Circus Hostel

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Erfurt

Next Tuesday we have a new free tour exclusive for Circus guests, to the exhibition ‘Everyday life in the GDR’ that can be found in the Kulturbrauerei, Prenzlauer Berg. The German Democratic Republic (GDR) existed from just after the Second World War until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. With the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall coming up, there is a lot of attention on the events of 1989 and the regime that built the Berlin Wall in the first place.

The GDR was one of central and eastern Europe’s ‘socialist’ republics, within the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union, and as such the political system had an impact on all aspects of life in East Germany, from school and health to university, the workplace, and leisure activities. The exhibition at the Kulturbrauerei shows the complex tension between the expectations of the political system and the real living conditions of the people in the GDR… and we will be guided through the exhibition by a representative of the foundation that curated and runs it.

The tour is – as with all our Tuesday History tours – free for Circus guests. Places are limited, however, and you will need to sign up for the tour at reception. We recommend that you also have a public transport ticket. The meeting time for the tour is at 9.30am.

(Photo credit: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-P0219-0032 / CC-BY-SA)

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It is that time of year again… as regular readers of the Circus blog will know, we love running and we love the Berlin Marathon. It is always an amazing weekend, whether at the hostel, hotel or apartments, as we welcome so many runners and their friends and families to the city. As the runners amongst you will know, Berlin is one of the fastest of the big city marathons, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that everyone achieves the time that they are aiming for…

On the map above you can see the route, and Rosenthaler Platz is just after kilometre 9 … so you don’t have to go very far to cheer the runners on in the early stages of the race. There is loads of information on the Berlin Marathon website, but here are some important things for you to know…

Marathon Expo at Tempelhof

The former airport at Tempelhof is the venue for the Marathon Expo, where runners go to collect their start numbers and there are all manner of exhibitors there as well as a programme of entertainment. The atmosphere is always fantastic, and you don’t have to be taking part in the marathon to check it out (although there is a small entry fee).

The opening times for the Expo are Thursday 25th September 2pm-8pm, Friday 26th September 11am-8pm, and Saturday 27th September 9am-7pm. The Expo website is here.

Breakfast Run

If you have stiff legs from your journey to Berlin, the marathon organizers have a special Breakfast Run for all participants on the morning of Saturday 27th September. The run starts at Schloss Charlottenburg, finishes at the Olympic Stadium, and is about six kilometres in length.

Marathon Specials at The Circus

On Saturday evening at Fabisch we have a very special all-you-can-eat pasta buffet for €15 per person. This has been very popular in previous years, so make sure you book your table at reception. The buffet is available from 5pm.

The next morning we have two options for early breakfast, and members of our team will be opening up Katz & Maus and Fabisch for all you runners early to get the fuel you need. Katz & Maus at the Circus Hostel will be open from 6am, and Fabisch at the Circus Hotel from 6.30am.

Once again, we wish our runners all the best for the big day, and keep an eye out at reception when you come back after the race… we will be collecting the times of everyone staying with us so we can publish a very special Circus Roll of Honour here on the blog.

Keep on running!

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Oh yeah! We might be convinced that Berlin is the world’s greatest city, but our mates down in Munich certainly do a couple of things right… namely beer and sausages. Which is why – in the spirit of imitation being a form of flattery – we present to you our annual Mocktoberfest.

Yep, that’s right. We’ve got some Oktoberfest beer heading north to Katz & Maus as you read this, and starting tomorrow evening we will have beer and sausages on special for the next two weeks. Keep an eye out for some of our bartenders… they have been known to enjoy a little dressing up and a thigh-slapping dance or two…

Prost!

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On Saturday evening we welcomed a fine collection of writers and translators to Katz & Maus for a literary evening organised by our friends at Readux Books entitled ‘The Wall, the City and the World’. This is the title of an upcoming Readux release by Eliot Weinberger, who was on hand to read a couple of different pieces of his work, but before he took to the microphone we had some other very special guests with us.

Readux publisher Amanda DeMarco introduced the event and then welcomed Maren Kames to the stage. Maren read some of her poetry (in German) and then Amanda followed with her translations of the work. Next up was David Wagner, to read a short extract of his work Mauerpark in German, before translator Katy Derbyshire presented her translation of his love letter to the park in English. The evening reflected on both the world at large and the Berlin that we know and love, and it was a fantastic experience to welcome these very talented writers and translators to the Circus, as well as the many literary lovers who found their way to the basement of the Hostel to listen to them speak.

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We have something very special coming up on Saturday 13th September at Katz & Maus – a reading hosted by our favourite publishers of small-yet-perfectly-formed books Readux. Three times a year Readux publish a series of four teeny-tiny books of (mostly) translated literature in English. Sometimes stories, sometimes essays and sometimes poetry, one thing is for sure is that they are perfect to slide in your pocket for that next train or plane journey, and if you want to get a copy to see for yourself, then we sell them in the Circus Hotel.

On the 13th Readux will be crossing the street to the Circus Hostel for an event hosted by Readux Publisher Amanda DeMarco, under the title “The Wall, the City, and the World”. This is the title of Eliot Weinberger’s upcoming Readux release, and Eliot will be at the Circus to give us a sneek-peak (and the only chance you will get to buy an advance copy). We will also hear from two of the stars of the last Readux series – David Wagner and translator Katy Derbyshire – about the Mauerpark, in keeping with the Wall theme, as well as poetry from Maren Kames.

Sounds good? The event will start at 7pm, and after the reading there will be plenty of time to stick around for drinks and some good conversation. We are really excited to be welcoming the different members of the Readux crew to the Circus, and we are sure it is going to be a great evening.


Circus co-owner Tilman Hierath has been nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge… the only problem is, that is a very nice suit he is wearing and so he decided to take a different approach inspired by a certain actor out there. The ALS Association website is here… and we nominate everyone to do what they can for whichever cause is closest to them, whether it is time, money or raising awareness. Prost!

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On the 18th October 2014 four members of the Circus team – Jonathan, Sam, Jan and Annika – will be taking part in the Krassfit Challenge to test not only themselves, but to raise some money for the Schülerpaten Berlin, a mentoring project here in Berlin that Circus has been supporting over the past year or so. Of course, to run thirteen kilometres over a variety of obstacles is not easy, and so our fantastic four need to get in training…

…and this is where you come in! Every Wednesday morning from now until the event on the 18th October, our Krassfitters will be running a stretch of the Berlin Wall here in Berlin as part of their preparations. The route is about seven kilometres, door-to-door from the Circus Hostel, and takes you past some of the principle Berlin Wall sights, including the Memorial and the Documentation Centre on Bernauer Straße, a watchtower that now houses a museum to Günther Litfin, the first person killed attempting to cross the Wall, and other sites of memory from the period in which Berlin was divided.

Jonathan, alongside Circus colleagues Paul and Jared , tested the route out this morning… and if you want to join in the fun, and see some historical sights along the way, the runners will be meeting each Wednesday morning at 9.30am in the Circus Hostel reception. A great way to start the day, and also you will be helping to motivate our brave team as they get ready for what promises to be one heck of a challenge. You can follow their progress here on the blog, and Jonathan will be writing something for us in the next few days to explain a little more about what Krassfit is all about… for now, take a look at some pics from our running route:

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Pop

Coming up in our neighbourhood on Saturday is the fourth instalment of the Torstaßen Festival, taking place at venues along and close to the street that runs past both the Circus Hostel and the Circus Hotel:

“In cooperation with the venues, cafés, shops and bars in our neighborhood we present a musical matinee showcase with a current leftfield and cross-genre soundtrack. We see ourselves and our festival goers as explorers, who are not afraid to trust their curiosity instead of big headliners. We strive to be a forum for current and relevant development within Berlin’s music scenes: for locals, transients and their influencers.”

To join in the fun, you will need a ticket (€13 in advance, €15 on the day) which works as a pass to all participating venues. At the same time, other places in the neighbourhood are joining in the fun as “partycipants”, offering up a varied programme of side events and other fun and games.

At the Circus Hostel we will be hosting a special Pop Quiz in honour of the Torstraßen Festival, which will take place downstairs at Katz & Maus on Saturday evening from 9pm (admission for this is free). So if you fancy yourself as a bit of a pop culture brainiac, know your Backstreet from your Beastie Boys and your Flaming Lips from your Falco, then come and have a go at the quiz… it is hosted by Ally, our very own Queen of Pop, and there are some funky prizes to be won.

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