The sun is out and all you’re longing for is a good excuse to stay outside. Why not enjoy a traditional sport à la française ?
Nothing beats a good pétanque game, lift some heavy balls and chat with your friends. Well, it could be better if you had some proper pastis to drink, but any drink will do that you have to hand.
How to play ?
If you don’t know the rules, they’re fairly simple: first, take the smallest of the ball and throw it at a minimum distance of 6 meters (dem the rules, last time we didn’t follow them, a regular came to us and told us we were wrong and should rethrow it). Then, try to get as close as possible to the “cochonnet”, french for piglet (and even after searching the reason why, we’re still not quite sure). The person the furthest away from the piglet is the next one to throw one of his metallic ball. Once all the balls are out, the closest to the piglet gives a point. If a team have several of the closest balls, said team will have as many points as there’s close balls. A game ends when a team / or a player reaches 13 points.
Where is it ?
Now that you got the basics, let’s talk about this great pétanque strips located next to the canal Maybachufer, just south-east from the metro station Görlitzer Bahnhof or north-east from the station Schönleinstraße. Their many strips (close to 15, but varying from weeks to weeks depending on how the dividing lines have been moved) allow many people to play, and bringing your group of 6 friends won’t be a problem there.
However, due to the popularity of the spot, you might have to wait a bit on the side before any pétanque strip becomes free. On one side, you can wait on the wall offering a nice view over the canal, on the the other side, there’s some benches under tree shades, ideal when the sun is a bit too bright. If you don’t feel like waiting because, after all, you’re intending on playing alone, try to introduce yourself to some other people already playing – chances are, they will be okay with competing and bonding with you over a nice game of pétanque.
What to bring ?
Don’t forget your balls, as no one will provide them on-site. You can find some in big sports shop, like those at Alexanderplatz.
We also recommend to bring some drinks with you, not only because you can become quite dehydrated by standing almost still for an hour or two in the sun, but also because a game of pétanque is the perfect occasion to socialise around a chilled beer. Due to the lack of Spätis (24h/24 shops) in the immediate vicinity, it would be best to already bring some with you from a shop on the way to the Boule Game (plus, considering there’s high chances you’ll be waiting before any strip becomes free, already having some drinks in hand will be more relaxing).
There’s also a regular coming fairly often to the boule place, and who brings with him a cool-box filled with beer ; all you have to do is pick one and leave 1-2€ in the box next to it. Definitely the best deal in town !