Explore Berlin Running, or: how not to break that new years’ resolution
Are you one of those people who go out at the beginning of the new year, after all the eggnog and turkey and Christmas pudding, to buy a pair of running shoes? We do that sort of thing because the new year reminds us of the coming summer, bathing suits and salads, and because, somehow, we still feel bad about our regular bouts of yuletide gluttony. But how long until those trainers dissapear under the bed, in a cupboard or in a box somewhere in the basement? If you’re anything like me, not long at all.
We always seem to break that particular kind of resolution, don’t we? The kind we make to keep us eating more healthily, smoking and/or drinking less and exercising more regularly. The trouble is, this works for about as long as it takes us to plan the first barbeques in the park, buy an ice cream cone or meet a friend for a pint in the Biergarten – a very fine German tradition by the way. And if we hold out that long, we are already proud of ourselves!
Still, now that we’ve already paid for those running shoes, we might as well use them, right? Especially as Berlin is one of the best cities to do it. Our city is green! Literally. We have an incredible number of parks, public gardens and woods in such an urban area. Some of them are huge, others are tiny. But chances are that wherever in Berlin you are, the nearest park is closer than the nearest gym. No need to drive, pay membership or yubject yourself to the disdainful stares of your more athletic contemporaries. You just but on your shoes, plugin in your headphones and go for it! With more than 100 square miles of greenery, you really should be able to find a bit to suit your needs.
Because that is the true beauty of not really having a histori city centre anymore: those hotspots of vegetation and recreation are everywhere. The city even has a crowdfunding campaign to buy, plant and care for more trees! Our trusty “Stadtbäume” – literally “city trees”, are the reason you CAN run through most parts of Berlin without giving your pneumologist cause for concern. Fancy a jog along the river, opposite museum island with all its beautiful architecture? Or do you perhaps prefer the wintery sunrise over Friedrichshain? Or maybe a longer run past the Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag into Tiergarten, the largest park the city has to offer?
Don’t like running? Take a walk. Or ride the bike to work. You could even pack a picknick and go for an extended tour along one of the many hiking or cycling trails through and around the city. One of them runs all the way to Denmark! And with that kind of mileage under you belt, you might as well pack a thermos of hot chocolate. You’ve earned it.
And when, come summer, it gets too hot to run, too crowded for cycling tours and you’ve seen all of Berlin anyways? Remember that swimsuit you dreaded putting on sometime around new years’ eve? Because we also have about 20 sqare miles worth of lakes and rivers. So what are you waiting for?