Weekend of blossom festivals

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This weekend we visited the Baumblütenfest in Werder an der Havel (www.obstbauverein-werder.de/baumbluetenfest.htm) and the Kirschblütenfest-Hanami in Teltow /Berlin-Lichterfelde (http://www.teltow.de/veranstaltung/kirschbluetenfest.html). Hanami (“flower viewing”) is “the Japanese custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers” (as Wikipedia poetically puts it), often the blossoms of the cherry tree (sakura), or sometimes the plum tree “ume”. (Seems it could be roughly translated as “Baumblütenfest”.)

Chiyoda_ooku (1)

“Chiyoda ooku” by 楊洲周延. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chiyoda_ooku.jpg#/media/

Nowadays this usually involves parties or picnics under the blossoming trees. I’ve been to Japan twice, but never had the fortune to visit during Hanami season; luckily a Japanese man planted many sakura trees near the wall between Lichterfelde and Steglitz, so we were able to see the cherry blossoms blooming in Berlin. This festival seems to be quite popular as there were many people walking under the trees and visiting the various stalls. Some people really get into the theme and dress up in kimonos, Japanese inspired costumes or outfits resembling something from Anime.

Hanami in Berlin

The Baumblütenfest is a bit further from Berlin in the town of Werder an der Havel. As the countryside around is really lovely at this time of year, we decided to get a group of friends together and cycle there from Olympiastadion, a journey of approximately 40km. Last year J and I cycled from Potsdam. My favourite part of the ride was actually the part from Wannsee to Potsdam, and then from Potsdam alongside the Havel river to Werder. The first part of the ride from Berlin to Potsdam was not as nice as riding through countryside, so next time I’d probably start at Wannsee and use the extra time to cycle the Panorama route in Werder (we might do this next weekend). This time, by the time we got to Werder we headed straight to the festival as after 40km we were keen for some fruit wine and food.

Bike ride to Werder an der Havel

We ended up on the main street, where there were lots of foodstalls selling things like bouletten (meat patties), bratwurst and Lángos, a fried Hungarian flat-bread with different toppings, as well as fruit wine stalls. The festival was much more crowded than last year, but perhaps last year we were there on a Sunday or the second weekend, since it runs for two weekends in a row. After refueling with food and some fruit wine, we headed up the hill on Hoher Weg, where there are more stalls but also gardens where you can buy and drink the fruit wines, either at tables and benches or simply sitting on the grass under the blossom trees. There are so many different kinds of fruit wines that it’s nice if everyone buys different kinds so that you can taste a variety of them. Drinking too many full cups yourself would be a bad idea, because although the wines don’t taste that alcoholic, the bottles we bought said that they contain around 10-12% alcohol. Some of the people staggering around were evidence of this. Last year when we went on a much less busy day, many of the people running the stalls let us taste quite a few samples before deciding which ones to buy. To name just a few of the wines, there are strawberry, sour cherry, raspberry, rhubarb, Holunder (elderberry), quince, apple, Brombeeren (blackberry), Heidelbeeren (blueberries), schwarze and rote Johannisbeeren, and numerous other berries that I have never heard of before. It’s hard to leave without buying one or two bottles!

Baumblütenfest

 

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2 thoughts on “Weekend of blossom festivals

  1. Pingback: Spring in Berlin

  2. Pingback: The year 2015 in Instagrams (Part 1) | Middle Europe

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