So, the fishy picture from last week had to come from somewhere and here are the additional photos from our wonderful little trip to Spreewald.
Spreewald is located about 100 km South East of Berlin and a well-loved day trip amongst locals and tourists. This unique habitat of the forest of the river Spree has been formed during the last Ice Age and consists of approximately 200 natural canals (Fließe) and man-made canals (Kanäle), respectively. This natural irrigation system is truly one of a kind. Therefore, the unique ecosystem has been designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1991.
We decided to take the regional train to Lübbenau and book a classic canoe tour to Lehde. This is a small traditional village right in the middle of Spreewald.
Many people do not realize that a lot of those houses actually have no access to roads. So everything some island people of Spreewald need will come on a canoe. This means, all your groceries as well as any other household items like fuel and gas or the occasional online shopping. There is also an official German Post Canoe, a Fire Canoe and the garbage is collected, you may have guessed, by canoe.
For local farmers, this actually means your average tractor or sheep or cow really got there by canoe. The main road of Lehde is indeed a canal. Motors are forbidden here, so you have to travel manually. The canoes are steered with a so-called Rudel or Stake. A long wooden stick, many might know from the River Thames or Venice.
Some parts of Spreewald are completely shut for people to preserve untouched nature. Spreewald hosts the rather rare black storks, 830 kinds of butterflies, 48 different kinds of dragonflies, as well as 138 different species of birds and 36 different kinds of fish. It is also a breeding ground for cranes and eagles. Trust the big W for the numbers.
We also played a round of mini golf that was too terrible to add up the score.
By pure coincidence, we took our friends from Australia to the annual town fair, which was a rather interesting sight. The people of Spreewald are of Slavic descent, mainly Wends and Sorbs. They are still preserving their traditions and language and it is not unusual to find bilingual signs there. A big festivity means many will dress up in traditional costume. Even the local beauty parlor had their own canoe.
If you do not wanna bring down the average age on your tourist canoe, I highly recommend to stay for the weekend and rent your own little shed and canoe. All this lush nature and fresh air will certainly put you in great spirits.
While in Spreewald, make sure to eat some traditional German food and, of course, lots and lots of pickles.
As for the pickle beer, none of us were too sure …
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