Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Spreewald and Bliss

Brigitta Huegel

 On a very sunny (!) 2nd November (!) with 19°C (!) husband and I drove to Schlepzig in the Spreewald, where I had never been before. Above you see a women in a traditional costume - worn for the tourists now - who punts a boat with up to 20 guests on the many rivulets and rivers. 
The Spreewald (the Sorbian word for it was 'Biota' = swamps) is a huge area with bogs and marshes, protected as a biosphere reserve, in Brandenburg, which was formed in the glacial period.

Brigitta Huegel



Brigitta Huegel

Brigitta Huegel

One and a half hour we were punted by a nice man (who viewed the wild woods merely with the eyes of a treefeller: "Here I was allowed to axe a broken tree - there I collected five trees... which brought me fine fathoms of stovewood for my 'Bullerjahn'.. ." (a special sort of oven - and I think they really need the heat in winter - even in Berlin we have Siberian frost sometimes).
Inwardly, I believe, he thanked his silent little helpers: about 50 beavers live around Schlepzig, and they are working hard. Over hundred years there hadn't been any (only being thought of in the social-critical comedy "The Beaver Coat" by Gerhart Hauptmann, for which the Berlin Board of Censors predicted in 1893 : "Petty painting without any plot of relevance...that dull pathetic effort will not see many enactments" - and thus erred enormously: it became very, very famous).
So  in 2003 the first beaver immigrated back to the Spreewald - hailed by environmentalists, while the LUVG printed a little brochure "How to live with the beaver".

Brigitta Huegel


After dinner in the beautiful Landgasthof 'Zum Grünen Strand der Spree', which is very proud of its Private Brewery from 1788 we went back - finding out that my Knut, as you can see clearly in this picture, hadn't been idle either and had used his time by transgressing boundaries to flirt with a(nother) beautiful Italian,..


So: A wonderful day for all of us! 
(or in my four new words of Italian): 

Una Festa Sui Prati! 









15 comments:

  1. A beautiful area Britta ….. nature, wildlife and a romantic, mechanical ending !!!! XXXX

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    1. Dear Jackie,
      yes, beautiful - but I wouldn't live there... especially not without a car. XXX

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  2. What a civilised and bucolic outing, Britta. The Spreewald looks lush and serene, and we surely envy you such temperatures as we shiver in the damp air here.

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    1. Dear Mise,
      all summer and autumn 2014 we had very warm temperatures und a lot of sunshine here (not in all parts of Germany). What I like is that most often in Berlin summers are really hot - and winters really cold - while in Hamburg, where we lived for 6 years, it was more 'English weather' - they laugh at me here because I after 4 years in B., I still always carry a tiny umbrella in my bag.
      As to bucolic: I learned from Tom's last post about 'Steampunk' - will look for a Victorian outfit now :-)

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  3. What a lovely jaunt over the water and through the trees.
    I'm guessing that is beaver damage at the base of that tree. What audacious little creatures. They fell trees here to build their dams, but don't aspire to any the size of that tree.

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    1. Dear Joanne,
      and it was only 2 hours with the car there and back.
      Yes, this is the work of a beaver - and they are very busy - chipping oaks, poplars, birches (so our bargeman will not freeze in winter).

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  4. Not only a lovely place but the story is enjoyable.

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    1. Dear Emma,
      thank you! It really was a bright day.

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  5. I love the wild tangle of image and reflection in the third photo down, and so interesting to learn about this. I don't associate Germany with bogs and marshes, but clearly that was wrong. There must be interesting bird life there, too, no? I've never seen a beaver at Buttercup Farm near us here (I go at the wrong time of day, of course), but I sure do see the results, including often flooding out the path at points, particularly in the spring. But, it's an Audubon reserve, so their land, not ours, and it's amazing what they can do! Did you see any of their huge lodges at Spreewald?

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    1. Dear Sue,
      the reflections were really stunning - and the shift from woods (very close trees) to more open moorish landscapes was interesting - the alder trees give a special sombre atmosphere. Northern Germany has a lot of moors - you will be utterly delighted, I think, by visiting the artist colony of Worpswede (near Bremen, where I come from - Bremen, a huge city, still has a peat-canal). Have a look at the beautiful landscape-paintings of Otto Modersohn, (he lived there with Paula Becker-M.; Fritz Mackensen, Hans am Ende, Rainer Maria Rilke).
      Birds were quiet this day - though I took some photos of huge crane-formations. And we saw no beaver lodge, and no beaver. But the water must be very clean - and moving - vast 'fields' of watercress floated in it (and nobody cut it - I love to eat it so very much, hard to get in that big-leaved form...maybe under protection as well here?)

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    2. Thank you for noting Modersohn, whose work I didn't know. Well, there is so much I don't know, and I'm delighted to learn a little more here. Northern Germany is clearly full of fascination and surprises. Moors, floating fields of watercress (which I also love), the artist colony--and the Modersohn Museum looks interesting, too.

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  6. Britta, these recent posts have had such a vibrancy about them. It's almost like I can see the alchemical processes in your veins. There is a goldness about you!

    (I loooove the flirting cars ...)

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    1. Dear Suze,
      thank you - the goldness comes from the shine of the autumn sun and golden leaves :-)
      As to seeing (and hearing) me: you will - in my next post I appear in a short video (the woman in turquoise), so please have a look...

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  7. Thanks, Brigitta, for taking us along. Beautiful.

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    1. Dear Geo.,
      thank you - it was really beautiful and you would have enjoyed it.

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