Posted on

A day in … Kreuzberg, Berlin

Join Berlin’s artsy types for brunch, then check out the galleries, parks and nightlife in creative Kreuzberg with insider tips from a local

Few neighbourhoods illustrate Berlin’s transformation with such vividness as Kreuzberg. Once enclosed on three sides by the Berlin Wall, this former West Berlin neighbourhood, immediately south of the river Spree, drew immigrants, hippies, artists and squatters while the city was divided. It feels more gentrified and upscale these days but still has a revolutionary streak, and is now the hub of Germany’s digital currency boom, with the world’s highest density of businesses accepting Bitcoin. If you come, rent a bike: it’s by far the best way to get around.

Continue reading…

Posted on

Rio de Janeiro: walking the world’s megacities

As all eyes turn to Brazil ahead of next week’s World Cup draw, Gavin McOwan walks the streets, beaches and mountains of Rio de Janeiro – and meets a football legend along the way

I’d spent all day walking in the heat and humidity of Rio, and my first beer didn’t touch the sides. I was about to dispatch my second when a greying, pot-bellied man appeared next to me at the bar. I froze. He no longer looked anything like the powerful Brazilian striker who had torn defences to shreds in the 1970 World Cup, one of the stars of the greatest football team of all time. But there was little doubt who he was.

“Is that Jairzinho?” I mouthed to the barman.

Continue reading…