Sunday, 20 September 2009
We planned with our new neighbours, Antje, Thorsten and 2 year old Jasmin (3 month old Josafine stayed at Oma and Opa's house.) to visit Luebenau, in the Spreewald. We chose a day deep into September, when Autumn should be starting. We had heard for the last 4 or so weeks from our German friends "This is surely the last good day before Autumn starts" - every day it was nice. We looked at the weather - and it looked like the 'last good day before Autumn' (for the record...it was not the last great day of weather!).
Cameron was having a sleep-over at his friends Felix's. So I had to use the public transportation system to go and collect him, because it was also the start of the Berlin marathon, and Felix lives right on the course.
Felix, Max (another friend from school) and Cameron had a great time at the sleep-over, and Felix's dad, Ulli, took the boys down to watch the marathon. Their house is right near the first drinks station, and they watched the leading runners collect their drink bottles, slurp down the drinks, and throw the bottles away (the boys collected them!). After this, the 'hoardes' came through, and they had cups of water filled from large buckets fed from fire hydrants. Cups were strewn everywhere, and the boys thought it was hilarious that everyone was running over so many plastic cups.
After retrieving Cameron, we packed the last of our picnic things and headed out. We followed our neighbors down the highway and soon turned off in a picturesque little town - Luebenau.
The Spreewald is a Unesco protected region about 80 km from Berlin. It is beautiful countryside, with over 1000km of canals. We started by having lunch and a few beers, and then had a one hour punt ride on the canals.
The region is renowned for its gherkins and pickles. Of course, I had to try one, Nicole and the boys totally refused!! Unfortunately we bought it at a 'canalside' stop, so I couldn't get a beer to wash it down with!
After the lovely hour cruising the canals, we found a lovely grassy area for our picnic. The kids ran around collecting grass-hoppers, we ate a bit more from the picnic baskets, had a few cups of coffee, and relaxed in the afternoon sun.
Finally we packed up our things and drove back to Berlin - a great way to spend a Sunday.