by Zoë Noble
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The company I work for asked me to share a photo of my desk, as part of a blog post giving “a small glimpse into our team — one built on a wonderful mix of cultures, interests, and personalities.” And, because no personality is more wonderful than Olive’s we thought we’d pop her in the photo. So, for no real reason, here’s an image of our unofficial office manager sitting at the Chef’s table in our coworking space. If you want to check out my colleagues’ workspaces in Basecamp’s Chicago office, their home, their Airstream RV (!), you can check those out here.
Olive wanted to pop by to wish you all a Merry Christmas, and to thank everyone who supported us through a year of big changes, and occasionally tough, yet rewarding, times. She rightly pointed out that überlin would be nothing without our community, and thought we should remind our coworkers, readers, followers and friends: we love you all.
A special “paws up” to Free Your Stuff Berlin for donating a kostenlos Christmas tree (we promise to stop trolling you so hard!) and to Shinola, the Detroit product designers who made the luxurious dog bed that Olive is modelling so beautifully here. To all our überliners, Frohe Weihnachten and Guten Rutsch!
When we recently vacationed on the German island of Rügen, there was place we made sure to visit first: Prora. Earmarked by the Nazis as a holiday destination for some 20,000 worn-out workers, construction on the eight buildings of the “Colossus of Prora” was halted by World War Two, since which the huge complex has been used as a military base by the Soviets and East Germans, and later a youth hostel and, seemingly, a squat with its own nightclub.
We rocked up on what turned out to be an unseasonably beautiful September day, both wearing head-to-toe black and Dr. Martens, looking to our fellow holidaymakers like wannabe stormtroopers, or maybe just hipster-goths on vacation. Piling our winter coats on the sand, we rushed into the crystal clear sea with Olive, before climbing through the ruined walls and marvelling at the sheer scale and ambition of Hitler’s answer to Butlins. Construction work confirmed what we’d read about the buildings being redeveloped as vacation apartments, so we’d advise you to visit Prora while it remains one of Germany’s great abandoned relics.
We may not be too sentimental about our home on the northeastern shores of England, but we certainly miss the sea. Sure, Berlin has beautiful lakes, but they don’t quite fulfill our longing to feel the coastal winds whip against our faces, taste the salt in the air and gaze out towards the horizon where blue meets blue. That’s why we chose to spend our short summer break on Germany’s largest island, Rügen, which sits on the Baltic Sea (Ostsee), a mere three hours’ drive from Berlin.
For our first Oliday (holiday with Olive), we pointed our rental car due north and headed towards Trent. Here we arrived at our beautiful Airbnb with an ocean view and its very own sauna! The location was stunning, with wild flowers dotted all around and the sea only a minutes walk away. On an evening we would sit in the garden with a glass of wine, watching sunset close in and the flashing beacon of Hiddensee lighthouse and feel a million miles away from Berlin.
Having set up camp, we started planning a week of wholesome outdoor activities, including visits to the white cliffs of Jasmund National Park, the tiny towns of Sassnitz and Sellin, and the Nazi’s half-built vacation resort of Prora. Check out the first of our holiday snaps, and stay tuned for more adventures of überlin on Rügen!