Spreewald Canoe

It’s so great and it’s so easy. It’s the perfect getaway for a sunday and the right mix between relaxation and activity: going around in Spreewald’s little natural canals in a canoe. Here’s how you do it.

Take the train from Berlin Alexanderplatz, Hauptbahnhof or Ostbahnhof to Lübbenau. From the trainstation in Lübbenau it’s a 15 min walk to the next boat rental. I can recommend Bootsverleih Hannemann. They will give you a canoe for two, paddles and a map and explain the way you can go in three or four hours. And off you are! In the middle of the greatest nature, in less than 1,5h hours from Berlin. I was truly amazed that it is so easy.

Here’s a map of Lübbenau.

And all of sudden you’re here.

No ones’s around.

Just many, many midges, bring spray!

Imagine to live here! The canal is the only way to your house.

I wonder what’s inside these strawy hills.

Rest and have a drink.

There are watergates around you have to manage yourself.


I was proud I understood how it works (it’s not difficult, anyway)



Israel Reisetipps


Wenn auf Facebook irgendetwas super funktioniert, dann sind das Reisetipps. Es ist unglaublich, was für ein Wissensregen auf einen prasselt, wenn man um Tipps zu einem bestimmten Ort bittet. Irgendwer war bestimmt schonmal da oder kennt jemanden oder zumindest einen guten Link. Und Reiseerlebnisse sind so emotional, dass man sie gerne teilt. Wenn ich auf Reisen gehe, frage ich inzwischen immer erst einmal auf Facebook, welche Tipps meine Freunde für mein Ziel haben.

So geschehen auch heute, ich bat um Tipps für einen Sechs-Tages-Tripp nach Israel und bekam so viele tolle Tipps, dass ich ausgewählte Links auch hier als Erinnerung und Inspiration posten möchte.
Wer das liest und findet, dass da noch was fehlt: Bitte in die Kommentare!

Das war der Post:

(ist öffentlich, kann man also klicken für alle Kommentare)

Was habe ich gelernt? Tel Aviv ist cooler als Jerusalem und taugt wahrscheinlich als Homebase. Die einen sagen, man kann die ganze Zeit dort bleiben, die anderen: auf keinen Fall. Wir werden ein wenig rumreisen. Natürlich muss man sich Jerusalem anschauen und das Tote Meer. Die Wüste liegt quasi auf dem Weg. Der beste Stadtteil von Tel Aviv ist Jaffa und von dort ist es ebenfalls nicht weit bis nach Nazareth oder sogar Ramallah. Wie das mit der Westbank ist, müssen wir wohl noch herausfinden. Kann man da als Tourist einfach so rein- und rausfahren? Gaza fällt ziemlich sicher aus. Wir sind gespannt und bald werden wir’s wissen. Dann gibt’s mehr Fotos und einen Reisebericht, vielleicht sogar ein Video.

Und hier sind noch ein Reise-Tipps als Links

Foursquare Liste von Sebastian für Tel Aviv
Wüste Machtesch Ramon
Ein toller Blogartikel als Reihe einer Serie über Israel als Reiseland von Matthias
Club “The Block” in Tel Aviv, Tipp von Patrick aka Answer Code Request
Österreichisches Hospiz als Unterkunft und für Schnitzel mit Aussicht in Jerusalem
Ein Besuch am Strand von Haifa (FAZ)

Ich habe auch aus Matthias Blogpost gelernt und einen Mietwagen via Billiger Mietwagen in Tel Aviv gebucht. Eine Unterkunft haben wir auch, bei einer befreundeten Fotografin in Tel Aviv und von dort aus werden wir das Land mit dem Auto erkunden. Vorfreude!!

Das Foto kommt von Denises Israelset auf Flickr. Der Link zur Autovermietung ist ein Affiliate Link, wenn ihr also darüber ein Auto bucht, krieg ich ein bisschen was ab. Guter Deal für alle also.

Post Digital birds shirts

newsletter-muybridge iiii

With 3D printers, hi tech materials and the digitalization of all aspects of life, a great field for artists emerged and is opening up more with every new technology. And here, we’ll see the need for art also as a catalyst for the possible. Now, that we have all these unlimited options, what are we supposed to do with it?

“Out of Hand – Materializing the Postdigital” is the name of an exhibition opening in New York next wednesday, october 17th at the MAD museum. The bird shirts showed above are one part of it, made by the collective “T-Shirt Issue”. I wish I could go and see the rest. Anybody buy me a ticket to New York please?

Outlook 2012 – Sunday

Deserted festival stages have something melancholic, yet promising about them. At daytime, without people, they look like resting giants, awaiting the night and the lights and the audience. All silent, about to be filled with life. I like that view. Here are most of the Outlook stages at daytime.

This is the main one (quite a standard festival stage).

The following are all the stages in and between the old fort. Fort1 and Mungo’s are the biggest and connected by a path on top of them. Inside the fort, there is the Courtyard, the Dungeon (inside, very small) and my favorite: Noah’s ballroom. Only a small circle, surrounded by big walls.

I did not get a good picture of the ballroom by day, so here’s one by night.

The most impressive is certainly the Moat. Situated in the old water moat around the heavy walls of the fort it is almost 100 meters long and forms an infamous tunnel of bass.

Back to the beach to enjoy the last sun beams.

All I needed now, was to get on a boat. I walked down to the harbor to try my luck. Only to see the last of four ships float away in front of me.

But no worries, I managed to convince the boat organizers that it would be extremely necessary to also report from a boat to make the festival experience complete.

I was superthankful for the courtesy to put me on a boat in the last minute, because it is actually very difficult to get on these. Apparently the official tickets sold out within 10 minutes. And many people would have loved to get on the boat I finally came on.

Take a look at the Reggae boat. It’s not the one I was on, but it’s a good impression of the steamy atmosphere there.

Boat parties in general are great. Not only because floating is nice and sun and nature and all that but from the view of the social dynamics also. You really have the chance to get to know people. Obviously, nobody can leave for several hours and the music also builds up a very intimate atmosphere.

Talking about the music: As said, I was lucky to get on the DMZ boat with Mala. Very deep and crystal sound, relaxed and intense, like made for this kind of cruise. A perfect start into a night where I should get much more of my desired style of music. On display was also Skream’s “booze cruise” but that would have been too much for me for sure.

So I danced smoothly and talked to some Swiss people, a bunch from the Netherlands, an engineering woman who designs oil platforms and last but not least the Croatian sailor who gave me his flirting advice: “You have to let the girl know that you want her!” Ok, thanks!

My next stop was the Dockside stage with the Chestplate vs Osiris night. I stayed for almost three hours and watched Kryptic Minds, Distance and Youngsta together with thousands of people and with such a clear and powerful sound that made the music literally appear in the air. Impressive. Also the amount and the excitement of the audience for musicians who probably would gather no more than 300 people or so in Berlin!

The rest of the night went on like most festival nights, strolling around, bumping into people, like the owner of the hostel I stayed in and also other people I had met the day before. It is this kind of familial feeling that makes you sad when the event is over. And despite the size of the area and about 20 000 people being there, Outlook is small enough to allow for this encounters.

I wish the organizers all the best for keeping that spirit. But I am quite confident that they will. These people know what they do and they did a really good job. The sound is superb, the light was good, although there is certainly more room for unusual ideas like this projection surface out of styrofoam which makes the stage look like a socialist building.

The securities were professional and friendly and certainly did a good job in managing the crowd in the very little floors. The only security issue were some dodgy black taxi drivers who tried to get people in their cars and apparently also attacked someone directly outside the area. So be careful there!

I also liked the food, especially the fruit salad revived my spirits friday at night! And suprisingly there was no big brand sponsoring to see, only the usual drink branding. And that’s quite cool because it makes the festival more unique and less standardized.

To put in a nutshell: Even if I missed my flight home because the boat came in too late to Venice and I am on a train to Milan to catch the last Easyjet flight to Berlin which makes about 160 EUR extra including the train ticket and even if it was an Odyssee to get there, I had a great time. I had inspiring musical moments, many conversations with new people, some sun, some rain, some meditarrenean water around my feet and the perfect little getaway I needed from Berlin.

Thank you Outlook, hvala Pula and Croatia for this weekend!

On my way to Outlook festival

Before I boarded the plane this morning, I took a look at the weather forecast for Pula, Croatia: rain until monday. Well, quite disappointing. But maybe the right thing to lower my expectations a bit. Which are dangerously high since I have seen and heard such great things about the “worlds best bass music festival” on a beautiful peninsula in Croatia next to the old coast town of Pula.

Now I am sitting in Venice, looking over the adriatic coast, in the sun with an espresso and it is hard to imagine that on the other side the weather could be any less good. But wait, Venice, why Venice? Well, the roads to Outlook are not really straightforward.

All flights there cost a fortune. And they already did 4 weeks ago. Some of them take longer than a day. I tried for hours to find a good combination, also to fly to Ljubiljana, Zagreb or Triest. But no. Until I took a look at the actual map and saw an intersting dotted line from the harbour of Pula: A ferry to Venice!

And that´s why I am here now, I am waiting for a ship which will take me to the other side, almost directly to the festival site. Finally, this idea of flying to Venice with Easyjet and then smoothly getting in on a boat like a sailor was tempting and also affordable enough for me to spontaneously make this decision to go and cover the Outlook festival.

So stay tuned and read more about my trip during the upcoming days.

Perfect Spanish summer feeling videos

In Berlin, we had a glimpse of summer about 10 days ago. It was wonderful, girls wearing skirts, boys wearing shorts, we were riding our bikes with sunglasses on, off to a barbecue. Now it’s cold and rainy again and we remember that we used to go on a summer holiday. To Italy, Spain or Greece. We’d live in a summer house owned by friends, go down to the beach, cook together, drink beer, dance in the street. These videos wake this feeling of mediterranean easy-going and living into the day.

The first one tells the story of Max who is in a bus, looking over a sunny landscape, on his way to meet his friends and family. Everybody is really happy to see him, they go collect chairs in the narrow streets of the old town, have diner, go fishing, play domino and eventually a little flirt evolves. Cute pictures and a great song produce a dense atmosphere which makes you wish you where there. The video is done by Estrella, Catalunya’s most famous beer and my favorite when I used to live there. It’s shot in the beautiful landscape Serra de Tramuntana on Mallorca.

In Barcelona, Sonar, one of the most important festivals about electronic music and media art is about to start next week. The city, the beaches and the roof tops become official stages and off-parties, and I am still a bit proud to have started this trend of the after-sonar beach events back in 2004 with Intro magazine. Now, the Mobilee crew is known for their Sonar parties, like you’ll see in this hotel roof video.

And if you like it a bit more kinky, after family reunion on Mallorca, intellectual partying in Barcelona, you should take a flight, or a boat, to Ibiza, where the most infamous parties unveal. Being the place with the most expensive clubs, like the Amnesia, you should try to connect to all the promoters and organizers and let them put you on the list for the evening. It’s actually less hard than you think.

Two weeks in Cuba – Part 4, Trinidad and the end

Next day we left Santa Clara for good and went to the south coast to Trinidad, one of Cubas oldest colonial towns and touristic pearls. We took this sleepy dude along on the way there:

Trinidad has some very nice beaches around and it was time for some swimming and beach fun. Like reading, getting a tan, snorkeling, swimming in the warm Caribbean water. It could have been perfect. But no heaven without hell, in the nicest of moments I stepped into a nasty sea urchin and had a massive sting in my foot. I can tell you, that hurts! Good thing, the pain goes away quite fast, next evening it was gone. But I’m quite sure I still have a piece of that urchin in my foot. Don’t know what to make of that yet. Did I say the sunsets are amazing?
Continue reading

Two weeks in Cuba – Part 3, Santa Clara

Next day we arrived in Santa Clara, a university town and place of Che Guevara’s decisive winning battle during the revolution. After asking around, we were lucky to get to know Jorge, our host for the next four days. In his place we felt very comfortable, the food was great and Jorge had very good advice about what kind of things to do. After all that car and horse riding it was like coming down and being home.

We watched baseball and an American movie on tv. A mistery I could not solve: how did this very badly scripted and even worse acted Californian business thriller end up on Cuban tv? Anyhow, bed, tv, relax, diner, we recharged. Then it was time go out. It was friday night and the town full of young people, we asked Jorge for advice and he sent us to “El bosque”.
A place which was going to be called “muy problematico” by anybody we would ask later.

But what a place! Open air, heavy Cubaton (listen above) from a massive soundsystem, dancers on stage, filled with well dressed party hungry people. The air seemed somewhat loaded with energy but hard to tell where that energy was going to. All eyes on us, the only Westeners around. Smiles, curiosity, hellos, almost a bit intimidating.

Until we knew what to do, we had a guy on our side who looked like Mike Tyson and would not let us alone for the rest of the evening. He was clearly a “jinetero”, trying to get drinks, trying to make friends, trying to make business. Friendly until the point we tried to get away. He was very annoying and intentionally scared everybody away who would come near to us, like we were “his victims”. That kind of spoiled the evening. We should have just been unfriendlier probably or even threat him with the security or police as we were told later by Jorge.

That’s a side of Cuban culture you have to accept as a fact also: there will always be somebody who will try to make business with you, get you a house, cigars, a horse ride, a girl. It’s annoying because you don’t know if a person is really interested or just wants to make a dime and you cannot really ask for advice since everybody will always know “the best place” which surprisingly is the one which grants him a commission. Anyhow, we had to learn how to live with it and became quite good in ignoring people in the end. The first line always is “where you from?” so in the end we had a little challenge who would come up with the best place. “Ucraine.” “Hell.” Mars.”

Our basecamp Santa Clara is in the middle of Cuba between north and south coast, so it was perfect to make trips in any direction. The first one took us to Cayo Las brujas which has some famous beaches which were not easy to find and are very stony, but also very lonely. And it also has some infamous tourist resorts. We took the chance to walk around in one of them which looked like a total fake colonial town and had all the wonderful things you would expect: Pools with water ballet, all inclusive buffet, volley ball, a beach crowded with people wearing wristbands. And who probably won’t see anything else of Cuba.

What a contrast to the rest we had seen, it made me feel like being in a zoo. We were happy to get out. On the way back to Santa Clara we we passed the very old and quiet, almost deserted town of Caibarien whilst enjoying another of this magical sunsets all red and intense.

Back home, we had some drinks in the street with guitar playing students. That fortunately rebuilt our trust after the Mike Tyson episode.

Next day we went south to see Hanabanilla, Cuba’s biggest storage lake and took a long hike around its coast.

The highlight was finding a wild orange tree loaded with fruit. Eating it was quite a disappointment, hours later it still felt like I had had a drink of pure acid. Hey, that’s nature! Another highlight was seeing these little fellas:

(in case you don’t see it: It is actually a socialist robot army, ready to fight back at any time.)

Back in the house we overheard baseball on the radio. It was live and it was in Santa Clara so we went straight there to see a game of Cuba’s most popular sport. The game was not very good, hardly any batter hit the ball and Santa Clara won the game with only three points in total. But the whole atmosphere was cool and the sandwiches with ham were amazing. Here, all was paid in pesos nacional, the baseball ticket equalled 8cents, the sandwich 20. And we won!

Read part 1 and part 2 or part 4 and drop me a comment if you want to know more details!