Traveller rule: when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Or, in case of Berlin: FLY, YOU FOOLS! Don’t worry. We’re talking favourite Brandenburg destinations.
Crowded, controversial, loud, fine-particles-powdered, equally loved and loathed, Berlin – geographically speaking – is sitting in flat, glacier-shaped woodlands, crossed by a chain of lakes and surrounded by the equally flat landscape of Brandenburg.Brandenburg, in turn, is quite renowned for its natural protection – we count one national park, several biosphere reserves and many nature parks. Don’t search for breathtaking mountains: lakes, flat plains, and woods is all there is, sprinkled with medieval castles in Brandenburg and what I call baroque ‘whipped cream castles’ in Potsdam.
But if you like scenic routes and sparkling lakes, vast landscapes and solemn medieval fortresses, jump into your car, convertible or saddle your two-wheeled steed, Adventurer!
My Favourite Brandenburg Destinations
Several disctricts of Brandenburg are interesting for travellers (and motorcyclists).
Urban landscapes of:
1. Potsdam, Brandenburg capital city and
2. Brandenburg city (Brandenburg an der Havel to be precise)
offer a great variety of old city charm, historic buildings, cultural sights as well as cafés & restaurants for those drunken with culture and hungry for a break.
My favourite district for a combination of castles and pretty wild nature with beautiful watersides is the Potsdam-Mittelmark district. It’s really lovely, whether you lounge on the banks of the Schwielowsee that has nearly Mediterannean qualities, or whether you follow the B2 all the way through Berlin’s most local asparagus-and-strawberries-land of Beelitz and visit the High Fläming Nature Park castles Ziesar, Wiesenburg, Eisenhardt or off the B2 track, Rabenstein.
If you are looking for untouched nature and lovely, sometimes even lonely, hiking trails, my favourites of the aforementoned nature parks and biosphere reserves in Brandenburg are:
1. The Lower Oder Valley National Park (they do have a website, but it’s in German I’m afraid)
2. Spreewald – probably the most widely known German biosphere reserve. Its landmarks are the lush forest landscapes, river trips and… local cucumbers: most notably, the pickled Spreewaldgurken.
3. The Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve is equally impressive, with a lot of wilderness, oak and pine woods, standing waters, eerie carrs; and home to eagles and cranes, boars and deer, endangered beavers, otters, pond turtles.
4. The aforementioned High Fläming Nature Park – hiking trails, castles, plus an officially state-approved (whatever that means) thermal spa* in Bad Belzig.
* There is also quite a bunch of lovely spa hotels and towns in Brandenburg, and if you’re interested, I can review them in one of the following “Things To Do In Berlin” post. Tell me in the comments!
ABOUT “THINGS TO DO IN BERLIN”
If you remember, this post series started with a rather unusual topic of “buy a new smile”. I told you about something that’s much like, erm, contact lenses (?) but for your teeth. Like veneers, just temporary. No worries, it’s not complicated or gross or painful nor was it a paid post, for that matter, so check it out here.
The idea behind (weird) THINGS TO DO IN BERLIN is that I want to share my favourite places in and around Berlin, some will be weird or silly (like the teeth “lenses”), some will be about health, food, beauty, others more like in this post, a rather loose but themed collection, maybe something seasonal (Christmas markets, anyone?).[Plate reads: It feels as though I couldn’t ever leave Berlin again.]
By no means is BC becoming a Berlin blog; there’s a whole plethora of such out there; but as long as I’m based here, I can as well share a few personal faves.
So I’d love to hear from you if this section is of interest for you, and what you’d like to know, otherwise you’ll have to bear with whatever ignites my weird geeky brain 😀