The Eisfabrik (Ice Factory) was one of the oldest ice factories in Germany. It opened its doors in 1896 next to the river on Köpenickerstrasse 40/41. In the time when refrigerators did not exist, the ice that was produced would be delivered all over Berlin to breweries, pubs, homes, etc. The Eisfabrik managed to survive many damages, several fires and bombs throughout its lifespan. In 1914 the factory chimney collapsed and made the headlines in the news. In 1945 the houses next to the factory which were owned by them as well were bombed to the ground during the war. After renovation, repairation work, change of ownership the factory shut its doors in 1995 after 99 years and couldnt withhold the fast change of technology and needs(since most households and establishments have refrigerators at this point). Many debates are still on going of what should be done with the high commercial value property. How to get there It is very easy to access the Eisfabrik. You can either walk from Ostbahnhof station or take the U8 to Heinrich-Heine-Strasse station and walk from there. Here is a map. How to get in One of the easiest abandoned sites I’ve every been in […] Read More
The Kinderkrankenhaus aka Children’s Hospital in Neukölln, Berlin used to be full of new borns crying and kids trying to get healthier. It also used to be Germany’s biggest women’s gynaecology hospital but currently the hospital itself is sick and left alone.  The hospital was built in 1917 during the war by King Kaiser Wilhelm II. The first medical director of the hospital was Sigfrid Hammerschlag and was there until 1933. He had to give up his position because he was a Jew and Hitler didn’t want him there. Afterwards the hospital was severely damaged during World War II and was rebuilt over the years. The second building or “new” hospital was built in 1969 next to the old one. After all the years being Berlin’s and Germany’s gem, it has been left to its faith since 2005 due to the bigger and newer hospital up the road. How to get there It is very easy to access the hospital. Take the train(U8 or S41/42) to Hermannstrasse S+U Station and walk towards to Mariendorfer Weg 28 (old building) and Mariendorfer Weg 41 (new buildings). It shouldnt take more 10 mins. Here is the map. How to get in It is really easy to […] Read More
Teufelsberg aka Devil’s Mountain was a former US listening station built by the National Security Agency during the Cold War days to listen on the Soviets actions and plans. The station was built on the “biggest mountain” in Berlin. After the fall of the wall the station was closed and abandoned to its current state today. Teufelsberg is not close to the city center and is tucked away in the forest of Grünewald. Although its very easy to access the forest via S-Bahn or bike. Grünewald is usually packed by weekenders who want to get away from the city crowds and have a day out in the forest or the lake. The surroundings of Grünewald has a few lakes to offer for the more older people to relax. That said it is still not unusual to see young people mountain biking through the forest or relaxing on the beach. It is always a get away place for the nudist people as well. So dont be surprised if the person next to you takes off their clothes and lying down on the beach butt-naked. How to get there It is very easy to access Teufelsberg. Take the S-Bahn S7 to Wannsee […] Read More
  In my previous post about Berlin My New Home Part 1, I mentioned how hard it was to open a bank account, to find a rental apartment and what necessary paperwork was required. After being in Berlin for 5 months now, I’ve managed to understand more about the process’s and settling in. I’ve been diligently looking for work and trying to feel like home as much as possible. Now I’ll write down what hurdles and jumps I had to go over in the past few months. Looking for work We all went through a time looking for work, it’s a hassle to get a job that you really like. Its always a challenge to find something just right for yourself. Also not to mention the amount of time you spend looking for work, you can even consider this as a job itself. Obviously living in Germany doesn’t make it any different, it just gets harder for someone who doesn’t speak the language fluently. I started looking for work in the beginning of January and applied for around 40 jobs. Since 3/4 of the jobs that are posted require you to speak German fluently, what was only left was not […] Read More
Yes I have traveled (to be exact) 163,066 km’s around the world! I know I’m pretty geeky to even to calculate this number but since I’ve started my travel days, I’ve been keeping track of all the places I’ve been and writing down some stats. These stats are being recorded since 2007. From the table below, you’ll see the number of countries and cities I’ve been too, the number of days I was on the road (away from home) and the number of kilometers I have traveled ; Countries Cities Days km’s 42 334 310 163066 One side note I must add is that the kilometers only include my travels with transportation (planes, trains and automobiles). I obviously didn’t sit down and calculate the numbers of steps I took in the last 6 years. Now that would have been a bit overboard 😉 According to various sources, an average person walks between 115,000 – 150,000 kilometers throughout there life. So it looks like I already surpassed this achievement :). Read More
  Moving to a country where you are new to the culture, dont speak the language and not knowing anybody can always be challenging. I just moved to Berlin and I’ll be sharing my experiences of how to deal with these challenges. Life in Berlin sometimes can be easy or tough. Depending on what you need and your current situation, you can either like it or hate it. For example finding an apartment can be almost impossible if you dont have the necessary documents. Germany is a very bureaucratic country and the Germans love to see paperwork. To move into a rental apartment you need 3 things; Schufa (a document that declares you pay your bills on time and have a clean credit), your last 3 months income statement or work contract and a reference letter from your previous landlord. Yeah so it ain’t that easy. Luckily I found an apartment within 10 days and moved in to my new home without providing any of these documents because its a short term lease. Here are a few websites that can help you with the flat hunt; http://www.wg-gesucht.de/ http://www.easywg.de/ http://www.studenten-wg.de/ http://www.immobilienscout24.de/de/finden/wohnen/index.jsp After you have your rental agreement signed and in your […] Read More
With the US being our neighbour I’ve always had a chance to fly down and explore the country. My father would take both me and my sister to Disneyland almost every year for our birthdays. Back then going to the states from Canada was really simple, show your drivers license and your in! Not like nowadays unfortunately were you get haggled at US Customs which is situated in our own countries airport! This was my first time going to Las Vegas. I’d always hear from friends who have been and the typical saying was” What ever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. So I wanted my own story to tell. I went to Las Vegas along with 3 friends from London. With our itinerary we were set to explore Rachel, Valley or Fire, Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. We rented a car to drive to Rachel thru the desert and crazy heat wave. Everywhere we went there was nothing but sand, rocks and desert plants. After arriving to Rachel we were very close to Area 51. Now rumour has it that no such place exists but talking to locals and other travellers that drove into Area 51, we didnt […] Read More
What was your favourite game to play when you were a kid before the video game and internet era? You and your friends at a house or at the park somewhere trying to decide which game to play. One of my personal favourites was Hide and go Seek It was always fun to hide behind the bushes or in a closet assuming that nobody will find you. I always played for hours until I would get bored and go home while my friends would still be looking for me haha. So if you are like me who gets lost in IKEA every time even though you have the floor map in your hand, where would be the best place to play Hide and Seek? You guessed right, IKEA!!! With its home style feel and amazing different types of decor, IKEA is a Hide and Seek heaven for people who love the game :)). I posted the event on the Couchsurfing Calgary Forum and within hours everybody wanted to join me for this unusual and crazy event. I mean who would say no? Of course there were a few concerns of getting kicked out by the employees or manager but at the […] Read More
I am very fortunate to have been raised with the Canadian Rockies in my backyard. When I was a child, every day I would stare at the snow capped mountains and dream of living in the middle of nowhere surrounded by the beautiful peaks. It is a dream that I hope will be fulfilled. While living in Calgary I get the chance to hike the mountains, reach the top and enjoy the silence. Listening to nature is something we take for granted, so I try to take in as much as I can before heading back to the honking cars, noisy streets and crowds lol. This year I promised myself to go to the mountains every weekend and try a different hike each time. Unfortunately I havent been able to reach that goal but I still managed to get some hikes between work and personal errands. So far this year I managed to do Grassi Lake, Plain of Six Glaciers, Paradise Valley, Canmore Highline Trail and Mount Yamnuska. Since I’ve always followed “the more the merrier” rule, I did a couple of hikes with some couchsurfers and friends. Also on one of the hikes I tried snowshoeing; which is footwear […] Read More
The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth! That is the tag line for the Calgary Stampede and for all due respect, I think it is true. Just imagine an Oil & Gas city with a 1.2 million population of all the men and women from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe wearing there suits to go to work wake up one morning and change this city into a 1800’s cowboy town. Doesn’t matter if your a local or tourist, you just become a cowboy (or cowgirl) and enjoy the western style life for nine days. Since I was a child there was two things in Calgary I would look forward to; first would be the Calgary Flames starting there hockey season and second is the Stampede. This year I managed to watch the parade and go to the Stampede grounds. Unfortunately I couldn’t watch the rodeo live due to financial circumstances. But if someday you manage to go to Calgary during the Stampede, dont miss the rodeo. The excitement and competition at the rodeo is what the Stampede is all about rather than skipping work and drinking the whole time lol…For me its not much of an excitement anymore since I lived in this […] Read More