Friday, 22 April 2011

Saturday, 9 April 2011

ZSL library

the other day i became a member of London's zoos library, which i lovely little one opposite the zoo full of all the animals of the world wrapped in hard back covers. i went to research into my bear projects to find out some facts; heres some things i found...

Friday, 8 April 2011

the donkeys guide to BERLIN

at the beginning of the Easter holidays Naomi and i headed of to Berlin for a few days in aid of nays bday; this is a few things we got up to and you have to check out if you ever go....

first of all get a decent pair of shoes!!!

1. We stayed in a real nice hostel called city stay hostel situated next to Alexander platz and Hacescher Markt. this was a really good location and easy to get everywhere

2. Getting around, Berlin has a very good transport system but it took a while for us to get used to. There are trams, buses and trains that all inter link. we brought daily travel tickets which you have to activate by stamping it with this machine, this means you could get a way with one ticket for ever until you get caught then you in trouble, so don't!

3. food!
best places for real good cheap food is to g down the quieter back streets not the real touristy places! even though we did end up living of 1 euro madonals burgers all week cause we ran out of money!

make a pack u for the day, Kaiser's was our closest supermarket we discovered round the back of our hostel.

Tadshikische teestube
this was a little tea room we was told we had to check out; it feels like it is in the middle of no where and in a huge building you do not expect to find it in! (which i think is a theatre) you walk past a security guard up these grand steps to this little room; it was a gift from the Soviet union to the DDR in the 1980s; you sit on the floor with lots of cushions and choose your tea and snacks. a must go to relax and plan were to go to next.
nearest stop Friedrichstrasse

nearest stop: Warschauer Strasse
this was a lovely little cafe/bar, with lots of locals hanging out there, and the staff were very friendly and helpful and couldn't do enough for you, they even offered to walk us to this other bar!!! maybe to friendly i don't no. anyway really lovely chilled little place and you can buy absolutelyeverything in the place, chairs, cups, spoons, books, lamps, sofas... everything is for sale


this area of Berlin was also my favourite, just walking around there are so many really nice shops, bars, cafes, buildings and people to look at

we was told to check out this place called RAW (tempel)

i think the link above is it, its a huge space full of different sized warehouse space buildings each with something different in, it looks a bit squatty and covered in graffiti of course but a great atmosphere. when we went there was like so English emo punky band playing which hey seemed to love, and obvs a bit of techno! in the day time there seems to be a hippy kind of vibe within the complex.

this thing was also round the corner from it!! addictive

donkey and dong

4. galleries:
east gallery Berlin, i got really confused here, i though we was actually looking for a gallery in a building, but actually the east gallery is the last bit of the Berlin wall which takes around 30ins at the most to walk the full length if it, each panel of the wall id painted by some one different.
the wall was something i had wanted to see for ages, i still cant get it in my head that this actaully happening and
nearest stop: Ostbahn hof or warschauer st

Bauhaus museum:

this was a place which on my must see list; even though i enjoyed it there the collection wasn't very big and you had to pay to get in but give a cheeky wink and get student discount. the building its self was real cool, big, white and spacious, and they had a really nice little cafe and shop, but i still got to see lots of beautiful rugs, weaves and furniture and learn a bit about the history of their architecture. there was also and Erik Spiekermann exhibition on about type

nearest stop: Nollendorfplatz

also really close to this stop is a cool vintage shop called garbage, you pic out what you want and then they weigh it, i got a pair of jeans for 11 euros which where quite heavy, so you could get loads of light stuff for the same price. there is also prices garms which were quite pricey!

5. shopping: surprisingly this isn't something we did much of, but we did spend a entire morning at the Mauerpark flea market.
nearest stop: Eberswalder str/ bernauer str

this was rows and rows of stalls selling everything from antiques, clothes, furniture, food, there was even a stall that just sold tape! everything, i didnt end up getting much though, everything i did want was to expensive and there was just to much to take in.

the flea market was next to the park which had basket ball courts and a tiered seating area which people sat, watched and joined in with a guy who sang and played his guitar there. he would also get others up for a bit of karaoke to.

one of the reasons we didn't do much shopping was because we ran out of money! this was due to the fact that we spent lots on food and went out and pampered ourselves on the first day!...

6. must sees but costs money!

nearest stop: Anhalter bahnhof

this is an amazing spa with a salt pool in a concrete dome shaped cave, which is dark with mood lighting and djs playing relaxing music, it is 19,50 e for 2 hours and 24,50 e for 4 hours, this ticket allows you to use the sauna, steam room, pool, hot tub and bar area; then you pay extra if you would like a massage and other treatments.
be warned! as Naomi and i was changing in the female changing rooms, 3 gentleman walked in, we then realised this was a mixed changing room and lots of naked people walking around! this was the case in the sauna and steam room to (but not the pool, swim suits are compulsory, so be ready to see German sausage!!!

the Olympic stadium:

i wasn't that bothered abut seeing this but Naomi dragged me along and the building was amazing and massive, we managed to get in free because we were desperate for the toilet and asked and it wasn't busy so we managed to get a quick sneak peek of the inside; i would of loved to have gone inside properly and spent some time there but we had a flight to catch back home.

The German Bundestag
(this is the building for the national parliament of the federal republic of Germany. we saw this and tried to get in but realised you had to book a week or so in advance; you should be able to book it on this website:

you walk round and round to the top of this glass dome and the view is meant to be real good.

Berghain/panorama bar
nearest stop: Ostbahnhof
time has said that this is meant to be the best club in the city if not Europe! its tech-no tech-no tech-no with some smaller rooms with some funky house music, i think it depends what day you go on for music. it is in a huge concrete cube which used to be a power station, it is huge, different levels different rooms, its amazing if you get in! ive never been so scared and nervous about getting into a place. it has a reputation for a difficult and random door policy, the bouncers were picking and choosing who went in of the tops of their head, and they were scary and meant business no one messed with them.

for example here is one of the main men!!!

once we got in it wasn't over, we got fully searched, all our cameras were taken of us, and we was told if caught with camera phones out we would be kicked out, it was full on; it is a definite must go, so please try and get in.

7. free tings:

this is an amazing building (the website tells the history about it) used as a squat for lots of artists, you are able to walk around their studios and chat to them and buy work... must go and see
nearest stop: Oranienburger

the back of the building

Dankmal fur die ermordeten Juden Europas (the memorial of the murdered jews of europ)

everyone's seen it, its a lot bigger than what i thought, and even though a very sad and serious place, it is fun to walk around, like a big maze.

the secret theme park
nearest stop: Treptower park
if you walk from the station with the river on your left you eventually get to it you will see a yellow/orange dome, i don't no what was in it, but there there is a hole i the fence which you can get through. Naomi and i happily got in taking photographs when a lady in dogs came out a a trailer and told us to get out in German, so we did, there are people living it that looked as though they were clearing the park; but if you walk around the edge you can get a good view of all the rides through the fence.

on the way to the park we cam across this huge park but i don't no what it is, but the statues and sculptures were so solid and strong and grand they were kind of scary.

the berlin marathon:

our map

a little note left to us from Spain, Portugal and China