Tag Archives: berlin travel

An Exploration Back In Time!

Not more than an hour outside of Berlin is a once bustling hospital complex called Beelitz-Heilstatten Sanatorium. I happen to find inspiration in all sorts of unusual places and this was one of the best I found on my trip to Berlin. Here is a little background on the amazing compound I am about to show you:

This immense hospital complex was designed by architect Heino Schmieden and built in 1898 in the Southwest portion of Berlin near the city of Potsdam.
Originally built as a tuberculosis sanatorium this massive complex was converted into a military hospital during World War I by the German Imperial Army. Young Corporal Adolph Hitler was treated at this hospital in October of 1916 for a leg wound received from British shelling during the Battle of Somme.
In 1945, after the defeat of Nazi Germany, the German nation was divided in two. At this point in history the USSR took control of the facility turning it into a Soviet military hospital. Even after the reunification of Germany on October 3, 1990 the Soviet Army remained in control of the hospital until 1995.
Following the Soviet withdrawal, attempts were made to privatize the complex, but they were not entirely successful. Some sections of the hospital remain in operation as a neurological rehabilitation center and as a center for research and care for victims of Parkinson’s disease. The remainder of the complex, including the surgery, the psychiatric ward, and a rifle range, was abandoned in 2000.
As of 2007, none of the abandoned hospital buildings or the surrounding area were secured, giving the area the feel of a ghost town… (Source: wikipedia.org)

Now this type of adventure is not for the faint of heart. In order to access the most preserved buildings on the compound we had to lower ourselves through a ground floor window into the basement of one of the main buildings. Once in the basement we found a labyrinth of tunnels about 5 feet tall. As all three explorers (myself, my brother Dave, and my fiance Trevor) are 6’0″ and above this made for an interesting beginning. We wandered in pitch black tunnels for a good 15-20 minutes before finding a staircase into the main hall of the building. But once we were in we emerged into an amazingly preserved gymnasium!

As we continued to explore we found peeling paint and amazing texture as far as the eye can see!
A jaw dropping, beautifully intact stained glass window.
The main entrance to the building is fit for a king!
Back out into the daylight this is the side of the building we entered on.
And here’s a look from the center of square the main three buildings are on.
And into the next building we go! Main building number two was equally as amazing! We once again entered from the basement and walked into this stunning room that looks like a bath house.
As we continue through we find another exquisite entrance!
Super creepy but awesomely lit bathroom!
Oh you know.
The end of a fabulous day! Here’s a little snap of my wonderful family (brother Dave, sister-in-law Rachel, fiance Trevor and I).

Next up, final post from Berlin and off we go to Spain!

Dressing In Layers- Berlin Style!

Berlin dressing can be tricky. It is most definitely a trendy city, though the street style has a tendency to be a bit lacking in color compared to my usual choices when dressing every day. I decided to Berlin my style a little bit with a great moto jacket and black denim yet keep it my own with a great pop of color! I just can’t help myself when it comes to beautifully colored knitwear. When traveling, and really seeing a city it is important to think in terms of layers and shoes you can get around in all day. And when I travel, its ALL DAY! No breaks! See and experience as much as possible in the time you have. See below for the breakdown of my look on day #1!

Jacket: Scoop (similar here) // Jeans: BDG // Sweater: Stella Mccartney // Chambray Shirt: Madewell // Shoes: Opening Ceremony x Soludo // Sunglasses: Anthropologie (similar here)

Jewelry: Tom Binns Safety Pin Bracelet // E.Kammeyer Accessories Tassel Bracelet // Tom Binns Safety Pin Earrings // Cartier Love Ring // Diamond Stacking Rings

Don’t worry, there’s lots more Berlin to come this week! Check back on Wednesday!

Berlin is Calling!

Unless you’ve been living in a hole, you know everyone is talking about Berlin. Berlin has everything; music, food, fashion and a great club scene! I spent 6 days in Berlin recently soaking up the city. Exploring amazing neighborhoods, eating fabulous food, and taking a peak back in time. Check out a few of my favorite spots to shop, eat, hang out and explore!

Welcome to what makes Berlin AMAZING! Group karaoke, and by group I mean thousands of people! Every Sunday in Mauerpark singers big and small, amazing and utterly terrible gather to belt out everything from the super obscure to the oh so popular (purple rain by a small German man with hilarious pronunciation was my favorite). And if this wasn’t good enough, next door to the amphitheater is one of the best markets I’ve ever seen. Amazing vintage, young designer and fabulous food as far as the eye can see.

Now this ones a bit more obvious but be sure to check out the section of the wall called The East Side Gallery. The Gallery consists of 105 paintings by artists from all over the world, painted in 1990 on the east side of the Berlin Wall.

Head to Mitte for some of the best shopping in Berlin. Fabulous boutiques for both men and women. The suit shown above is one my fiance found at Herr von Eden, a super cool, uber trendy Berlin suit shop. If your looking for something avant garde you are likely not to find in the US, come here.

After doing a bit of shopping you MUST, I mean must (if you love coffee as much as I do), head to The Barn. The beans are bought from micro-farmers, the espresso machines are made in Seattle, filter coffees are single origin, and adding sugar is frowned upon. This is one serious cup of coffee!

Next up, Checkpoint Charlie! Although the wall was opened in November 1989 and the checkpoint booth removed on June 22, 1990, the checkpoint remained an official crossing for foreigners and diplomats until German reunification during October 1990 when the guard house was removed. Today it is a must see in Berlin. Additionally I highly suggest going to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum across the street that is chalked FULL off history! By the time we had to leave I had only put a dent in all of the information there was to learn and wanted to soak up more!

From the corner of my eye I noticed what looked like a circus tent from the street. After taking a closer look we realized it was a fabulous covered arena of shops, restaurants and so much more called The Sony Center. It was the perfect place to take a little afternoon kuchen break. We found this adorable little restaurant at the entrance to the center and couldn’t resist going in from the solidly glass exterior with shelves of green.

You can not visit Berlin without taking an afternoon on Museum Island. My favorite museum was the Pergamon. The Pergamon houses original-sized, reconstructed monumental buildings such as the Pergamon Alter and the Market Gate of Miletus, all consisting of parts transported from Turkey.

Kapoor in Berlin! Though the show ended in November, Berlin is filled with amazing, cutting edge art. Kapoor filled a floor of the Martin-Gropius-Bau museum with 70 works of art, grand and small. At the center, dominating its glass-topped atrium, stands the new “Symphony for a Beloved Sun,” in which four conveyor belts protrude from the floor and walls, dumping red wax on the floor in front of a huge red disk.

In another room, every hour on the hour a cannon would shoot wax at high speeds at the wall. As the show continued on, the wax pilled high on the floor.

If you’re heading to Berlin make sure to spend some time in the amazing galleries and art exhibitions happening.

Make a trip to the neighborhood of Kreuzberg (where my brother and his wife live). It is one of the trendiest neighboorhoods in Berlin to hang out, grab a drink, do some fabulous vintage shopping and check out the famous Turkish Market for a bit of grocery shopping. In the picture above my fabulous entertaining maven sister-in-law Rachel is shopping for the dinner party she and my brother hosted for us while visiting.

Last but not least, while in Berlin convince friends/family (or what the heck, random friends you meet) to throw you a fabulous dinner party. Add one part fabulous food, one part amazing conversation and seven parts wine, shake and enjoy!

Next up, eating in Berlin, exploring an abandoned TB hospital and a bit of what I wore!