This week the Gerlitz family had their summer vacation week - which turned into a staycation in Berlin. I was lucky enough to tag along on two of their many fun adventures where we went canoeing and rode bikes to a nearby sea.
On Tuesday we took a two hour drive north of Berlin to the rural Rheinsberg to take a canoe tour. The scenery reminded me of back home - lots of harvested fields and farming machinery to be seen out the window.
We pulled into Berger Tours that looked a lot like some of the sleep-away camps I've experienced in the States. We checked in at the front desk where a lady promptly gave us all pieces of string to tether our glasses and sunglasses around our necks - apparently people lose these enough to warrant this welcome gift!
Once checked in, we went around back to check out the canoes and oars. A man of few words helped us stage our canoes by the dock and then recommended we pack our belongings into water-proof plastic barrels. After this, we were left to our own devices to get ourselves into the canoes and on our way!
Our canoe trip was 16 km of beautiful scenery through a Nature Reserve. The river had areas of calm water, and some areas with quite the current. We came across countless fallen trees that were fun to navigate - sometimes needing to turn the canoe perpendicular to the river to slip through the blocked river. Nature Reserve areas like this are only maintained when something seriously impedes visitors' ability to navigate trails or waterways, so it can definitely be challenging to overcome - but so validating when you succed!
About halfway through our canoe tour, we docked at a little field to have a picnic. We enjoyed some Brötchen, or little rolls, with cheese and meat, some potato salad, and chocolate covered raisins for dessert in the sunshine before embarking on the second leg of our tour.
After about 4.5 hours of canoeing we reached our end destination. A van was waiting for us to chauffeur us back to our starting point. I would 10/10 recommend this trip for those looking for an active excursion.*
*Forewarning, your shoulder muscles and lower back might feel this one the next day, but in a good way!
Trip to the Sea
With loaded bicycle baskets, we left for Liepnitzsee on Wednesday. The weather was beautiful and sunny, but with a slight breeze - perfect for riding our bikes the 24 km to our destination. Our GPS quoted an hour and a half bike ride, but made a few (accidental) detours along the way, so it took us about 2 hours to reach our destination.
When you arrive at Waldbad Liepnitzsee, you pay a minimal 2-4€ per person for kids, students, and adults as an entrance fee to have lake and on-site ammenities access. Once inside, there is plenty of green grass to lay out on, or you can continue along a pebble path towards the beach.
The water was chilly, but refreshing after our long bike ride. For those who are brave enough, you can venture beyond the cordoned off area and swim to the nearby island. I did not do this (read: because I am wuss), but many people do this and enjoy the view from another vantage point.*
*Also there is a "hippie" nude beach over there in case that's your thing!
After swimming, we went for a snack at a concessions stand - they had beer, soft drinks, coffee, cake, bratwurst or steak in a Brötchen, and an array of ice cream and popsicles to choose from. For about 8€ I got a Bratwurst im Brötchen, an Apfelschorle (half apple juice, half seltzer drink that is seriously my jam), and later, a chocolate almond Magnum ice cream bar. Mmm.
Just as the sun was starting to hide behind some clouds, we rolled up our blankets and made our way back to our bikes.
On our way out of the Waldbad Liepnitzsee complex, we found a quiet area to fly the Gerlitz's drone. Drones are apparently a very complex issue in Germany - when you can fly, where you can fly, who/what landmark is being filmed, and for what purpose. So we wanted to stay low key and opted for a secluded little area by a fishing club dock that wasn't open. The technology is pretty amazing. While I don't have footage from the Liepnitzsee (hopefully coming soon!), I do have a short clip of us riding bikes home to Lübars to conclude this blog post.
Hope you enjoy!