Sports Watching, Berlin
Sometimes one is lucky enough to get into places where one actually shouldn't be. Now, I do realise that for most people it's nothing spectacular to sit on a substitute bench in a stadium which belongs to a team in the second German division.
But I'm sure there are a few out there who understands me...? No? No one...? Geez.
Anyway, it was the day before the big Derby in Berlin, Hertha against Union, and my friend and guide Erik brought me to Köpenick to make me feel the Union atmosphere.
We got to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei (Stadium near the old Forester's house, don't ask) in time for the team's training, but it was locked for both spectators and press. We were told to come back later though, so after a quick lunch we went back and saw an empty stadium - with open doors.
We just couldn't stop ourselves from sneaking in. There was a man cutting the grass, but otherwise just us. First we walked around on the stands, and then went inside on the pitch too. And then sat down on the substitute bench. :)
1. FC Union Berlin is a special club in Germany. Always the little brother to Hertha Berlin, being more of a family club. During many years it was in East Germany, playing in the league there. They had some success, but most of the time they didn't.
Same thing when Germany went united again, where also economical problems hit the club. A few times during the 1990s they went up to the second division, only to not be given entry due to the economy.
In 2008 the club decided it was a must to restore the old stadium, but with no money it was an impossible task. Up until 2300 supporters came along and said they would do the job for free. Only for the real complex tasks construction workers were called in, otherwise everything was done by the supporters. All together they worked for free 140 000 working hours and saved the club millions of euro.
Today the stadium takes a maximum of 19 000 supporters, with only 3800 seats. I still have to come here and watch a game, but hopefully that day will come soon.
And hey, I've already been seated on the bench. :)
Equipment: Union plays in red, so that's a good color to wear. If you see men or women wearing a red helmet it's nothing to worry about. The club gave a helmet to each of the supporters who had helped during the stadium restoration.
Tickets to the games are not always easy to be found, but they are for sale both at the stadium and through the online shop at https://www.eventimsports.de/shops/index.php3?shopid=188.
On a wide and a little inclined walkway south of the Philharmonic Hall in Berlin's Kulturforum I noticed two guys, one young (on my picture) and the second one at my age with skateboards. They noticed my camera and... stopped skateboarding. But I didn't stop to take a picture and I had 7 x optical zoom :-). Was skateboarding forbidden at that place or what? There were no pedestrians around.
Equipment: Surely a skateboard.
There is a big tennis stadium in the south of berlin where every year in may the ladies' German Open are held.
It's really worthwile to pass by when you are there at that time.
Equipment: I always prefer the ticket for all the side courts rather than the ticket for the centre court. But find out yourself!
Another big sports event are the "Six Days of Berlin" that attract usually lot's of people and not just cycling fans. The Six days are famous for their atmosphere.
This year (2003) 12.000 people crammed the Berlin Six for the final night, with a total of around 76.000 during the 6-days!
there are a lot of beach around Berlin, enjoy a day going around with the boat.... of course let the other to row.
hard sportive life!!!