Now and then we go on walks or bike trips and I always said I’d add some photos so that you can see what everyday life looks like here, but it’s been a while since I did that! Continue reading
So you love the great outdoors? Here are some of the blog posts I’ve written about nature, hiking, biking, swimming, skiing and other sports.
We enjoyed a long, warm and golden autumn this year, but finally the rain came, followed by strong winds, and now the trees are bare again. It made me sad to see them at first, knowing that it would be many months before we would see them coming alive again. Once the leaves had fallen, the temperatures dropped rapidly, and we have even had some light snow already. Before we get too far into deep, dark winter, I wanted to share some photos of our glorious autumn season. To start with, here are some photos from a bike ride we did in Naturpark Barnim, a big nature area in Brandenburg near Berlin. We started at Karow and followed lovely cycle paths all the way to Eberswalde. Brandenburg is really the perfect place for cycling. Continue reading
Approximately 90km from Berlin lies the Seelow Heights, where the last major defensive line outside of Berlin was situated towards the end of World War II. This area of countryside, woods and villages lies near today’s border of Germany and Poland, near the Oder and Neisse rivers. From the 16-19 April 1945, a battle was fought for passage to Berlin between 1 million Soviet soldiers of the 1st Belorussian front and 110 000 German soldiers. Between 20 000 -70 000 Soviet soldiers (according to different sources) and 12 000 German soldiers were killed, and victory was taken by the Soviets, leaving the road to Berlin open from the 19th April. By the 23rd April, Berlin was surrounded and the final Battle of Berlin began. It is estimated that more than 1 million German soldiers were killed as well as 100 000 civilians and 300 000 Soviet soldiers, and that approximately 100 000 women were raped. Within 2 weeks, Berlin was taken, Hitler committed suicide and World War II had come to an end. Continue reading
Unlike many Europeans who have been riding their bicycles around cities since they were yea high, those of us from other continents often have to learn about city biking the hard way. I wobbled off on my first bicycle in Berlin not having ridden a bicycle since childhood, and never in a city. Not that cycling isn’t big in South Africa – sports cycling and mountain biking are common, and there are two big international races held there, the Cape epic (a mountain bike race) and the Argus cycle tour (a road race). But until recently there were not many cycling lanes in the city and cycling as a means of public transportation was not that common.
Here are some basic things I’ve learned about cycling in the city after living in Berlin: Continue reading