went together with a friend and what we found, was worth around 30 EUR in raw material. If you calculate the dish in a restaurant, you have quite a little luxurious meal.

Tyrolean Alps

Fliegenpilz 01
Amanita Muscaria, the Fliegenpilz, one of the well reknown but toxic guys you will find on your way
A beautiful pair of Cantharellus cibarius (Pfifferling), one of the most desired mushrooms for the kitchen.
Fliegenpilz 02
Another beautiful Amanita Muscaria, maybe one for the guides to collect mushrooms in its full beauty.
Coral mushroom
A black and white take of those beautiful coral mushrooms, which are not enjoyable to eat, taken with my S3 and the red & yellow filter.
Steinpilz 01
A Boletus Edulis (Steinpilz), king of the mushrooms and ingredient in many luxurious meals of high class restaurants.

The time flies by when you combine the outdoor activity with this tasty hobby and all you need is a little knowledge about where to find those beauties. The Boleti are growing close to the dense forest, where the sun can still reach. Mostly accompanied by Amanita muscaria and sometimes, that was my observation, close to ant nests.You will find some of them even in the dense forest on moss rich areas which are humid. The Cantharellus cibarius – Eierschwammerl (German) – are growing in the moss as well, accompanied by myrtillium vaccinum, the blue berry. You have to lift the moss here and there to find them. It’s easier to find them in dense spruce forests, though. There they grow, well to see, on the ground covered with the spruce leaves, when a sufficient humidity is given. You can just walk by and sometimes cut hands full of it at one place. The Amanita muscaria are not to eat of course, but they are colorful and most beautiful!

Netzstieliger Hexenröhrling
The Boletus luridus is a very good mushroom to eat after you cooked it properly.
Flockenstieliger Hexenröhrling
Boletus erythropus is another representative of the Boletus family, and as luridus toxic if you don’t cook it properly.

Boletus luridus and erythropus are toxic Boleti, if they are not cooked properly. Most people don’t take them, but I do. You have to cut and blanch them, before you roast them in butter, then those species are very tasty, spicy and good to eat! They have a very special taste (awesome) and grow in the same habitant as Boletus edulis, sometimes even on meadows in the mountains, where lots of light comes through. Keep updated, since I will present some recipes the upcoming days for Spätzle with mushroom cream, Pizza with Gorgonzola mushroom topping, and Carpaccio of Boletus edulis.

An entry for toxic mushrooms can be found on the Homepage of the Klinikum Rechts der Isar in Munich (German).