Berlin from A to Z – Part I

Berlin from A to Z – Part I

A – Alexanderplatz. The heart of the city, this square was named in honor of Tsar Alexander I in 1805, which is when he visited the city. The train and metro station is one of the busiest on its square you’ll find the World Clock and TV Tower as well as several shops and restaurants. Locals refer to as ‘Alex’. B – Brandenburger Tor. The Brandenburg Gate is probably the most iconic landmark of the city. It was built in the late 18th century by the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II as a symbol of peace. Today it is a place of celebration for modern-day Berliners, from the fall of the Wall to the New Year. C – Currywurst. Don’t leave Berlin without having tried currywurst, a grilled sausage that is cut into pieces and served with ketchup topped with curry powder, sometimes eaten with a roll. They sell it in several places at stands on the street so you can eat it on the go. D – Division. Berlin was a city divided by a wall for 38 years, during which West Berlin was part of capitalist West Germany and East Berlin was part of communist East Germany. The wall erected in 1961 divided families and friends for nearly four decades, during which time it was difficult or impossible to visit one another. E – East Side Gallery. It is the name given to a part of the Berlin Wall that is still standing. It’s called ´gallery´ because the wall itself is decorated with artistic works by a variety of artists. A must-see stop. F – Fernsehturm. Which...
Hop! the Suitcase That Follows You

Hop! the Suitcase That Follows You

Some inventions are truly innovative and catch us by surprise. Hop! is one of them. Invented by a Spaniard, it may well be the best invention to come out of this country since the mop was invented. And Hop! could be a very useful tool for travelers who suffer back problems, since it’s a suitcase that you don’t have to carry or drag behind you. You don’t even have to touch it to take along with you. How does it move? It’s easy. You just need a smartphone and then activate your Bluetooth. The Hop! suitcase has three sensors at each corner to receive and triangulate the signal coming from your smartphone, and cause it to automatically follow you. So if you have your smartphone in your pocket, the suitcase will “magically” follow you. The integrated microprocessor locates the signal and in this way follows your exact movements from the spot you just passed. The suitcase moves on small wheels that enable it to move lightly, practically hopping, which is how it got its name. And the question that everyone is asking: What happens if the suitcase is lost or if someone takes it? If the smartphone loses its signal with the suitcase it automatically starts to vibrate, so the user will know exactly when the signal has been lost and the suitcase is not following him or her. The suitcase locks itself and stops moving when the signal is lost, which is especially useful if you are walking through a large crowd. And the other question: What if I’m traveling with more than one suitcase? Do you need...
App of the Month: Groopic

App of the Month: Groopic

Of all the apps that we have tested over the last few months, today’s is definitely one of the best and maybe even the best. Want to know why it’s no longer necessary to be left out of photos? Keep reading. How many times have you wanted to take a photograph while traveling but didn’t simply because someone has to take the photo? You come home and ask yourself, “But where are you in the pictures?”  One option that many people employ is the “selfie,” a photo that you take yourself with your face in the foreground taking up most of the picture and leaving little room to see what´s behind you, which is what you actually want to see. The selfie has become very popular lately, not only due to Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars but thanks to sites like Instagram. But let’s be honest, a selfie is not usually a good picture. However, let’s get back to our topic at hand. Groopic is a fantastic app for the following reason. If you´re with somebody and you want to have a picture of the both of you without resorting to taking a selfie or asking someone to do it for you (and without the embarrassment of a language barrier or fear that someone might run off with your camera or mobile), you can now use Groopic to photograph everyone. How? It’s easy. One of you shoots the other person or persons and then the photographer trades places with someone to position him or herself next to the others (not in the same spot). Then, Groopic superimposes the two...
Berlin from A to Z – Part II

Berlin from A to Z – Part II

N – Neukölln. One of the emerging areas of the city, this is where you can find a mix of student life and art as well as the decline this neighborhood suffered after the fall of the Wall. Neukölln is definitely the coolest place in Berlin right now. O – Olympiastadion. The Olympic Stadium, which is located on the outskirts of the city, maintains its imposing structure and is characteristic of Nazi architecture. Built for the 1936 Olympics, this is the place where Jesse Owens won four gold medals in front of Adolf Hitler. Today the field is primarily used for soccer matches and is home to Hertha Berlin. P – Potsdamer Platz. Destroyed in World War II , today Potsdamer Platz is once again one of the city’s hubs, as it was in the 20s and 30s. Featuring high and ultra-modern glass buildings, it is one of major intersections in Berlin and contains one of the oldest traffic lights. There are also remains of the Wall there. It’s well worth a visit. Q – Qdamm. Kurfürstendamm is a shopping street that’s shortened to KuDamm or, even shorter, Qdamm. This avenue lined with trees is full of shops, restaurants and hotels, so it’s perfect for a day of shopping and eating, with its dozens of restaurants of different cuisines. R – Reichstag. The seat of the German Parliament, the Reichstag is the building that symbolizes German executive power. It was built in the late 19th century in a neo-Renaissance style and was burned in the 30s by the Nazis and destroyed during World War II. Now rebuilt, it features...
Wimbledon

Wimbledon

Known as The Championships, the Wimbledon Championships, or simply Wimbledon, it is one of the four Grand Slams of tennis season, alongside the Australian Open, Roland Garros and the U.S. Open. Of the four, there is no doubt that Wimbledon is the most prestigious, not only because it’s the oldest but because it is the most difficult of all. The grass of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club gives the game a speed that cannot be equaled on the clay of Paris or the fast surfaces of Melbourne or New York. By alphababy The first championship was held in 1877, and since then it has enjoyed unparalleled prestige in the world of sport. Everyone who has gone to Wimbledon agrees that the resort’s atmosphere is incomparable, an environment in which the true tradition of tennis thrives. This tradition has been carried to the grass, where both male and female players are required to wear pristine white clothing throughout the tournament. One thing that has changed in recent years is the main court, Centre Court, which due to the unpredictable British summer weather has undergone a metamorphosis with the addition of a retractable roof that can close completely in 8-10 minutes. This allows the game to continue even if it is raining, a problem that the tournament has experienced since its inception. There are three male players in history that have dominated Wimbledon. With 7 titles each, William Renshaw (Britain), Pete Sampras (United States) and Roger Federer (Switzerland) have been the reigned on the grass in their respective decades. Renshaw won six consecutive tournaments between 1861 and 1886,...