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URBAN NATURE TOURS: EXPERIENCE CITY FLORA & FAUNA BY BIKE

URBAN NATURE TOURS: EXPERIENCE CITY FLORA & FAUNA BY BIKE

If you think that Berlin is grey, barren, and consists mostly of concrete, think again! In fact over 40 percent of Berlin is green space, as biologist and city nature guide Robert Ulrich, Brandenburg native, tells you at the beginning of his bicycle tour in the lively Nikolai quarter. It quickly becomes clear that you don’t always need to leave the city in order to experience nature close up: At our first stop we learned that the Museumsinsel actually sits on marshland, at the second, in front of the North Korean Embassy, we discovered beautiful Chinese trees that blossom in the urban summer heat, concluding at the final stop in Tiergarten that Berlin’s wilderness is much more multifaceted than we thought. Robert showed us in a humorous way that one only has to take a closer look in order to discover hundreds of wild birds, insects and plants – you have to hear his imitation of the hooded crow! And another thing becomes clear during the tour: nature is everywhere and always finds a way – just get on your bike and go on an urban voyage of discovery! (Text: Hanna Komornitzyk / Photos: Johanna Rademacher–Flesland)

Urban Nature Tours: Meeting point at the Nikolaikirche, Poststr.11, 10178 Berlin–Mitte; map
Next tour dates: Fri 02.08. 14h30, Sat 31.08. and Wed 14.09. 14h45

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ART & MINDFULNESS WORKSHOPS: FINDING CONTENTEDNESS AMIDST ART

ART & MINDFULNESS WORKSHOPS: FINDING CONTENTEDNESS AMIDST ART

Mindfulness and meditation can now be found as remedies to everyday stress in almost any aspect of life – whether exercise or a pre-bedtime ritual. Nico Rönpagel’s approach, however, is relatively new: he has decided to conduct meditation workshops in places that exhibit art. Actually, it’s an obvious choice, because rooms in galleries are usually quiet, large and bright – the perfect places to practice relaxation and gratitude. Nevertheless, on the morning of the first course, I was a bit skeptical about doing it with 20 strangers in just an hour. But Nico, who has been practicing meditation for more than 20 years, explains that this event in the newly renovated Me Collectors Room is intended as an introduction. For the first session, participants directed their focus to a work of art from the current exhibition, “Beyond”. Rönpagel’s partner exercises were also fun and integrated the exhibition at a very relaxed pace. After the session, the participants and the surroundings already felt familiar – and I myself felt collected and connected. Register now for the two follow-up sessions if you are looking for an introduction to meditation – it’s worth it, in no small measure because of the great setting. And naturally, you can stick around to take a closer look at the exhibition afterwards. (Text: Hanna Komornitzyk / Photos: Nico Rönpagel & Eric Bell)

Art & Mindfulness at Me Collectors Room: Auguststr.68, 10117 Berlin–Mitte; map
Sat 27.07. 15h and Wed 07.08. 18h

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OUTDOOR YOGA: THREE TIPS FOR YOUR OPEN AIR PRACTICE

OUTDOOR YOGA: THREE TIPS FOR YOUR OPEN AIR PRACTICE

Isn’t it time to take your weekly yoga session outside? There is so much awaiting you in Berlin and neighboring Brandenburg, so here are three of our favorite locations for the most scenic classes. Do you yearn for a Mediterranean vibe in the countryside? Then the class in the garden of the Schloss Belvedere in Potsdam, which takes place every second Sunday in summer, is just right for you (they even have singing bowls!) And for anyone who craves a little adventure, challenge yourself to some Stand-Up Paddling Yoga, offered every Tuesday evening at the jetty of the sailing school in Rummelsburg – it’ll keep you balanced in every sense of the word. And for a more meditative emphasis with a sophisticated ambiance and an especially beautiful view, join one of the classes on the roof terrace of the Hotel de Rome, offered on Sunday mornings by Spirit Yoga. Wherever you choose to bring your yoga mat, there’s no better way to achieve summer contentment. (Text: Hanna Komornitzyk / Photos: Hotel de Rome & Spirit Yoga, Segelschule-Rummelsburg, @rosalie.imi)

Freiluft-Yoga am Belvedere: Belvedere Pfingstberg, Neuer Garten, 14469 Potsdam; map
Sun 11.08. & 08.09. 10h30–12h
Stand-Up Paddling Yoga in der Rummelsburger Bucht: Bootsclub Rummelsburg e.V., Zillepromenade, 10317 Berlin–Rummelsburg; map
April–Sept, Tue 19–20h
Spirit Yoga auf dem Dach des Hotel de Rome: Hotel de Rome, Behrenstr.37, 10117 Berlin-Mitte; map
Jun–Sept, Sun 9–10h

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GUT WOLLETZ: AN ELEGANT ESCAPE IN THE UCKERMARK

GUT WOLLETZ: AN ELEGANT ESCAPE IN THE UCKERMARK

Even the most hard-boiled urbanite knows that serenity is strength. That’s why so many Berliners flee to the countryside on the weekends in search of peace and quiet. The little village of Wolletz near Angermünde in the Uckermark, only 80km away from Berlin, is just the right place. Here, the five guest apartments and sweeping gardens of Gut Wolletz provide the perfect setting for a weekend getaway. The former stables have been lavishly renovated with plenty of style and can accommodate up to four people per apartment, some over two floors. You can rent out bicycles or try a rowing boat or canoe – the nearby lake is only a stone’s throw away and the perfect backdrop for a romantic evening. Wolletz is located within the Schorfheide Biosphere Reserve, so if you are looking for nature then you couldn’t be closer to it. And the wifi here is pretty good too! (Text: Valentina Knorr / Photos: Robert Wunsch)

Gut Wolletz, Zur Kastanienallee 13, 16278–Angermünde; map
@ferienaufgutwolletz
@gutwolletz

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THE F24 FERRY: THE MOST CHARMING BVG JOURNEY YOU’LL EVER MAKE

THE F24 FERRY: THE MOST CHARMING BVG JOURNEY YOU’LL EVER MAKE

You hand the driver €1.70 for a Kurzstrecke ticket and jump on board – just another journey on Berlin public transport. Yet this BVG trip is different: Your ride today is a venerable, 3m-long rowboat. Connecting Müggelheim and Rahnsdorf, the Paule III is the smallest ferry in the city, with space for just eight passengers and the odd bicycle. Boats like the Paule III have crossed this part of the Spree for more than 100 years. Though threatened by BVG budget cuts, the tradition continues to this day, as crossing over the Müggelspree via boat remains a necessity when exploring the area on foot or by bike, bridges being rare along this stretch of water. The two-minute journey from Müggelheim/Spreewiesen to the other side brings you to the ancient Rahnsdorf fishing village. There, right on the banks of the canal, you will find a smokehouse and cafe selling local catch and cool beers for some nourishment after your journey. And when you are finished, just flag down the Paule III and you’ll be taken back to Müggelheim, ideally located near the Kleiner Müggelsee bathing spot for a swim and a sunbathe. It’s what summer weekends are made for. (Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Johanna Rademacher–Flesland)

Between May and October the F24 ferry line runs on weekends and bank holidays 11–19h, every hour and on request. Check the BVG website for updates. Spreewiesen departure point: Zur Fähre 12559 Berlin–Siedl. Spreewiesen; map
#bvgfähre

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