Ankor på vift

A freedom-oriented travel blog

Category: Germany

Our first time in Berlin

From Dubrovnik to Berlin, in a month we had managed to travel south to north across Europe and our focus was to visit old and new friends. Berlin wasn’t in our plans from the beginning, but a certain sport retailer had us convinced that we wanted to go here. Why not try to see some of the historical grounds here in Berlin while we stayed here, we said to each other, so here are some pictures from Berlin! 


Från Dubrovnik till Berlin, under en månads tid hade vi lyckats resa från söder till norr genom Europa och vårt fokus var att besöka gamla och nya vänner. Berlin var inte i våra planer från början, men en viss sportaffär hade övertygat oss om att vi ville åka hit. Varför inte försöka se några av de historiska platserna här i Berlin under vår vistelse sa vi till varandra, så här är några bilder från Berlin!

Our purpose in Berlin was not to explore the historical sites of the city, but we couldn’t resist to walk around one day and see some of the historical areas and Die Mauer was one of them. More about this day later.

First, it  was time to upgrade our gear and we went to Berlin solely for the purpose of visiting a Decathlon outlet.

They sell everything from outdoor gear and ballet clothes, to scuba equipment, sailing and horse stuff, so this is the biggest sports goods retailer that we have visited.

Pontus shoes needed to be upgraded, so say hell to a new pair of cheap, but qualitative, Kalenji sneakers.

The Decathlon store we went to is located at Alexanderplatz, a large transport hub in Berlin.

You get a good view of the Fernsehturm, a communistic propaganda building constructed between 1965 and 1969. The Ferneshturm was intended to be a symbol of communist power and of Berlin.

Fika-time at Alexanderplatz.

and waffles that got our sugar levels spiking.

There is a construction company in this part of Europe that has an interesting company name Porr (Porn in Swedish) with the Swedish flag colors.

We lived in Friedrichshain, a part of Germany that was severely damaged during the second world war, because of the Allies heavy bombings on industrial buildings that were located in Friedrichshain. After the war, the Stalinallee was built in this neighborhood and  Friedrichshain was the cultural center of East Berlin.

After the Wall fell, a lot of apartments stood suddenly empty here in Friedrichshain and this attracted the attention of squatters, which can still be found here today,

There are a lot of vegan alternatives in this part of Berlin, so it was special to find a non-vegan place.

The last day we had gathered enough energy to spend a day walking around to different historical places and look at the architecture in the city.

We walked past the Berlin Cathedral or the other name for it: Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church. The church standing here today stood finished 1905, but the Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church and its community dates back to 1450’s.

We walked down the historical parade street Unter den Linden, which was constructed by Elector John George of Brandenburg in the 16th century so he could reach his hunting grounds in the Tiergarten.

Unter den Linden starts at the Berlin Palace, a place that dates back to the 1450’s.

Brandenburger Tor, another historical monument that has meant a lot for both monarchs, Napoleon and the Nazi’s.

We visited Tiergarten, the big park in the middle of Berlin. This was the royal families private hunting grounds. In 1742 the fences around the park was torn down by Frederick II and the park was now open for the public.

A short stop looking at the German Reichstag, which was constructed after the unification of Germany in 1871.

We passed the Holocaust Memorial.

Potsdamer Platz, named after the city Potsdamer and the area marks the point where the old road from Potsdamer passed through the city wall of Berlin. This was a No-mans land during the cold war and Potsdamer Platz became one of the earliest points where the Berlin Wall was breached in 1989.

You’ll find Checkpoint Charlie, the most famous of border crossing checkpoints between East and West Berlin, near Potsdamer Platz, The Berlin Wall was built because of the heavy brain drain from East to West, between 1949 and 1961, over 2½ million East Germans fled to the West. This was so damaging to the political credibility and economic viability of East Germany., so they started to construct the Wall in 1961.

A standoff occurred between U.S. and Soviet tanks at Checkpoint Charlie soon after the Berlin Wall was built. The dispute was about if East German guards were authorized to examine the travel documents of a U.S. diplomat. 10 Soviet and 10 American tanks stood 100 yards apart on either side of the checkpoint for more than 24 hours. The standoff ended peacefully.

Love the placement of McDonald’s.

Pontus and Die Mauer – Next to Checkpoint Charlie lies a Wall museum where you can see a piece of the Wall, together with a lot of pictures and historical descriptions surrounding the history of the Wall. From the construction of the Wall and histories about both fatal and successful escape attempts, to the days when the Wall was torn down.

We found beautiful street art about this historical place around checkpoint Charlie, so it was nice just to randomly walk around here. Then it was time for us to leave Germany.

Visiting our friend Michi in Bamberg

Back on track and we can finally give a short explanation of why we ended up in Bamberg, a small town in the middle of Germany. We were here to visit our friend Michi, who we got to know during our three months stay in Acapulco during the 2016 version of Anarchapulco. It was just by pure spontaneous travel, a trait that we are known for by now, we happened to step of a bus in Bamberg. We had a lot to catch up with our friend since our good bye in Acapulco in 2016, so Bamberg just had to be our next destination.  
Originally, we were thinking of going to Paris, Amsterdam or Slovakia when Ulrika remembered that Michi should be somewhere in the southern parts of Germany. One message later and we had set our travel compass towards Bamberg. Little did we know that we would come to a lovely small town with a lot of history. 


Tillbaka på rätt spår och vi kan slutligen ge er en kort förklaring till varför vi hamnade i Bamberg, en liten stad i mitten av Tyskland. Vi var här för att besöka vår vän Michi, som vi lärde känna under våra tre månader i Acapulco när vi närvarade vid 2016-års version av Anarchapulco. Det var bara en ren spontanresa, en egenskap som vi är kända för i nuläget, att vi hoppade på en buss till Bamberg. Vi hade mycket att prata om med vår vän sedan vårt adjö i Acapulco 2016, så Bamberg var vi bara tvungna att ha som vår nästa destination.
Vår ursprungliga plan var att åka till Paris, Amsterdam eller Slovakien, när Ulrika kom ihåg att Michi borde befinna sig någonstans i de södra delarna av Tyskland. Ett ivägskickat meddelande senare och vi hade satt vår resekompass mot Bamberg. Lite visste vi att vi skulle sätta fötterna i en förtjusande liten stad med mycket historia.

Awesome to meet Michi again and to explore his hometown Bamberg!

Michi took us to the old town of Bamberg, which is on the UNESCO’s world heritage list because it has kept its medieval appearance.

You enter old town by crossing the Obere Brücke (a bridge built in 1455) and walk through the town hall of Bamberg, the town hall dates back to the 16th century and has cool exterior painting.

Michi and Pontus on the streets of old town Bamberg. Michi showed us around different parts of Bamberg during the few days we spent with him and his family and friends.

Bamberg was first mentioned in 902 and has been a town since the first millennium. The town was heavily involved in the witch hunt during the 15th century and approximately 1000 people were sentenced to death during a 5-year period. This was one of the largest witch trials in history.

Everywhere you go, you’ll find lovely houses with interesting exterior that you want to check out further.

Schlenkerla is one out of nine old, famous pubs that brews the famous Bamburg Rauchbier – a
beer which has a distinctive, smoky aroma and flavor.

Rauchbier is almost pitch black and has an interesting taste. We liked it, but felt it was enough drinking one.

Another nice thing here is that people are standing outside on the street, having a beer and having conversation with people passing the pub. It is a joyful atmosphere!

We continued our walk through the old town and found more medieval houses.

We walked, but old town also have a tourist sightseeing bus tour. We ended up at the “little Venice of Bamberg where we recorded a short video, which can be seen below.

The old town of Bamberg also has its own cathedral and it is under the administration of the Roman Catholic Church. The original cathedral was founded in 1002 by King Heinrich II, but the first two cathedrals burned down in the 11th and 12th centuries, so the current one has been standing here since the 13th century.

The Neue Residenz, the palace that was the bishops residence from 1602 to 1803.

Behind the bishop palace, there is a beautiful rose garden to enjoy.

Wikipedia claims that the rose garden has over 4500 roses in different colors.

Michi likes to climb, so he took us to the local boulder room  (Block Helden) to get our muscles working again.

They accept bitcoin, so we really like this place! Notice that you’re not allowed to pay with bitcoin if you’re a drug dealer 😂

Michi showing different problems in the boulder room.

Pontus warming up on an easy route.

Ulrika feeling out the bolted holds once more.

Michi’s cousin is an experienced climber, so he showed us more difficult routes in the boulder room.

Michi also took us out on the countryside to taste the local famous food and beers around Bamberg. Hölzlein is one of the guest houses famous for their brewery and food.

We had the chance to spend time with Michi’s friend Andreas talking a lot about the German school system.

A proper German dinner – some kind of meat, sauerkraut, sauce and potatoes!

Grießnockerlsuppe, Semolina dumpling soup, was a new kind of soup that we haven’t tasted before coming to Bamberg. It was delicious!

A random art project we found while exploring the town. Loved it!

We also took a walk to Hain park, which is next to the old town and it is an easy walk to discover more beautiful surroundings here in Bamberg.

An old bridge in Hain park.

Here you’ll find the botanical garden!

More photos from Hain park.

Andreas joined us on the walk and we really appreciate the conversations and the the explorations we had with you guys. Thanks for letting us spontaneously come visit you!

And thanks for letting us stay with you! Next stop for us was Berlin!

Bayern is not boring at all

When we last left you, we just arrived to Bayern (Bavaria) to get a few days of rest after our adventures in Austria. We haven’t felt any urge of going here and, quite frankly, we have always imagined that this place would be boring. How wrong we were, Bayern is colorful, clean, friendly and there are lots of interesting places, especially in the region capital Munich. We were just here for a transit before visiting our friend outside of Nuremberg, so we have to go back here some day and explore this region more. However, we did make use of the time we spent in both Weilheim in Obernbayer and Munich.


När vi senast lämnade er så hade vi precis åkt mot Bayern för att få några dagars vila efter våra äventyr i Österrike. Vi har aldrig känt någon längtan att åka till Bayern och vi har helt uppriktigt alltid haft föreställningen att denna region skulle vara tråkig. Hur fel har vi inte haft egentligen? Bayern är färgstarkt, rent, vänligt och det finns många intressanta platser, särskilt i huvudstaden München, att uppleva. Vi var bara här för att mellanlanda innan vi besökte vår vän som bor utanför Nürnberg. Vi behöver nog åka tillbaka hit en dag och utforska denna region mer. Vi utnyttjade dock den tid vi spenderade i både Weilheim i Obernbayer och München väl.

Weilheim in Oberbayern, a small town between Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bayern.

It was perfect for us to make a stop and rest after a week exploring the alps – climbing, hiking and mountain-biking.

Weilheim in Oberbayern is a place where sad faces show up if you are speeding. Thanks to the car who saw us waiting to take a picture and increased its speed just so we could get a sad emoji on photo! The car immediately slowed down after the sign, so thank you 🙂

We just relaxed here and tried out new settings on our camera.

The best Turkish kebab we’ve eaten so far can be found in Weilheim.

And good ice-cream. They had ice-cream spaghetti bolognese on their menu and it was quite popular among the smaller customers.

The graffiti is more like paintings here and it is a cozy town to spend a few days in. However, three days was enough for us and we started our journey to the north.

But first exploring the capital of the free state of Bayern – Munich. The first records of settlements in Bayern is from the formation of a duchy in the 6th century (AD). Then history has taken Bayern from a duchy, through the Roman Empire, to an independent kingdom and to a powerless state in the German federation that would like to become independent again.

We had four hours in Munich so we just let google maps guide us to interesting stuff near the train station and we got to see amazing architecture and walk in to a nude beach in the middle of the city. But first buildings, and we’ve stuffed cool buildings in a slide show below.

 

The New Town Hall is an impressive Gothic building at the Marienplatz in Munich. Fun fact about Marienplatz: The square was named after the Mariensäule, a Marian column erected in 1638 to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation.

The New Hall opened its doors In 1874, because the local government had grown so big that they no longer could fit all the people in the old one. They choose a neo-gothic design in memory of the bourgeois high season during the Gothic period. Below is a video of the place.

We visited the English garden, which is situated in the middle of the capital of Bayern.

The English garden was created in 1789 by Sir Benjamin Thompson and later Count Rumford for Prince Charles Theodore, Elector of Bayern.
The English garden in Munich is counted as one of the largest urban public parks in the world.

Its a huge park and our mission was to get to the Chinese tower in the middle of the park.

But keep your eyes open where you go. We accidentally walked right in to a nude beach and it took a few seconds for us to realize why we suddenly only saw naked people around us.

The Chinese tower. The original was built in 1790, but that was destroyed during the second world war. However, the community built an exact copy to replace the burnt down pieces after the war ended.

We took a break at the beer garden next to the tower and did what the locals do.

Eating pretzels and drinking a beer.

We saw a lot of men walking around in their lederhosen, so we had to take a sneak picture.

Munich, or Bayern was surprisingly cool to us. We didn’t have so high expectations beforehand of this place, so we were pleasantly surprised of how vibrant and interesting Munich felt. Next time we have to stay longer than four hours here and do more exploring. Look at this bicycle guide, don’t you just want to hop on one of those and let you be guided around Munich by them?

Our friend waited for us in Bamberg so we jumped on a Flixbus, our new favorite bus company in Europe – so cheap and easy to get around Europe when you use their service. We can highly recommend them 🙂

Hindelanger Klettersteig, amazing view over the Austrian Alps

Little did we know that we would hike on one of the longest and most popular Klettersteigs in this part of the Alps, when we contacted Sandra and Markus to ask if we could visit them on our way through Europe.  Hindelanger had been on Sandra and Markus wish-list for a long time, so we felt honored that they chose to take us with them on this adventure. They are very active people, and they have a blog where they document their many adventures with amazing photos, check out their blog herewhere they also wrote about our adventure together. Hindelanger was the first of a few adventures they had in mind for our visit, so we will divide our visit to Riezlern on three different blog posts starting with this Klettersteig on 2200 meter above sea level. 


Lite visste vi att vi skulle vandra på en av de längsta och mest populära Klettersteigs i den här delen av Alperna när vi bestämde oss för att kontakta Sandra och Markus och fråga om vi kunde komma förbi dem på vår väg genom Europa. Hindelanger hade varit på Sandra och Markus önskelista länge, så vi kände oss hedrade att de valde att ta med oss på detta äventyr. De är mycket aktiva människor, och de har en blog där de dokumenterar sina många äventyr med fantastiska bilder, kolla in deras blogg här, där de även skrivit om vårt äventyr tillsammans. Hindelanger var det första av flera äventyr som de hade i åtanke för vårt besök, så vi delar upp vårt besök i Riezlern på tre olika bloggposter som börjar med denna Klettersteig 2200 meter över havet.

Hindelanger Klettersteig is a very popular via ferrata and it was Sandra and Markus plans for our first adventure during our time  in Riezlern.

Sandra and Markus picked us up in Kempten Allgäu, Germany, after our train ride from Graz, Austria. It has been several years since we visited them last time, so it was time for a new visit. We picked up their old bikes from service on our way back to Austria, since they also had mountain bike plans for us during our stay with them.

Sandra and Markus place, where they call home. They are really active people so this is a perfect spot to have a home for them!

Markus showed us his automated hydroponics project and he is doing it thoroughly.

Water supply, humidity, nourishment and temperature is monitored and automated, and Markus has built and programmed everything by himself.

We started early the next day and it was time to tackle the famous Hindelanger Klettersteig.

The first mission is to get to the top of Nebelhorn, 2200 meters above sea level. You can hike up to the top, but it is preferable to take the cable cars, three of them, up to the top. You can purchase both one-way and two-way tickets, if you don’t want to hike down the mountain.

The Hindelanger Klettersteig starts from the top cabin at 2224 meter above sea level.

The ridge that we would spend the next five hours climbing up and down on.

The mission was to get to the Gosser Daumen, the green top to the right which is visible in the background.

You should be capable of handling heights if you decide to do the Hindelanger Klettersteig.

Klettersteig or via ferrata (Iron road) is a protected climbing route, where you can secure yourself to a steel cable which runs along the route.

Hindelanger Klettersteig is graded C on a via ferrata A-F difficulty scale, because there are parts of the route where the steel cables are absent. However, our feeling was that this was manageable if you’re not easily scared by heights and take your time.

The Klettersteig took around 5 hours for us to do, and then we had an additional 5 hours hiking down the mountain to get back to the car.

Ulrika in her favorite spot, sitting on a mountain looking down on the world!

The view over the Austrian Alps was amazing! Below are a slide show with more amazing pictures from the hike.

 

We hiked all the way down to Oberstdorf, doing a 1100 meter descent. These slopes are down hill slopes during the winter season.

A break on our way down eating some energy bars.

Next to a small waterfall.

15 km and 10 hours later later we finally reached the ski jumping towers in Oberstdorf. We have a video from our adventure below for people who are interested. This adventure was now a dear memory for us, but more adventures would come our way during the next few days. Thanks Sandra and Markus for taking us on this awesome adventure!

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