Last December we introduced our brand new concept events program, Behind the Curtain. The idea was to give Circus guests an exclusive insight into the best of Berlin, offering everything from vegan bike safaris to exploring abandoned asylums to music festivals to flying across Berlin in a private plane with shareholder Tilman… (show me a Hotel or Hostel that offers that?!)

Following with our recent flurry of literary events here at the Circus, we are extremely excited to offer this special excursion to one of Berlin’s most beautiful lakes with celebrated Berlin author Jessica J Lee.

We caught up with Jessica to find out what drew her to the Big B and what our guests can expect from joining her on this most wonderful Behind the Curtain event

Jessica, you are Canadian, Chinese and British.. but now call Berlin home. What attracted you to Berlin?

When I first came to Berlin, I was amazed by how easy it was to access the landscape and surrounding countryside. I could reach extraordinary forest lakes on my bike in a matter of minutes, which surprised me after having lived in big cities like London and Toronto. Berlin just seemed so easy and relaxed.

In your memoir, Turning, you swam a different Berlin lake, every week for a year – On August 2nd you will be taking Circus guests to lake Habermannsee, what made you choose this lake in particular?

Habermannsee is somewhat unique for Berlin: it’s a former gravel and sand pit, so completely man-made, but has the most tropical and wild look to it. There’s a sandy beach and a little forested island in the middle, so it gives the impression of being far-away even when it’s just a short journey from the city. Plus, it’s turquoise, clear water makes for remarkable swimming.

We are currently holding a competition with The Reader here in Berlin to find the next big writer and provide them with a one-month residency in one of our luxury apartments here at the Circus so they can soak up the City and write. How do you feel Berlin creatively supports your work as a writer?

Berlin is full of other creatives, so it sometimes seems designed for people like me. There are artists to work with, people to bounce ideas off of, and many, many good cafes. And above all, Berlin is fairly budget-friendly, so launching a creative career here is still (for now at least) a possibility.

It is clear that although the book is about your experiences in Berlin’s many beautiful lakes, there is an element of catharsis that the water and process gave you. What do you hope this excursion will grant our guests?

I hope the trip will show guests a side of Berlin they hadn’t expected. So many people come for the history or for the clubs, but few realise how much the natural world is a part of daily life in the city. The lakes are local treasures, so I hope guests have something of a ‘local’ experience.

We are so excited to be joining Jessica on what sounds like a truly unique experience, we are sure our guests will be very grateful for this opportunity to learn so much about the lakes of Berlin and enjoy a swim at this beautiful Berlin spot. 

The event is free, for more information click here and remember to sign up at reception

Submissions for entries for the 2017 Berlin Writing Prize in association with The Reader Berlin, SAND and ELSEWHERE journal closes 31 July 2017.

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