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Zack

Homer Henry Hudson’s Curio Museum is brimming with mysterious artifacts and treasures, but its most curious inhabitant may prove to be its half-blind canine caretaker.

Whether you have kids or are a big kid at heart, come join us on Tuesday 11th November in Fabisch for a very special reading and workshop with one of our favourite writers and illustrators, Zack Rock. Zack’s new book Homer Henry Hudson’s Curio Museum has just come out and he will be both reading from the book, talking through his artwork, and giving the creative and curious the chance to try some illustration for themselves under the guidance of an expert!

The event will be in English, is free and open to all. Just for your orientation: the book is aimed at school-age children… take a look at Zack’s website to get an idea of his work.

Reading and Illustration Workshop with Zack Rock
Tuesday 11th November 2014
5pm
Fabisch at The Circus Hotel

Bootcamp

This Friday Stephie is coming back for more Bootcamp action. Fancy the challenge? Here’s Jimbo to tell you what it was like…

The first ever Circus Hostel Boot Camp conducted by Stephie – our very own fully qualified personal trainer. Having never attending one of these courses I was kind of expecting Gunnery Sergeant Hartman from Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket and, secretly and in a perverse way, wanting the Gunnery Sergeant. It turns out though our Stephie gets the same commitment and motivation by not shouting at all. Not a jot, nothing, nada.

Yet I can feel the muscles in my legs and stomach I didn’t know I had and apparently I have done wonderful things to my buttocks today. Jogging, stretching, squats, planking and sprints but nothing designed to kill you and tailored so that every level can take part. So if you fancy Circus Boot Camp will be going every Friday at 9am for Circus guests. See you there! Oh yeah, not wanting to brag I am “Level 2 Fitness” whatever that means…. Probably means that when Stephie asked if we warm enough after the warm up jog I had to confess that I was sweating buckets :)

Bootcamp is free to join, but places are limited so sign up at reception and get fit for the weekend!

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Jared, Katrin, Esther, Jens and Jurgen drew the short straw last week as they tasted gins and worked on the recipe for our very own Circus versions of the classic spirit… Jared reports on the tasting and what we have to look forward to.

It began with a meet up with Marcus from the Alchemist who introduced me to the gins he was working on for us here at the Circus. We worked together on a recipe involving botanicals from his local garden and incorporated some of the flavours that I prefer. He then presented us four different types of gins – one the basic version, and the others infused with citron melissa, grapefruit, and lemon verbena, respectively.

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All had their own distinct flavour characteristics, and everyone had their favourite. But still, I was not sure, and so I opened the tasting up to more members of the Circus team and this time I decided to offer the gins with tonic water as well, to see how they mixed, and if they kept their flavour characteristics in that classic long drink.

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Interestingly, some of them that we had not been so keen on pure had a much different flavour profile with the tonic, which not only pleasantly surprised us, but made us all the more impressed with our new gin… which led us to the next step: why not create our own gin for the hostel and the hotel? And so that is what we did. We will have not only our very own Katz & Maus Gin but our very own Fabisch as well… they each have a distinct and exciting flavour profile, and both will be available in all three houses. They will be available very soon, so come on by and let’s talk some gin!

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On Wednesday 22nd October 2014 we are extremely pleased to be welcoming to The Circus another eyewitness speaker from the Zeitzeugenbörse (Centre for Witness to Contemporary History). This is part of our monthly series events that we have been running for the past two years, in which we invite speakers to come and join us for a while and tell us their own personal stories about different moments in Berlin and German history.

This month we are delighted to welcome Sieglinde Neff who will be coming to talk to us about her life in Berlin, first in the German Democratic Republic and then, having left illegally during the 1950s, in West Germany. She will share her experiences, including life for young people in East Germany, and the legacy of the division as we approach the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

We are really looking forward to another fascinating evening of personal history in Fabisch, and we hope you will join us. The talk will be in English, is open to all, and is free… although we will be collecting contributions towards our own donation to the ZZB to help them continue in their important work.

Where: Fabisch at The Circus Hotel, Rosenthaler Straße 1 (U8: Rosenthaler Platz)
When: Wed 22 October 2014 at 6pm

(Photo credit: Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F079010-0037 / CC-BY-SA)

Do you like beer? Then you really should watch this video:

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It is less than a week to go until the Circus Team gets down and dirty at the Krassfit challenge… here, Jonathan takes up the story of exactly why they have decided to do such a crazy thing…

The days are getting shorter and the first Santa Clauses appear in the supermarkets. Most years that means to stock up on chocolate and DVDs in order to stay in and wait for spring to come. But some members of the Circus said: Not this year!

Rather than turning into couch potatoes, Jonas, Sean, Annika, Jan, Sam and Jonathan decided to get a little fitter and signed up for the Krassfit-Challenge in the woods east of Berlin on Sunday, October 18th. The so called Krassfit-Challenge is an extreme-run that covers a distance of 13km over pathless ground.  Not only have the participants to run over muddy, rocky and slippery surfaces, but also they have to pass 30 challenges. These challenges are very diverse, some of them still unknown, and the team doesn‘t know 100% what to expect. But it is clear that the challenge will be tough and dirty! If they want to make it to the finish line, the team has to crawl through mud ditches, swim through ice water or climb up ropes.

“Running together as a team is part of the fun”, says Sam from the hostel reception, “the concept of the challenge is that you can only handle some of the barriers with great team effort.” The Circus-Team consists of members from the Hotel, the Hostel and the Katz & Maus, showing an overall Circus effort.  In order to practice for the Krassfit-Challenge, the team set up some practice sessions and also reactivated Jimbo‘s Wall Run giving Circus guests the opportunity to take part in the team‘s initiative of becoming fit while at the same time experiencing  Berlin‘s history.

Not only does the Circus-Team run for fun, but also they want to raise some money for Schülerpaten, a project that has been supported by the Circus for quite some time. If you want to support the Circus-Team in this matter, you are welcomed to leave some dimes in the Schülerpaten-box at the hostel reception.

We will let you know how we survived, after the run… but in the meantime, here are some pics of myself and Sam getting into the training spirit:

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It is that time of year again… as the nights draw in as we move through autumn towards the cold of the Berlin winter, many of the famous landmarks, monuments, buildings and other sights in Berlin are illuminated as part of the annual Festival of Lights. Artists come from around the world to create special light installations to amuse, entertain and tell stories.

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This is an especially good time to visit the city if you are interested in photography, and as always our friends at Brewer’s Berlin Tours are offering a special night photography tour, led by their super snapper Preston. The tour will take place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening at 7pm, will cost €5 per person, and the meeting point is the Katz + Maus café bar in the Circus Hostel.

So if you fancy some travel shots with a difference, and an entertaining guide to help you make the best of your photographs, then join Preston this weekend for the Festival Lights Night Photography Tour.

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(above: the flags of the German states flying in front of the Reichstag, 3 October 1990)

Today is the 3rd October, a holiday here in Germany because 24 years ago – in 1990 – West and East Germany came together after a dramatic year that saw the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism not only in the GDR but across central and eastern Europe. In just over a month’s time we will be reflecting on and celebrating the fact that twenty five years ago the Berlin Wall was opened, ending 28 years of division in the city. There are all kinds of things taking place in Berlin over the next month or so, which we will be highlighting here on the Circus blog, but we wanted to let you know about our own programme of events that we have put together in the week running up to the anniversary…

Monday 3 November

Jogging the Berlin Wall Trail – Members of the Circus team will take you on a morning run along the Berlin Wall Trail – the route is about 7km and passes some of the most interesting sites relating to the history of divided Berlin

Tuesday 4 November

Free Tour for Circus guests to the Marienfelde Refugee Centre – this was the first port of call for East Germans who had fled the GDR to the West, both before and after the building of the Berlin Wall

Eyewitness History Talk  ‘Cracks in the Wall: Prague 1989’ with Hans-Joachim Weber. Mr Weber will join us to tell us about his experience of working in the West German Embassy in Prague during the momentous time leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall – This event is in cooperation with the Zeitzeugenbörse, is free and open to the public.

Wednesday 5 November

Mike’s Berlin Wall Memorial Tour – Free tour for Circus guests to the Berlin Wall Memorial and Documentation Centre on Bernauer Straße

Thursday 6 November

Stories from the Mauerweg – An evening in cooperation with Slow Travel Berlin, presenting some of the stories of both the past and the present day from along the Berlin Wall Trail – with Paul Scraton (The Circus / Traces of a Border) and Paul Sullivan (Slow Travel Berlin) – This event is free and open to the public.

Sunday 9 November

Berlin Wall Anniversary Tour – Special 9th November tour for Circus guests from our friends at Brewer’s Berlin Tours

So if you are in town from the 2nd to the 9th November, come and join us for some or all of these Wall-related activities… it is going to be a really interesting time to be in the city!

Photo credit: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1990-1003-417 / CC-BY-SA

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