At the height of summer in July, Berlin was sizzling like a BBQ. After a long day introducing myself to the capital of Germany and immersing myself in the tumultuous history, what better way than to relax with a BBQ to celebrate the lovely weather. And did I mention that I would be having one in an abandoned airport right in Berlin? This, my friends, is Tempelhof Park.
Decommissioned as an airport in 2008, the Tempelhof soon turned into a city park to be used by all Berliners to enjoy outdoor activities whether rollerskating, kite-surfing or even just do what I did, have a BBQ! Since 1923, Tempelhof have claimed to be one of the world’s oldest airport giving rise to the architecture of airports that still remains to this day in the form of large, canopy style roofs that were able to accommodate airliners in the mid 20th century protecting passengers from the elements. The architecture and the building was so iconic in its time that it was considered to be among the top 20 largest buildings on Earth. However, it did claim to have the smallest duty-free shop, which may be considered a great thing!
However, the airport is now defunct and only the two parallel runaways still remain. Tefel and Schonefeld Airports still serve as the city’s main airports but it’s a blessing for many residents to have a large green area to relax and enjoy their outdoor activities. However, many visitors to Berlin are not aware of this delightful and vast attraction. Only through word of mouth through the locals can visitors discover Tempelhof Park. This is exactly how I found out through my German friend Bente and her friends from her home who came to live here in Berlin. They wanted a BBQ and a BBQ we shall have.
I have to say I was really impressed with the fantastic views and how much of a gem Tempelhof Park really are. We came at absolutely the perfect time in the evening when the sun started to set and wane in the sky creating a warm glow that bounced ever so calmly across the runaways. Evening crickets chirruped, the smell of freshly cut grass wafted and the delighted shrieks and sudden laughter brought smiles to everyone’s faces. Germans are well-known for their strict work ethics and organised play but nobody realises that they like to relax, lie back on the grass and watch clouds go by. See, Germans can be idle. But in a good way.
It was exactly just what I needed to switch off and just chill after a long week of sightseeing and exploration. Oh, don’t forget about BBQ food and beer to consume and enjoy slowly.
Ah, tis the life!
If you want to get to Tempelhof Park, the S-Bahn lines S41, S42, S45 and S46 and the U-Bahnline U6 serves the Tempelhof Station and requires only a few minutes walk. All you need is a BBQ set, some Berliners and some beer and you’ll ‘B’ sorted.