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Floral and fauna

Sansoussci park makes a swell shelter from the cold

Berlin is a green and open city with enough parks and natural spaces to keep any urban treehugger happy. Unfortunately, chilly February is not the ideal month to take advantage of this.

Winters in Berlin are notoriously gray, cold and windy. Daytime temperatures tend to hover around freezing and, although snow is not uncommon, it generally turns to dirty slush within hours.

If you must spend time outdoors, and darting between screening venues and restaurants does not count, take basic precautions: Wrap up warm.

And then put warm clothes over your warm clothes. Make sure your mobile phone is working.

Tell someone where you’re going and the route. Take a big stick to beat off the wolves and polar bears (just kidding).

If you want to brave the elements, the Sansoussci park in Potsdam (just a train ride away from Friedrichstrasse station) houses the palace Schloss Sansoussci and hunting lodges of 18th-century ruler Frederick the Great. It’s an impressive place to visit where you can spend hours strolling and admiring.

Alternatively, one of Berlin’s most beautiful parks is the Tiergarten, just behind Potsdamerplatz.

In spring, acres and acres of flowers provide an impressive show of color and paths beckon strollers and joggers in all directions. But it’s still worth a wintery walk to admire the statues that dot the vistas.

You could also visit Berlin’s famous zoo, which is in the Tiergarten, although most of the animals will be keeping warm in their indoor enclosures.

Don’t worry about getting lost in the Tiergarten; just keep going and you will come to a main road. You then can flag a cab back to a warm cafe, where you should have stayed to begin with.

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