Circus Hostel

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Embassy in Prague

Next week we have a whole series of events taking place at the Circus to mark the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, on the 9th November 1989. You can find more information about all the things that are going on here, but one event we really wanted to highlight was the next in our series of Eyewitness History Talks in cooperation with the Centre for Witness to Contemporary History, which will be taking place in Fabisch at the Circus Hotel on Tuesday 4th November at 6pm.

We will be joined by Hans-Joachim Weber, who worked at the West German Embassy in Prague during those momentous months leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was here that that several thousand East German refugees set up camp in autumn 1989. Their eventual journey from Czechoslovakia to West Germany was one of the most symbolic moments in that dramatic period in history, and we are extremely pleased and grateful that Mr Weber will join us at Fabisch, to share his experiences.

As always, the talk is in English, is free and open to all, and we look forward to welcoming you to the Circus for what promises to be a fascinating evening.

On a related note, on the Tuesday morning at 9.45am we will also be running a tour for Circus guests to the Marienfelde Refugee Centre. This was the first port of call for East Germans who had fled the GDR for the West, both before the building of the Berlin Wall and after. The tour is free for Circus guests, although places are limited. Please sign up at reception and you will need a public transport ticket.

(Photo:  Tmv23 via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0)

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!

Gin1

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

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If you have passed through Rosenthaler Platz in the past week you will have seen the guys hard at work on the first steps of a new façade for the Circus Hostel building. As the renovations step up on both sides of the square in the hostel and the hotel we will continue to keep you posted with what is going on… in case you missed them before, check out the visualisations from our friends at UNIT Berlin below, to get an idea of what to expect for the hostel building.

Oh, and the thirsty amongst you should keep an eye out next week for a very, very special announcement…

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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.

festivaloflights

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.

Details1

As you might know, the Circus is going through a process of renovations and changes, both big and small. If you want to be reminded about how this all started, you can watch an interview with co-owner Andreas by following this link. Now, as we move into the autumn, the process is in full swing and alongside some very big steps – which we will be announcing in coming weeks – the team are also engaged with some of the small details.

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So, to give you an example… whilst Jared is working on labeling for a very special drinks collaboration, and Paul is creating a new and extensive reading list for libraries in both houses, Jens is implementing a new till system and Katrin is pouring over bed sheets and towels to make a new selection. As keen travellers ourselves, we know that it is the details that can make all the difference, and that sometimes it is the little things that can make or break an experience. Follow the creativity bonanza here on the Circus blog to see what other things, big and small, we are doing in the upcoming months…

Jens

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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