Biking from Berlin to Poland in 1 day

Last weekend was my first attempt to cycle 100km in one day. For cyclists with racing bikes this is no biggie, but it’s something I hadn’t attempted on my city/trekking bike before. I think I once got close to 100km, on the first day of a bike ride in the Alsace. That day was pretty gruelling as there were lots of hills. This weekend’s 100km went surprisingly smoothly, as it was mostly flat.

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Canoeing and thunderstorms on the Spree river: Hangelsberg to Erkner

One thing I didn’t know about Berlin before I moved here is that it is situated a region full of lakes and rivers. As a result, canoeing has become one of my favourite summer sports (doing bike rides is another one, in case you didn’t notice already!). Normally for canoeing weekends we head north to Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, as there are endless options of lakes and canals to row down there. However, this time we wanted to do a day trip, so we looked for something close to Berlin. A friend found a wonderful canoeing day trip route that was easily accessible on the regional train.

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The last stage of the Spree cycle trail (Spreeradweg)

Last year we spent 4 days in May cycling along the 415km Spree Cycle trail (Spreeradweg) from the source of the Spree river in a hilly area near the border of Czech Republic to Berlin. After 4 days, we finished somewhere near Tropical Island in Brandenburg and caught the train back to Berlin. This May we decided to go back to the cycle trail and do part of the section we’d missed, from Fürstenwalde to Köpenick (a suburb of Berlin).

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Easter weekend cycling from Havelberg to Waren (Müritz)

Easter came fairly late this year, and was warmer than usual, with sunshine and temperatures of about 20 degrees Celsius in our region of Germany. Over the 4-day Easter weekend, we spent two days doing a section of the Elbe Cycle path from Magdeburg to Havelberg, before aiming to join the Elbe-Müritz Cycle path (Elbe-Müritz Radweg) for the final two days. Where I last finished off, we’d just headed to bed in our tents at the campsite on the island in the Havel river at Havelberg, having enjoyed sitting around an Easter fire, a German Easter tradition.

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Two late-winter walks in Brandenburg

Temperatures shot up in Berlin and its surroundings in February, bringing a sudden end to winter. It’s possible that this is just a “Fool’s spring” as people call it, and the temperatures could drop again in March or April, but so far the warm weather is holding. Last weekend and this weekend we made use of the warmer weather to go for some day walks in Brandenburg. There are endless possibilities for nice walks in the countryside of Brandenburg, and you could do a different walk every weekend of the year without running out of options. Continue reading

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Canoeing on the Havel river: Pritzerbe to Hohennauener See via Rathenow

Good weather brings opportunities for weekend canoeing or biking trips. Somehow these trips are always the highlight of my year. Being constantly active during the day leaves no time for pondering over work stresses, and getting from one place to the next by your own horsepower is somehow very satisfying. Taking in the countryside and village scenery at a slow pace instead of racing from one destination to the next by car, train or plane like one usually does when travelling makes all the difference. Camping also brings you back to basics, and you realize that you actually don’t need many things to live quite happily. It also makes you appreciate luxuries like having your own bathroom and a soft bed when you get back home! There is also a thrilling sense of adventure when you set off for a trip with just a backpack and a tent, not knowing what the days ahead will hold. Continue reading

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All roads lead to Liepnitzsee

When hot summer days arrive, one of the popular weekend day trips for Berliners is to Liepnitzsee, a beautiful lake with aquamarine waters in the middle of beech and pine woods. People go by train, car or bike and as the last option is perhaps the most fun, over the years we’ve explored many different routes to the lake. In the beginning we tried cycling from Berlin or Bernau, and now we’ve started exploring other bike paths as there are so many scenic ones in the area. Both last weekend and the weekend before, friends invited us to cycle there, and we tried two different routes:

  1. From Oranienburg to Bernau via Liepnitzsee
  2. From Buch to Liepnitzsee, then past Wandlitzsee and Krumme Lanke to Bernau

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Camping and canoeing on the River Havel: Fürstenberg to Burgwall

It’s been a rainy, relatively cool summer in Berlin, but luckily last weekend some sunny weather arrived, so we headed off to Brandenburg for some canoeing and camping adventures involving goats, swing dancing and raclette. For those who may not know, Brandenburg is the large state surrounding Berlin (Berlin is a separate state, or Bundesland in German), and it’s full of beautiful countryside, forests, lakes, rivers and waterways. North of Brandenburg is the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, which is also a boat-lovers paradise, has beautiful nature, and borders the Baltic sea (Ostsee). We decided to start our trip in Fürstenberg, located at the southern edge of the Mecklenburg Lake District, about 75km from Berlin. Continue reading

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Brandenburg Bike rides: Fürstenberg/Havel to Templin

The state of Brandenburg around Berlin is a paradise for biking, and we’ve spent many a happy day riding through forests and countrysides, past lakes, villages and orchards. From Berlin you can catch a train to any of numerous towns that can act as a starting point and then with the help of google maps and signposts, find your way to another town from where you can take the train back to Berlin. This weekend we headed off to Fürstenberg with a friend who felt like going for a bike ride on her birthday. Continue reading

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