Life Update

This year I haven’t written many blog posts. I suppose there are many reasons why blogs suddenly go quiet. In my case, it wasn’t for lack of things to write about. We went on several exciting trips that I haven’t yet managed to post about (India last year in December, Iceland in March, Mauritius in November) and locally, we went on a lot of weekend or day trips within Germany or over the Czech border. So why the radio silence?

Continue reading

rss

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.

Continue reading
rss

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.

Continue reading
rss

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).

Continue reading
rss

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.

Continue reading
rss

The Elberadweg: cycling from Magdeburg to Havelberg

There are some really long cycle paths in Germany, and some of them even cross borders. The Elbe Cycle path (Elbradweg) is a cycle route of about 1270km that follows the course of the river Elbe. It starts at the source of the Elbe in the Czech Krkonoše Mountains (the Giant Mountains/ Riesengebirge), and ends where the Elbe flows into the North sea.

The Elbe in Saxony

Over the 4-day Easter weekend, we spent two days doing the 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 (instead we ended up doing our own route from Havelberg to Waren, but that’s another story).

Continue reading
rss

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

rss

Cross-country skiing in the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains)

The Ore mountains on the German-Czech border are home to a large area of interconnected skiing trails and are hugely popular due to their proximity to Dresden (45 minutes) and Prague (1h15 minutes). From Berlin it takes about 2.5 to 3 hours to reach them, which is close enough for a great weekend getaway. There are also downhill ski slopes in the region, but at the end of January we headed off for another weekend of cross-country skiing, which allows you to take a nice tour of the surroundings. Continue reading

rss

My travel highlights in 2018

As a new year starts, full of possibilities, I thought I’d take a look back on 2018! I’ve been enjoying reading other bloggers’ 2018 travel highlights, so here are mine.

This year we went to three weddings and none of them were in Berlin, so that was a good excuse to do a bit of traveling. When I have to travel for work I also try to take a weekend before or after the meeting to make the flying more worthwhile. And of course, when possible we also try to get to the mountains to do some hiking or skiing, since Berlin is located in a flat part of Europe. Here’s where we went in 2018. Continue reading

rss

8 things I miss at Christmas

I am a South African, living in Germany and married to a Czech. When you’re living away from your home country, for the most part you settle into a new daily routine, acquire new habits and generally get on with things. However there’s always going to be those times where you are reminded that you’re a bit of a square peg in a round hole. For me, Christmas is one of those times , because no matter how great the Christmas celebration is here, I always have that feeling that it’s just not 100% Christmas. Here are the things I miss most about my South African Christmas: Continue reading

rss