East of the Wall
After our epic adventures around Berlin we travelled three and a half hours East of the fallen wall to a rural green region in Germany called Spreewald. Lovers of quaint cute cosy towns we visited Schlepzig on our drive to our new stay. It was a cute canal village. Gondola style boats and canoes circled the tree lined canals. The German version of Venice!
The main reason we wanted to visit was because it had an old mill called Hofladen Mill. On the weekends this old mill still grinds the rye grain to make their own bread…. so for us it was a must.
To our surprise we had arrived in the town on a special festival day called Hof- Fest so there was lots to feast on. We tried apple and sour cherry crumble cake.
As it was a very hot day we topped it off by doing as the local Germans were doing, we headed to the local brewery.
The brewery was called Spreewald Private Brewery which was first established in 1788. They don’t bottle and sell to the public so this is one of the very rare breweries where the special beer is crafted and then poured straight from the tap!!! It quenched our thirst on a hot day. Rob brought a beer stein to add to his collection as he wasn’t able to take any samples away with him.
This nature area is also well known for its wildlife. We noted a resident stork nesting just outside the town as we were leaving. It is like these beautiful storks have been migrating with us along our trip through Europe as we have been so lucky to see them in many areas that we have travelled through.
Our new Airbnb was just outside the town of Forst. Potato fields line our way. This hundred year old property has been lovingly restored by the grandson who has divided the gorgeously renovated house into two separate dwelling so he can Airbnb the large upstairs loft home and live in the downstairs on weekends away from his work in the city of Berlin. Probably everyone’s dream if you have to work in the city. I laughed when our gracious host came to give us some strawberries and I said does it take you around two and a half hours to travel to Berlin from here. He replied no an hour at 6am in the morning as he travels at 200 kilometres an hour on the autobahn. This is quite normal here but I felt my stomach reach my throat. He also laughed when Rob told him that I will not step into the car if he drives over 110 kilometres an hour. He laughed and said that the trucks would be passing us. I am happy with Australian travel speeds that’s why we have a year to travel throughout Europe not six weeks. We have now enjoyed travelling through 13 countries in seven months on the road together and we are still happily married. I didn’t marry a German so high speed is not in our wedding vows though I know Rob would love to test our the autobahn but not with me in it. We are on an ‘Oldies Gap Year’, as I am turning 50 in five months.
The house was great for relaxing in as it had its own pool, amazing sunsets and at night we were lulled to sleep by the sound of what we think were frogs from the pond next door.
The town of Forst where we are staying historically developed during the 19th century as a cloth industry. Due to the increased population green spaces were developed to give people recreational areas or public parks. In 1913 the famous East German Rose Garden was created here in Forst which is now the big tourist draw card to visit this town. The historical rose garden and park is listed as one of Germany’s most beautiful parks.
We were staying close to Poland so we took a drive over the boarder to see some Polish towns and countryside.
On another adventure we headed to Rhododendronpark Kromlau to take a nature walk to view the Devil’s Bridge that was built in the mid 19th century. The bridge was built to create a circle through its reflection on the water. The problem was the pond looked as if it had been sucked dry of water and scaffold fences were in place so we couldn’t get close to the bridge. We had seen some amazing picture post card shots of the picturesque bridge and its circular reflections but it was a little disappointing.
On our last afternoon here in Forst we spent it by the pool with the sun blazing at 5pm in the afternoon. I was thrilled to take my first Spring splash which was refreshing. I must of been enjoying my afternoon splash as the neighbour poked his head near the fence to see what all the commotion was about. We have really loved how friendly people are here in Germany. We had a chat about his very old apple trees. Each tree was plentiful with tiny apples growing in abundance. He came back and asked me where I was from. He ended our friendly conversation as the thunder rumbled through the clouds by saying you are from down under with a smile.