Achte: Pfaueninsel

Hallo zusammen!

So yesterday I went to a magical place in Potsdam (a city I have spoken about previously on an earlier Blog entry) called Pfaueninsel. Now this place holds a special place in my family’s heart for some reason. Als ich ein Kind war, whenever my family and I would visit Berlin, we would also head straight to Pfaueninsel and the Restaurant that over looks it. Unfortunately this time I didn’t make it to the Restaurant, although I should have as the food is traditional and sehr lecker, and the view over the lake and Insel are incredible. But that’s ok, maybe next time.

So yesterday wasn’t the nicest of days and I do admit the weather made the experience a little worse als usual but I still enjoyed it immensely. For those of you who don’t quite know what Pfaueninsel is, well it is exactly what it sounds like. It is an island in Havel River where peacocks roam free, and water buffalo mow the lawn. Does that sounds crazy? Yes it does, but it’s true! Every year in the summer, a few buffalo graze on the grass on the island and keep it nice and cut. There is also a cool white Schloss built on the island, as the island was set aside for use of Friedrich Wilhelm II and Königin Luise.

I hope you get to go, and highly recommend going in summer. Walk around the entire island and see the buffalo! Also make sure to look out for some free roaming peacocks! Until then, bis bald!

-Milan 🙂

Siebte: Pergamon

Hallo zusammen!

So as you can probably tell from the title, today I went to the Pergamon Museum today. It is actually the first museum I’ve been to since I moved here. I know, I know, I am slacking off when it comes to museums. Especially considering the fact that I’ve already been here seit fast drei Monaten, and there are 174 more museums left for me to visit. Nevertheless, I went, on this very chilly day, to Museum Insel and walked around, until I finally entered the Pergamon. There are about three or four museums all in one vicinity so it is definitely hard to choose, but luckily they offer an all-inclusive ticket were you visit all the museums on the Insel for only 18 euros. That is definitely a great deal considering one museum Eintritt costs 12 euros.

Today, I’m assuming because of the weather and the fact that it isn’t quite tourist peak season yet, it wasn’t that crowded so that was a bonus. But unfortunately, on the other hand, many of the museums are being renovated, including the Pergamon. That means that lots of the exhibits are closed, which honestly did kind of disappoint me. I felt that maybe the ticket price should be discounted since you are not able to see the whole museum. But alas, I bought an entrance ticket and explored the exhibits.

Wow! If you like history, especially Eurasian history, such as Assyrians and Sasanians, then you will love this museum. To be perfectly honest, to try to describe it using words will definitely not do it justice, so look at these wonderful pictures instead.

um sorry Mr., didn’t mean for you to be included in my selfie

This is from 7th century BCE and was carved all by hand! Extremely detailed warriors!

Look at all the Cuneiform!

Incredibly beautiful Islamic art doorway from the 11th Century.

P.S. please excuse my annoying eye in each one, I forgot my D.A. card at home and had to make sure at least some part of me was in each photo lol  … Bis bald!

-Milan 🙂

Fotos vom 1. Stammtisch im April

Liebe Teilnehmer,

kurz vor den Osterfeiertagen konnten wir uns nochmal zusammen beim Stammtisch treffen und uns auf die Osterfeiertage einstimmen.

Es war sehr schön mit euch, anbei ein paar Bilder zum Anschauen.

Euer DeutschAkademie Team

 

Sechste: April Favorites

Hallo zusammen!

So I don’t know about you, but I am very fickle in my interests. Now of course, some of them stay constant, such as my love for vintage things, but others change as quickly as the weather in Berlin. Which, speaking of the weather, has me very confused as one day it is a sunny 20 degrees, and the next it’s rainy and cold. Ugh. Oh well! I digress. But as I was saying, so for the most part, I tend to have different favorites almost every month, including favorite songs, TV Shows, foods, etc. This month, I decided to tell you a little about what I have been loving these past few weeks in Berlin.

Art: So, going on right now is a Jan Toorop exhibit in the Bröhan Museum in Charlottenburg. If you are into Kunst museums and/or galleries, I highly recommend this! Advertisements for this exhibits can ever been sienna the S/U-Bahn stations around Berlin, featuring a picture of one of Toorop’s works, „Fatalism”.

Food: Recently I have become dependent on a morning Frühstück smoothie called „Get Up and Goji” from this awesome little healthy business called Goodies. There are a few, maybe three or four, around Berlin and they serve everything from Veggie Burgers, to Zimtschnecken, to even raw Kuchen. If you are looking for a healthy, tasty meal that’s not too pricey, I definitely suggest visiting this little cafe.

Berlin activity: This place that I have fell in love with recently is probably the most popular Sehenswürdigkeit in Berlin. Tourists from all over the world to visit this incredible attraction full of history. If you haven’t already guessed it, yep, I am talking about the East Side Gallery. This place is incredible, and if you can manage to get around the throngs of people and really get up close to enjoy the art, then the time you will have will be great! In fact, lucky for you in you have never visited the East Side Gallery before, Deutsch Akademie is actually providing a cultural day there that you can sign up for until the end of this week. So if you haven’t already signed up, what are you waiting for? Go, go, go!

TV Serie: Tatort! Ok fun story. I actually learned about this show in Deutsch Akademie when we were talking about the lesson that covered TV and Radio information. Our teacher mentioned how this show is the epitome of German culture and it’s even shown in public showings. Basically it’s about different detectives all over DE and their journeys to catch Täter. So if you like crime shows, and want to delve deeper into the culture of Deutschland, I highly recommend you tune in on Sundays or watch it online.

Musik: This is probably my favorite category to write about, as I am always finding new songs and artists that I would to share. This month, I have found soooo much new content, but alas, I must stick to only a few songs for the sake of Blog length. Now, I’m not going to tell you anything except the title because if I were to tell you the Genre, you would probably become very biased and may not even listen to my suggestion. Therefore, artist and title only. 1) „Volare” by Dean Martin, a classic. 2) „Get You” by Daniel Caesar. 3) „Chained to the Rhythm” by Katy Perry, it’s popular for a reason: it’s catchy! 4) „Sign of the Times”, by Harry Styles, I know what you’re thinking but don’t be judgmental just give it a listen! Last but not least 5) „Seeräuber Jenny” bu Lotte Lenya, to be perfectly honest it is not a great jam, and it’s quite annoying to the ears at some parts, but it is an entertaining song that’s easy to follow along as it tells a story and bonus, it’s in Deutsch (if you couldn’t tell by the title haha). Üben! 

Bücher: Normally I’m a fiction kind of gal, but the other day I walked into this great Science and Sci-Fi Buchhandlung called Otherland  in Kreuzberg, and I saw these two books and decided to try them out. The first being Cosmos, by Carl Sagan. I’ve always loved Carl Sagan and (fun fact: he actually passed away on my birthday) I’ve read his other book called Dragons in Eden (which I highly recommend) so I really wanted to give this one a read.

Some incredible pictures included in Cosmos, by Carl Sagan.

The other book is called Homo Sapiens, by  Yuval Noah Harari. They are both incredible! Homo Sapiens tells the story of the history of humans and how we evolved, and Cosmos tells of, well, our Cosmos and everything in it, including Earth and all it’s inhabitants. Now, I don’t want to give too much information away, but trust me if you are looking to read a book curled up in a blanket during this still chilly weather, then I definitely recommend these!

I hope you actually try out some of my Vorschläge! Until then, bis bald.

-Milan 🙂

 

Fünfte: Ostern Gerichte

Hallo zusammen!

Frohe Ostern! How were your Easter holidays? Did anyone do anything or see anyone special? Perhaps, take a trip back home to visit family, or attend an Easter egg hunt? Also a very happy Passover, to those who celebrate it! To those who don’t really celebrate Easter, or even know why it is a holiday, I’ll just write a sentence or two to get you up to speed. Easter, always celebrated on a Sunday, is also known as resurrection day, as it is supposed to be the day that the Christian Jesus (i’m sure you guys have heard of him at least once or twice haha) came back from the dead. Eigentlich, the main celebration of Easter is derived from two older holidays, Ostara and Ishtar. Technically Easter is supposed to last a long time (a few weeks), but most people only technically celebrate it for one day. Most of the time, this holiday is filled with decorated eggs, church masses, and bunnies, or hares! Why bunnies? Well, this tradition actually started with Germans! And in ancient beliefs, rabbits are closely associated with new life and Spring! Huh!

So, along with all those eggs and candies, many countries celebrate Easter with food! Around the world, special dishes are prepared and eaten in celebration of this ancient holiday. Now some are familiar and seem like they taste incredible, while others are rarefied in a place such as Germany and might not seem all that appetizing. Whatever the case may be, we are going to take a look at some of the most interesting and popular Easter dishes from around the world.

Russia: In Russia there is a special dessert dish called Pashka. This dessert is much like that of cheesecake, except it is piled and shaped into a pyramid! Then, lots of times the letters XP are written on there with other food items.

Greece: In Greece, during Easter time, a special braided sweet brioche bread decorated with red, yes red, eggs is made. It is called Tsoureki and is said to have a taste of cherries. Hmm, sounds interesting!

Italy, Croatia, England, Slovenia: A common Easter dish in many European countries is actually Hot Cross Buns. These bread buns are sweet, and sometimes spiced, and often get their name from a white X or cross drawn on the top with frosting, or bread pieces.

Finland: In this Scandinavian country, a common Easter dish is a dessert (I’m noticing a reoccurring trend here) called Mämmi. This thick and dark dessert is mostly made from rye. molasses, and water, and is often served with cream and sugar. And in fact, one should start preparing this a little while before Easter because it takes days to prepare!

Netherlands: Much like the Americans do at Christmas time, people in the Netherlands often drink a sweetened alcoholic egg drink called Advocaat.

Mexico: Mexico is known for its incredible sweet bread called Pan Dulce, but during Easter, the people step it up a notch with something called Capirotada. This sweet dessert is a bread pudding often filled with sweet cheese and raisins, along with spices such as cloves and cinnamon.

Lebanon: Ma’amoul is a typical Eastern dish eaten by Christians in Lebanon. This pastry is much like a shortbread and is often filled with other sweet and savoury foods such as dates and pistachios. It can then be enjoyed as such or with a sprinkle of powered sugar on the top. (In my opinion, this one sounds the best!)

Last but not least, Germany: In Germany, a traditional, but not yet extremely common dish is Osterschinken im Brotteig. And for those of you who know what that means (which should be almost all of you), it is exactly what it sounds like. It is a large ham baked inside a large loaf of bread. Meat inside of bread? This couldn’t be more German.

All these dishes sound incredible, even the ones that I would never thought to have tried in my life. I unfortunately did not get to try any of these, as a didn’t have a traditional Easter dinner with family. In fact, the night before Easter Sunday, I went to Burgermeister with my friends and enjoyed a nice veggie burger while they chomped away on a cheeseburger. Talk about traditional Ostern meal, huh? Lol. Did you guys have an awesome Ostern meal, or have you ever tried any of the Gerichte mentioned above? Feel free to comment and let me know :-). Until then, bis bald!

The friend that chomped away!

-Milan

Kulturprogramm im April

Liebe Teilnehmer,
am 21. April gehen wir im Rahmen unseres Kulturprogrammes in das THE WALL MUSEUM.
Das neu eröffnete THE WALL MUSEUM AT EAST SIDE GALLERY liegt am südlichen Ende der East Side Gallery im früheren Mühlenspeicher direkt an der Spree. Das innovative, moderne Multimedia-Museum ist in der Art und Thematik einzigartig: Es spannt einen audiovisuellen Bogen von der deutschen Teilung und dem Bau der Berliner Mauer bis zu den historischen Ereignissen, die den Mauerfall bewirkten.
Bitte meldet euch frühzeitig an, da es nur eine begrenzte Teilnehmeranzahl gibt.
Euer DeutschAkademie Team

 

Vierte: Insekt Snacks?

Hallo zusammen!

So now that it is officially Spring and starting to warm up, some new events around the city are starting to come about! In this Blog entry, I’m going to be telling you all about the Potsdam Street Food Festival! So, I’m pretty sure almost all of you know where Potsdam is, but for those of you who don’t, it is right outside of Berlin. It is in the state of Brandenburg (technically also the capital), so if you would like to take a trip down there sometime (which I highly recommend because there is sooo much to do there) then you have to buy a C zone ticket for the S-Bahn!

Im Lustgarten!

So, this Street Food Festival took place last month in Potsdam, and boy, was it somethin’! When I first got there, I had mistaken the bathroom line for the entry way line, thinking to myself, „Hmm, this is not too long!” But nope, lo and behold, the line was so long it went around the block! But luckily I didn’t have to stay waiting for long, as the people payed (3 euros for one day and 6 for the whole weekend) and entered fairly fast. Once I went inside, it was like a new magical land filled with every type of street food you can imagine. There were stands with every street food imaginable, from regular German to American food to Italian food to even insects! (there were loads of veggie options as well which was miraculous for me considering I don’t eat animal products lol) What?! Yes, insects! There was one stand where a man was cooking up insects of various types, such as grasshoppers and mealworms, along with some nice herbs and spices into a tasty and crunchy snack (or so I’ve heard haha). I, unfortunately for my sense of adventure but fortunate for my „yuck factor”, did not have any but I got to see many people take that first crunchy bite of bug.

It was probably the best part of the food festival, besides the incredible food I ate of course. Now this year was the first Festival, but it had such incredible success that I believe it will be held again next year in 2018. I think there might even be a summer edition in September, but I am not sure. Unfortunately, you had to miss this years, but next year, I highly highly highly recommend going! Until then, bis bald!

-Milan 🙂

 

The Knoblauch sauce was incredible and dish was edible!!!! It tasted like a savory ice cream cone.

 

 

1. Stammtisch im April

Liebe Teilnehmer,
um uns auf Ostern einzustimmen, treffen wir uns am 13. April zu unserem Stammtisch im Cancún am Alexanderplatz.Los geht es wie immer ab 20 Uhr. Wir freuen uns auf einen schönen gemeinsamen Abend mit euch.

Euer DeutschAkademie Team

 

Dritte: Neben dem Fernsehturm

Hallo zusammen,

So, I know for many of you, this week is the first week of a new level of Deutsch Akademie. Most of you are doing the 4 Week intensive program, but there are also some of you who are doing the 8 Week program. Now for those of you who don’t really know about the 8 Week program, it is basically just a less intense version of the 4 Week. You still learn the same information over the same number of lessons, but it is spread out over a longer time so you don’t have to cram a lot of information into one month if you don’t want to. This program may be better for some of you if you have full time jobs, full time studying, or just don’t have it in you to go to D.A. (Deutsch Akademie) every day for four weeks.

I decided to try this method of learning out. For my first month of D.A., I took the regular 4 Week Kurs, but since I was going to have a busy schedule in March and April, I knew it would be best if I attempted the 8 Week Kurs. Currently, I am at about the halfway point, with today marking the end of the fifth week. Honestly it is not much different from what I experienced last month. I go every Montag and Mittwoch für drei Stunden. These hours are a lot less rigid as you have a day of break in between and then the whole weekend off. The classes are the same size, but are in a different location. Instead of Wittenbergplatz, these classes are in Alexanderplatz, and not the main building either. These classes are actually directly gegenüber vom Fernsehturm. Honestly coming to school every week is made even better by walking directly underneath this awe causing tower and into the building.

The incredible view as I walk to class!

In my class I have 11 people, including myself, and just like last month’s Kurs, these people are from all over! I have an acquaintance from Egypt, from Romania, from Russia, from Venezuela, etc. It is very funny because I actually have a very very similar name to another person in my class (only one letter different) and we are constantly getting mixed up haha! We all took a little time to warm up to each other but now we are always laughing with unsere Lehrerin and working together! And speaking of unsere Lehrerin, she is absolutely great! I was worried, coming from my last class, that I wasn’t going to like meine neue Lehrerin as much as my old one, but boy was I wrong. My teacher is absolutely hilarious and super friendly. She is able to make even some boring parts of learning a language, such as learning a repetitive grammar rule, fun!

So that is my impression of this 8 Week Kurs. I love both options and I am glad D.A. gives you the ability to choose whatever is best for you. Neither one is better than the other, it just depends on preference! Next month, when my current course is over, I may go back to the 4 Week option of I may stay with the 8 Week one. We shall see! Until then, bis bald!

-Milan 🙂

Zweite: 90 Year Old Trains?

Hallo zusammen!

Wow ! Hallo!
For me, it feels like it has been ages since I last wrote to you all, and that’s partially because, well in Deutsch Akademie time (where a whole language level only takes one month), it sort of has ! I do apologize for the inconsistency of Blog posts, as I’ve just been trying out a new way of posting! You see, last time I wrote a for Deutsch Akademie, I would have to think of new content every day, which then made it a bit more difficult to get the right pictures that went along with whatever post I had created that day. Instead,
this time, I am trying out a new method in which I create all the content beforehand, and then I can easily post it every other day! I know it is probably not a big deal to you all, but I thought I owed you an explanation haha
SO, today I had actually planned to talk about my experience with the 8 week Deutsch Akademie Kurs instead of the 4 week, but something came up and I decided that prompt can wait 
until tomorrow!
Today I decided to write about the S-Bahn/U-Bahn! You see, Today as I was on my way to Deutsch Akademie, taking the same route as always mind you, a big problem arose with the S-bahn lines. Apparently there was some Feuerwehr action going on, which was stopping the main trains I use! Because of this, I had to take four-yes, four!- different trains instead of one to get to my location, which ultimately resulted in me being then late to said class. Wow, can I just say, es war total blöd. Honestly, the only thing that saved me was the handy dandy S/U Bahn map I have downloaded onto my phone. Now this isn’t the last time this will be happening and I’m sure some of you have experienced this before. For those of you that have never experienced this, you’re lucky haha ! The S-Bahn system has been in existence for some 90 years now (started in 1924!) so there’s bound to be some complications every now and then. Because of this, and many other things, I just thought I’d give you a few tips and tricks to getting around with the S/U Bahn. 🙂

  • Always take a form of entertainment or distraction on board with you. This could be in the form of an App, eine Zeitung, you earphones for music, or even ein Buch. This is sehr wichtig as you don’t want to be caught in the middle of  long U-Bahn commute in a crowded Zug with the only form of entertainment being trying to avoid awkward eye contact with other commuters. Do yourself a favour and bring something with. P.S. if you have a long ride to and from D.A (Deutsch Akademie) you can even bring your homework ;-).
  • Download the VBB App! It provides times, maps, ticket information (as well as the ability to buy one on the app), complications with the city transportation, how long it takes between each stop, and much more! Trust me! If you use the bus, S-Bahn, U-Bahn, or all three, download this now!

    My handy dandy map! It is very worn from being used so much and even has a rip in it!

  • Have a copy of the VBB map with you at all times! I cannot stress this enough! This is very useful. You can either get a hard copy on a bus or more easily, you can download the map for free onto your phone. The map can also be pulled up on the VBB App.
  • Try to memorize the time that the U/S-Bahn nearest to where you live, leaves. This can come in handy at any time!
  • If you are trying to figure out how long your S/U-Bahn journey will take you, multiply the number of stops you have left times three. That will give you a great approximate guess!
  • Always always always have a ticket! I know this speaks for itself but I cannot tell you how many times I have talked to people who have gotten fined for not having a ticket. The fine is up to 60 times the cost of a ticket (which is around 2 Euros for one 90 minute ticket), so do yourself the favour and get a ticket! Oh, and validate it too! If you’re not staying in Berlin longer than a year, the best deal is the Monatskarte! They also have a Tageskarte if you just plan on using the trains a couple times in one day.
  • If with friends or on the phone, try not to be too loud. Especially in the morning or at night. Most of the people on the train are tired and do not want extra noise. I’ve even seen a group of friends get yelled at by an indignant man haha! Be kind to others on the train by being courteous.

If you have any other tips for this list, please comment and send them forward. We could use all the tips we can get. Have a good U/S-Bahn trip! Until then, bis bald!

-Milan