As you can see we have tweaked the design a little on our series of postcards which not only show off our three lovely houses, but also teach you a bit of local dialect as well. You can find them at the receptions, so send one to someone you love and let them know about the Circus!
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Meet Jurgen – he is our Hostel Manager and so confident that he will bring home the glory in the Annual Weinbergsweg Sledge Race that he is completely laid back about it…
…whereas his challenger (and holder), Hotel Manager Katrin is quietly confident in her own way…
…At the top of the hill the racers sit, side by side and filled with nervous excitement about what is to follow…
…and they’re off! Katrin storms into an early lead as they race towards the bottom of the – ahem – “mountain”…
…and despite a late rally, Jurgen cannot close the gap… Katrin wins! The Hotel wins!
…and although Jurgen protests the result, referee Jimbo (sporting a lovely Circus World Cup 2006 t-shirt in minus degrees) upholds Katrin’s victory. Congratulations to both on a race well run (or sledged).
If you want to emulate these heroes of the hill, and you have valid health insurance, you can borrow the sledges free of charge from the reception.
OH BABY! If you are ready for some sporting action from across the pond, we have it live on the big screen at The Circus Hostel this coming Sunday. Not only are our beers icy cold, but we will be cooking up a special hot n spicey chilli to give you the energy to take you through the night. Whether your team hails from Colorade or Washington State, then come on down to Katz & Maus in the Circus Hostel basement to join in the fun:
Over the next week or so at The Circus Hostel we are helping the boys from Createers to test their Gulliver App. Gulliver, when the test phase is finished and is launched, will allow travellers to meet other travellers who are in the hostel/city at the same as them, helping people arrange common activities – a museum, a bar, a club or a walk in the park – that they want to do but would like to share with others.
For the moment you can only access the test phase if you are staying with us at The Circus or one of the other participating hostels. We are giving out flyers at check in, there are some posters with info in the hostel, and the boys themselves will be dropping by to get feedback… say hello if you see them! And if you would like to learn more about Gulliver, and follow their progress as the App is developed, then you can do so on their Facebook page.
Oh yes, it is that time of year again where we all search deep down inside for our hidden Aussie-ness:
We spent most of January renovating the lobby and reception area of the Circus Hostel, to make sure things were fresh and new as we entered the New Year. In February we launched Issue #4 of our magazine, got serious on Twitter, launched a new tour as Ally took guests around some of the best street art in the city, oh… and won some awards for both the hostel and the hotel. As spring approached we enjoyed the sun, as well as new TV channels in the hotel and our regular eyewitness history talks, whilst into April and The Kitchen at the Apartments featured in a book from Gestalten, we launched the Café Conversations at the Hostel, the behind-the-scenes team moved into a new office, and Berlin became the unlikely sporting capital of the country (at least until Bayern Munich had the last say).
Into May and we could not help ourselves with our Eurovision Song Contest Party, the company featured in the Volksbank annual report, and we made more improvements to our hotel roof terrace. June began with sad news as we said goodbye to two close friends and partners of the Circus, Terry Brewer and Michael Kersten. We spent a nice evening with our neighbours in the Fabisch courtyard, Mike launched his Berlin Wall tour, we created some new neighbourhood maps, and we began our summer series of yoga and sundown drinks on the roof terrace. As the summer progressed we received commendations for the hostel, the hotel and the apartments, gave our lion a name, launched the Kitchen Culinary Club… and, oh yeah, the company bought the Circus Hostel building.
Into the autumn and time to take a break? Not a bit of it… as we brought Oktoberfest north to Berlin and welcomed the return of Berliner Abend to Fabisch, taught the world Berlinerish, were nominated for SO!Apart awards, held the last ever Karaoke Klub and celebrated five years of the Circus Hotel… including a party and all as Jared and Felix began to cultivate their tasches for Movember. We ended the year as we began, with further renovations on the ground floor which led to the opening of our new gastronomic space called Katz & Maus, before we could relax into a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
See you in 2014!
It is the biggest party of the year, and Silvester – as they call New Year’s Eve in these parts – is the one night in the year when EVERYONE in the city cuts loose and turns into something of a pyromaniac along the way. Here’s what is going on at The Circus and in town…
New Year’s Eve at The Circus
In the Circus Hotel, our restaurant Fabisch will be offering a very special four-course New Year’s Eve Dinner (from 5pm) and we hope you will stay with us through until midnight, with some good tunes and a toast when the clock strikes twelve. The next morning we will be continuing the celebrations with our New Year Brunch Buffet (from 9.30pm until 3pm), with live jazz from 11am… a great and groovy way to kick off 2014.
Meanwhile, across the street at the Circus Hostel, we will be meeting in our café bar Katz & Maus for pre-party drinks from 7pm to get the night started. The next morning we will lie-in a little, with breakfast starting at 9am and running through until the early afternoon at 2pm.
Out and About
There are loads of parties going on in town, too many to mention here, but our Entertainment head honcho Andrew has put together a selection of some that he thinks might be worth checking out. Up the hill at a former brewery, Silvester at the Kulturbrauerei is a party of 15 stages, 30 DJs, live music and more. It is a short roll down the hill home, and tickets cost €29.
If you are looking for something a little more cozy, the legendary Soul Explosion gang are holding their New Year’s Eve party at the lovely Heimathafen in Neukölln. Tickets cost €12 – check the website for more details. Or maybe you fancy some razzle dazzle? Bar Tausend is offering a dinner party to remember – and it should be as it costs €200 per person. If you don’t need feeding, entry to the Underwater Love Party afterwards will set you back €50.
Of course, all the big names of the Berlin club scene will be holding parties – but many will need tickets beforehand and you should definitely check the websites for the state of availability, prices and line-ups. Here are some quick links to four of the most famous clubs in the city: Watergate / Weekend / Berghain / Tresor…
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 2014.
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!
The World’s Biggest Fireworks 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.
Image: Silvester am Brandenburger Tor | New Year’s Eve at Brandenburg Gate © visitBerlin | Scholvien
So here we are again on Christmas Eve, the candles lit and the presents under the tree. Tomorrow we will be sitting down for dinner with our guests from around the world, but we wanted to use this chance to wish all our friends out there… wherever they may be… a wonderful Christmas and a good old slide into the New Year.
2013 was yet another year of action at The Circus, with continuing to make positive changes to the Hostel (as well as a small matter of buying the building) and trying out and working on lots of new ideas in all three houses and beyond… as always we will present our review of the year a little closer to the 31st December but for now we raise a glass in the direction of friends old and new, some we have seen this year, others we have not. We are thinking of you all, as well as those who we have lost over the last twelve months…
See you soon.
The Circus Team