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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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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.

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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.

vaudeville
We have a very special new event taking place at our restaurant Fabisch in the Circus Hotel. Hotel Vaudeville is our new evening of music and variety that will be taking place once a month. Hosted by Daniel Malheur (Monocle Pop) it promises to be a magical time travelling evening… and make sure you take a look at our special cocktail menu. Bar Manager Jared has been dusting off the old drinks books to find some very special cocktails from way-back-when.

As always with Fabisch our events can be very popular, so if you want to be sure of a table then please speak to one of our friendly service team. Hotel Vaudeville begins on Wednesday 8th October at 9pm… and we are really looking forward to it!

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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

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…

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What a brilliant day for running on the streets of Berlin. Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto certainly thought so, as he became the first person to run under two hours and three minutes with a World Record time of 2:02:57. Behind him were tens of thousands of runners, making their way through the city on the 42 kilometre course. We had a good number of guests running the marathon, as well as an old friend. Rebecca first visited us at the Circus back over thirteen years ago, when the hostel was on Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz and the hotel and apartments had not even been imagined yet. So we had a great time racing across the city to cheer her, and her fellow runners, on…

Below you can see some more images from our own marathon journey through Berlin, but here are the results from our guests… and if you are not on here, and want to be, send paul an email at paul.scraton (at) circus-berlin.de and we’ll get your name and time added!

The Circus Berlin Marathon Roll of Honour

John Dowling (GB) 2:29:08
Jose Silva (Chile) 3:10:57
Carlton D’Souza (GB) 3:20:35
Corradino Corrado (Italy) 3:21:00
Bart Van Cant (Belgium) 3:27:20
Otis Shoebridge (GB) 3:58:13
Nick Dunn (GB) 3:28:09
Lorange Florian (France) 3:02:56
Duncan Macadie (Scotland) 3:11:20
Matthes Synofzk (Germany) 3:00:03
Dominic Muri (Switzerland) 2:51:41
Palle Biggaard (Denmark) 4:11:43
Carla De Almeida (Canada) 4:06:00
Laurel Holmquist (USA) 5:46:00
Marc Jeuland (USA) 2:30:53
Tom Emmerson (Scotland) 3:31:42
Michelle Rowley (Ireland) 4:15:21
Kristian Jewsen (Denmark) 3:38:50
Mike Locke (USA) 3:59:00
Mike Madison (USA) 3:59:00
Rory Doherty (Ireland) 3:32:00
Gerard Darragh “Barefoot” (Ireland) 3:55:00
Jim Smyth (Ireland) 4:57:00
Alan Warren (USA) 3:27:00
Michelle Warren (USA) 3:27:00
Chris Truman (USA) 3:48:00
Steve Henrie (USA) 3:58:00
Jim Pickard (USA) 5:03:00
Paul Doherty (Ireland) 3:07:00
Kevin Bannon (Ireland) 3:16:00
Francois Gervaix (Switzerland) 2:48:44
Rebecca Johnstone (GB) 3:47:32

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