Dezember 2010

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Balloons2The latest piece of artwork to occupy the Temporäre Kunstbox at the Circus Hostel comes from the mysterious Jaime Pablo III, who delivered his “Obstacles 2010″ just before Christmas. Although the inspiration comes entirely from him, the production of the work itself required the help of numerous members of the Circus team as well as some friends and guests, so many thanks must go to Phillip.H, Jim, Judith, Sean, Phillip.G, Paul, Luba, Katrin, Milan and Mariane from Mexico. Below you will find some more pictures, plus a message from the artist.


obstacles two thousand and ten

berlin, diciembre AD 2010

at the heart of the piece is ganesha…one of the best known deities of hinduism and widely revered as the LORD OF OBSTACLES…both creator and averter of such and thus is held to be the possessor of both positive and negative attributes.

we are inspired…

…by this contradiction…running as it does to not only the heart of HUMAN NATURE but perhaps, even, to the HUMAN CONDITION in its ultimate essence.

many depictions of ganesha show his VAHANA…mount…which can be a mouse or an elephant or a tortoise or a ram or a peacock…but here in OBSTACLES he is mountless, floating atop the balloons and thus returning to the spirit of the original depictions of the deity. the balloons upon which ganesha floats reflect his DUAL ROLE as both a creator and averter of obstacles.

…in 99 red balloons nena warned us that a packet of balloons, inflated and released into the sky, could create a MISINTERPRETATION that could threaten the fragile peace of cold war europe (the world?). however innocently they are released they become an OBSTACLE…to peace and understanding…and not only this but perhaps to the eventual fall of the berlin wall – itself the most iconic obstacle of the twentieth century if not human history…for so long seen as a permanent DIVISION that was viewable from space…


but not just an obstacle…the balloon is a crucial element of angioplasty, a medical procedure where small balloons are inserted into blood vessels and inflated to removed any blockages near to the heart. the balloons thus remove the obstacles that keep the blood pumping. we return again to the very essence,

…of life


…of the soul

the combination of balloons and ganesha aims to both inspire but also provoke questions as to all of our roles as creators and averters of obstacles in our own existence.

jaime Pablo III


New Year’s Eve in Berlin

fireworks1Party at the Brandenburg Gate…

If you will be in town on the 31st December and want to see what a million people celebrating the arrival of a new year is like, then head down to the Brandenburg Gate. Behind the gate, running along the Strasse des 17. Juni to the Victory Column, is the official Festmeile…where there will be stages featuring top musical performances (including former winners of British talent shows), drinks and other refreshments on sale, and of course, the spectacular light, laser and fireworks show that will greet the arrival of 2011.

The celebrations at the Brandenburg Gate are extremely popular, and although entry to the Festmeile is free, they do close the gates once it is full…last year there were no further people allowed in at some point between 8 and 9pm, so if you want to be there for midnight, get there early. And if you want to be close to the stage, it would be advisable to get down there at around 5pm…remember to wrap up warm!

More Info on the Visit Berlin website.

The World’s Largest Firework Display…

I have no idea if this is true, but the shear volume of explosives launched into the Berlin night from midnight on must make it a contender. Berlin’s hills and bridges are some of the best vantage points to watch this DIY display, including the Teufelsberg (West Berlin, Google Maps), the Kreuzberg (South of the centre, Google Maps) or the bridges Oberbaumbrücke (Friedrichshain/Kreuzberg, Google Maps) or the bridge at the S-Bahn station Bornholmer Strasse (Wedding/Prenzlauer Berg, Google Maps). With a bottle of cheap bubbly from Lidl, this is one of the cheapest and yet most spectacular ways to usher in the new year.

Jogging through the New Year…

If you fancy braving the minus temperatures in your running shoes, there are a couple of New Year’s Runs taking place in Berlin. On the 31st December there is a 6,3km run that includes the Teufelsberg hill in western Berlin which starts and finishes at the Mommsenstadion (12 noon – More Info). If you want to jog away the hangovers, the New Years Day Run leaves from the Brandenburg Gate at 12 noon, and the route passes many of Berlin’s most famous sights (More Info).

Melancholy for the Morning After…

Just down the street from the Circus, the Babylon cinema is beginning its Unknown Pleasures festivals on the 1st January, the third of these annual events that showcase the best in independent, American cinema. On New Year’s Day the opening film of the festival is Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro, the story of a man’s journey to Buenos Aires to find his long-lost brother. You can get more information on the Unknown Pleasures website.

Have a great evening, enjoy yourselves, and make sure you wrap up warm.*

(*my mum would also like to point out that when you are inside you should take off your jacket, otherwise you won’t “feel the benefit” later on. Also, wear clean undies and socks. Not in case of an accident, just because you should. Ok?)

NEW-YEAR-BANNER-300x65Burp…well, the last of the left over turkey has been picked off the plate and the Christmas hangovers are receding, and it is now time to think about the next great event of the cold winter months…when the streets of Berlin turn into a loud, smokey and somewhat colourful celebration of the local population’s taste for fireworks launched out of an empty and wobby Beck’s beer bottle…yes, it’s NEW YEAR’S EVE!

Hundreds of thousands of people will be heading down to Unter den Linden and around the Brandenburg Gate for the moment we say farewell to 2010 and great 2011 with a gruff hello, whilst bars, cafes and restaurants around the city will be putting on a special Silvester evening, and Fabisch is no different.

Our chef Roman Bigalke has put together a special New Year’s Eve menu (see below) whilst the musical entertainment will be coming from DJ ED2000, whose brand of electro-lounge will keep you in the relaxed mood that is vital if you wish to brave the rocket zone of Rosenthaler Platz at midnight.

Here’s the menu:

4 Course New Year’s Eve Menu

New Year’s Soup – Spicey paprika-cream soup with corn and sweet peas


Lamb’s lettuce with herbal potato dressing, served with cherry tomatoes and parmesan slivers


Lamb and mushroom ragout served with herbal vichy carrots and butter-rice timbale
Minced Duo of Pollack and Wild Salmon, served with tomatoes, courgettes, dill sauce and herbal rice
Baked peach in vine leaves, served with butter sauce, potatoes and leeks, mushrooms, ruccola and roasted cashew nuts


White chocolate mousse with cherry-chocolate sauce and cinnamon cookies.

The complete menu is €35, and our experience has shown that it is a very popular evening in Fabisch, so we would really recommend that you book your table in advance.

Across the street at the hostel, FLO MO will be keeping you entertained in Goldman’s Bar, with a special ticket giveaway to some of Berlin’s best New Year’s Eve parties. The next morning you can nurse your hangovers at Fabisch with our special brunch buffet, that runs from 9.30am until 3pm, with live jazz to sooth the soul.

Whatever you are doing on the 31st December, have a great evening and enjoy the arrival of 2011…Prost!

Merry Christmas!

merry-christmas11We hope that you are all having a lovely Christmas Eve wherever you are in the world. This is always a time of year when you think about friends and family, especially those who are a long way away, so we just wanted to use this chance to send merry Christmas wishes to the whole Circus family, wherever you may be in the world.

We are looking forward to a great 2011, with the chance to meet up with old friends and make new ones at both the hostel and hotel. As you might imagine if you read the blog article from last week, the past twelve months have been extremely busy, exciting (at times stressful) but ultimately a wonderful experience. Many thanks of course have to go to everyone in the Circus team that made it all possible, and all our partners, friends and travellers who have made 2010 one of the best in the history of the company.

Eat, drink and be merry…and see you next year!

On Friday the Circus sledges arrived, ready to be borrowed (by anyone with health insurance) to be raced down the “hills” of Berlin…Weinbergsweg for proximity, Humbolthain for length and Mauer Park for gradient. To celebrate the new sledges we decided to inaugurate the Annual Circus Downhill Sledge Challenge between the hostel and the hotel. Representing the respective houses were the two managers: Lotte Rowley (Hostel) and Katrin Schönig (Hotel). There are some pictures below to tell the story, but as you might imagine, the photographs cannot possibly convey the epic nature of this “battle on the slopes”, the speed and the grace, and the combination of both physical and mental effort that is required for a race such as this…

1. The competitors prepare their sledges (Left: Lotte, Right: Katrin)

Sledge Race 1

2. Halfway down Katrin takes the lead, and one that she will not relinquish

Sledge Race 2

3. You can read the result, and how much this race meant, in the faces of the competitors

Sledge Race 3

4. In a show of sporting good grace, the loser presents the trophy to the winner

Sledge Race 4

Congratulations to Katrin and Lotte for such a wonderful event (the many spectators in Weinbergspark also send their thanks) and if you would like to recreate this event for yourself, the sledges are available to be borrowed from the reception of both the hostel and the hotel.

As with many places around Europe, the weather is playing (a little bit of) havoc in Berlin at the moment…see an article on for an idea of what is going on in Germany. We hope that everyone who is coming to join us at The Circus over the next couple of weeks makes it to Berlin safely and on time…if you are having any problems or need any advice, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.

Here are some pictures of the snow in Berlin today, starting with a photograph of the courtyard at the Circus Hotel:

Courtyard Snow

Rosenthaler Platz:

Rosenthaler Platz Snow

The Circus Hostel:

Hostel Snow


On the 15th December 2009 we launched the Circus Blog, and the last twelve months have certainly been exciting at the Circus. In the finest traditions of those end of year “best of” lists that are currently filling magazines and television programmes, here are some of our favourite moments at the Circus over the past year and on the Circus blog.

In January we closed down the Circus Hostel for the best part of three months as we made a complete renovation of the building in time for the re-opening at Easter. Alongside the new design features, infrastructure improvements, and the funky new facade, we also put together some new services for  Circus guests to help them explore Berlin, such as Jimbo’s Cheap Man’s Bus Tour, the Cwiki guide to Berlin complied by the Circus team, and the Urban Wanderer DIY Walking Tours.

It was also a busy year over at the Circus Hotel. We built a new library for Fabisch, launched the Circus Hotel Magazine, hosted a press conference for the Sparkasse Tourism Barometer, and installed some funky works of light art in the hallways, and in the courtyard. Talking of art, the Temporäre Kunstbox hosted its first exhibitions and happenings, whilst Sandra kept the blog supplied with “Stuff we like” around Berlin and beyond.

What else? Andreas left us for three months to travel through Southern Africa, sending back his impressions and reports from the 2010 World Cup before travelling on from South Africa to Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia. Jared kept us refreshed with his guide to best places to sip a cocktail in Berlin and beers on the road, whilst Jim headed to the hidden corners of Berlin, giving us all inspiration for exploration off the beaten track.

Along the way we went to a football game in Pankow, the boot record was broken in Goldman’s Bar, we held a fundraiser for children’s homes in Nepal, Konny got married, Tommy was born, we learned to juggle in the finest Circus traditions, an old friend won an important prize, and the Circus football team did us proud.

What a year, with a lot of fun and hard work along the way. Thanks to everyone in the Circus team for a fantastic 2010, and to everyone who has been following the Circus blog either here or on our facebook page.

Here’s to another great twelve months!


Pig-WishesIf you have been following the Circus Blog, you will know that we have twice been visited by the Holy Pig, in August and September. The Holy Pig has been coming to the Temporäre Kunstbox at the Circus Hostel to make your wishes come true. The idea is that you should enter the Kunstbox, touch the pig’s snout, and then write your wishes onto the wall, which are being collected by the Berlin-based Swiss artist Nina Stähli.

For the pig’s third visit to the Circus, it will be possible to also write your wishes to the Holy Pig of Berlin and send them off…now the wishes can be delivered by mail order.

The Third Coming of the Holy Pig of Berlin

When: Saturday 18th December, from 2pm
Where: The Temporäre Kunstbox at the Circus Hotel, Weinbergsweg 1a, Berlin-Mitte (U8 Rosenthaler Platz)

About the Temporäre Kunstbox

The Temporary Artbox is eight square metres  in the bottom right hand corner of the Circus Hostel. The Temporäre Kunstbox is now a home to Nina Stähli, an artist originally from Switzerland and now based in Berlin.

We have known Nina for a long time…her works have already appeared in the Circus Hostel and also in the Fabisch restaurant at the Circus Hotel. As she is someone that we like, both for her work and personally, she was the perfect choice to be the first host of the Temporäre Kunstbox. You can find out more information and see more examples of her work at:

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