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Jogging Tour of Berlin
A Jogging Tour of Berlin
By Frank Mazer

the bridge in Schlosspark Charlottenburg, Berlin

ogging between rows of flowers, the blue-white palace behind me, I must remind myself to focus on the task at hand rather than the beauty of the palace gardens. Small groups of tourists are present here and there and a jogger must be aware of circumventing them. There are many paths to choose in these palace gardens in Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin. There is much space and much quiet to enjoy. First, before relaxation, for me comes the calling of the feet. Onwards we stride.

Large parks and greenery are common in Berlin. Today is Charlottenburg, yesterday was the massive Grunewald with its lakes and trails. I turn left to parallel the river for a while. Suddenly, in my path are 3 bicyclists. I make a quick adjustment thanks to the comfort and lightweight of my sneakers, and nimbly cut my turn to run across some grass for a few steps. Back onto the packed dirt path I proceed gliding past folks seated on a bench looking ahead at a lake and a small foot-bridge and enjoying the absence of the sound of autos.

Charlottenburg Palace and gardens, Berlin

As I finish my romp through the palace park I return to reality of city rather than the palace grounds. Ahead lies a beautiful promenade path up the middle of the "Schloss Strasse." To either side are art museums located in buildings of fascinating architecture. A half mile farther are the folks flinging the metal balls in the middle of their games of Petanque or Boulles. A game of skill and socializing casually and quietly and strategizing with one's partner as turns are taken to toss the balls close to the target or knock away the opposing team's ball closest to the target. It is well accepted that we run past without bedeviling the game, while other less-energetic folks stroll past or moms push the baby carriage along the path. Boulles and walks co-exist gently and in an atmosphere of mellowness amid the greenery and the shade and the history.

Soon my apartment is within sight and the dog is at the window at street-level eager to greet the crazy human runner person. Already, there is tomorrow's run to consider. It needs to be a visit to my Llama friends.

The Tiergarten Park stretches for miles. One end of it reaches the Brandenburg Gate. Here there are echoes of President Kennedy declaring "Ich bin ein Berliner." (forgiven, though he actually said he was a jelly donut) There are also roars and sensations of hundreds of thousands of people gathered at Brandenburg Gate to watch World Cup soccer on a giant screen TV as Germany seeks World Cup glory.

Beyond Brandenburg Gate one can wander to see Potsdamer Platz and the Sony Center filled with cinemas and upscale shops , amazing modern architecture and plenty of chances for people-watching while seated on the lawn area near-bye or a chance to rent bicycles here and there as you go. Safe bicycle paths being located everywhere.

However, along other paths of the Tiergarten there are canals to explore and plenty of green spaces to simply lie down to enjoy the cool breezes and the big old trees and even sunshine if German weather should be so inclined on the day. There is also the zoo to visit next to the park. Hence I race to wave to my llama friends. I shall enjoy the run across the arched bridge high over the canal in the woods where lovers are walking along paths and where, from the bridge, I can peer into the enclosed area where the laid-back llamas are doing their thing before I skitter along the dirt path past the ivy covered wall behind which the llamas are sitting and gazing calmly.

Perhaps, while on the bridge, a boat carrying tourists along the canal will quietly churn the waters passing under the bridge. At any rate, Brandenburg Gate and walking couples and llamas will wait until tomorrow as it is nodding at Petanque players and romping home along tree lined streets into the doggie greeting now.

Berlin parks and German culture. Bring your walking shoes and your sense of history; then savor.

Related Articles:
Berlin Yesterday & Today; Berlin in Five Hours; Three Things We Didn't Know About Berlin; Offbeat Germany; Augsburg; Lexington, Kentucky

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FEEDBACK FOR PATTI

I enjoy your newsletters -and particularly Patti Nickell's article about the 'Pudding Club' in the Cotswold's. An old friend of mine is taking a holiday there this year and plans to try their Jam Roly Poly and Spotted Dick - amongst many!

--- John & Maggie - UK

FEEDBACK FOR JULIO

The way I read this article, you stayed at the "Breeze and Waves". Do you have any pictures of the cottages, and would you recommend to some first time visitors to Caramoan?

--- Richard Simons, Stockton, CA

Hi Richard,

Breeze and Waves was still under construction when I stayed there in Feb. 2010. It should be finished by now. You can see pictures of the resort on this page. We got to stay in one of the small cottages in the picture. I'll recommend it to budget travelers but you might want to look at other options. We chose it because of its location right by the beach. You can try other resorts in the Caramoan town proper (you have to get a ride to get to the beach and the jump-off point to go island-hopping but it's a relatively short distance). There are also two higher end resorts located on a cove and very near the islands: Gota Village Resort (unfortunately there is something wrong with their website right now) and its twin resort Hunongan Cove. Caramoan is a relatively new tourism development so resorts are just now being built.

You can go to this site for a good list of choices for accommodations in Caramoan.

I should add that it might be good to go to Caramoan (and almost anywhere in the Philippines) during the dry season from December to May. June to November are the typhoon months and sometimes typhoons will still come during early December.

Julio

* * * * *

Hi, I'm planning to go to Caramoan this coming May. Would you know the number of Breeze and Waves Cottages? Thanks!

--- Ann, Manila, Philippines

Hi Ann,

Breeze and Waves' phone number is 0908-2911072. Look for Freddie. Hope you have a grand time at Caramoan!

Julio

FEEDBACK FOR WENDY

For Nature's Playground: The South Island of New Zealand

Hi Wendy,

In winter, Heritage Heights Apts. now offers free shuttle service to and from Queenstown 24/7 to guests without cars. We own a 7-passenger 4-wd Toyota Highlander used specifically to taxi guests up and down the hill during winter months. We also run advance purchase winter promotions which include a 4-wd rental.

If any of your readers head over this direction, I will enjoy extending Heritage Heights hospitality!!

Cheers

--- Ailey, Owner, Queenstown, NZ

* * * * *

New Zealand text and pix top drawer! Almost as good as making the trip. ( but one still wants to. . . ) Full of useful detail. Only trouble with the website: It's tough figuring out which feedback goes with which article, and the more there are, the tougher it gets!

--- Ken W., Camarillo CA

Thanks Ken..."álmost" is right, you really have to experience the South Island firsthand. Granted this piece is long, but still all I can think about is how much I left out! I agree abut the relevancy factor re the feedback--it can be confusing...sometimes I have a "Wait a minute...what?" moment myself.

Thanks for writing,

Wendy

* * * * *

Okay Wendy, from now on whenever you book your travel, please reserve space for me. I will carry your luggage, bring you cold drinks, massage your shoulders, and change the film in your camera (oops, I guess you don't have to do that anymore). Wonderful ideas and recommendations. Can you get to New Zealand from Boston in less than a week?

--- Carl A., South Easton, MA

Ha ha ha Carl, you're quite the comedian! But you'd be surprised how short that flight feels. I suspect Qantas isn't the only airline who's figured out that 3 movies, 2 full meals, lots of snacks and a complimentary travel pack (eye mask, warm socks and neck pillow) equals a quiet, well-behaved cabin. It really isn't bad. Just fly direct--pick the shortest flight w/ no lengthy layovers and you'll be fine. Re: signing on as my Super Sherpa...why not? I think you know I seldom travel in anything less than Party mode. There's just that pesky background check...

Thanks for writing,

Wendy

For Excellence Riviera Cancun:

Wendy, I truly enjoyed your info especially since we leave in a week to celebrate my 50th Birthday. Was it necessary to make reservations at the restaurants? Was there a dress code for the restaurants? What would you recommend not missing while there? Was the spa experience worth it? Did you travel away from the resort while there? Thanks,

--- Kim P. Fuquay, Varina, NC

Hi Kim.

Sorry for the delay in responding...you had heavy competition with the holidays. Reservations at Excellence restaurants are not necessary and you will not find a wait. The dress code is basically no bathing suits and flip-flops...with a decided a mix of atmospheres. Mostly the open-air beachside spots are super casual, the rest slightly more formal. Truly, as long as you are clothed, I don't think you'd be turned away anywhere, though most people seemed to enjoy dressing up at night...I suspect more for their own pleasure than any sense of decorum.

The spa experience was worth it, though my favorite part wasn't the actual massage. The precursor was a 45 min. or so rotation from sauna to a series of (kind of wild) water jets which was very different and very cool, not just for women. In its' entirety, and with the serenity of the beach/champagne/strawberries, it was memorable.

We did not travel away from the hotel this trip, but the hotel is very helpful in arranging day excursions to fit your desires and you do not have to book these until you arrive.

Have a great time!

--- Wendy

FEEDBACK FOR NINO

I enjoyed Nino's contribution, since we all read about the frightening terrorist attack. Having travelled somewhat through India years ago, I am continually impressed with this country and the gentle spiritual aspects of this nation. Some day I look forward to going back. Nino has encouraged me. Thank you!

--- Yoka Y., Westlake Village, CA

FEEDBACK FOR RUSH & CHUCK

Dear Mr.s/counselors Brown and Koro,

Thank you for a very informed and succinct article on motorcycle accidents and the law. It inspired me to think about getting a motorcycle, but not have an accident. But, if I do I am now well informed with the basics of what to do providing I do not perish in the accident. Any tips about that too?

--- Unnamed

Dear Rush and Chuck,

I wish I had read your article before our camping trip the Friday prior to President's Day.

My wife and I were in a car accident on our way to a camp ground. We were "rear-ended" and the impact caused our car to crash into the car in front of us. The contents of the truck that we were riding scattered onto several lanes. It's a miracle our two dogs decided to stay inside the car. My wife and I were shaken up badly but despite the mess, I was still able to walk out of the car. I got the license plate of the driver in front of me but, to my surprise, after reviewing the little damage on his car, he then sped off. I didn't know you could do that! The driver who hit me from behind gave me his information and then he too left the scene without saying good 'bye. When the police arrived all I had to go by was the little information I had jotted down which I hope was truthful. What if it was bogus? What if I had written the plate number incorrectly? How would that affect my insurance? What if we were unconscious, who would have written down all that information?

I do have one suggestion if you are injured in an accident. The police asked if my wife wanted an ambulance to bring her to the hospital but we declined the offer. I remembered when I rode an ambulance years ago that it was not a comfortable ride. I was strapped to the stretcher and there were all sorts of medical equipment dangling noisily above me. As long as you are able, it is a more relaxful ride inside a car. Besides, isn't there a fee for ambulance service?

--- Dave S. of Pasadena, CA



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