During these difficult, distressing times, it's important to get you and your children out for some exercise and fresh air, so long as you abide by the Government's Guidelines. Apart from the local parks, it can make a refreshing change to go a bit further afield. Grünewald, Berlin’s best-loved forest, is usually our place of choice, but with public transport not really an option at the moment, it’s just that little bit too far on a bike, so we have turned our attention to the small, but perfectly formed Plänterwald in the east of the city, a more manageable trip for young ones.
The forest lies just east of Treptower Park, so once in the park, we headed north for a lovely ride along the river, past the Insel der Jugend (you could go across the cute bridge, but I feel the island is a bit of a disappointment tbh), and a short ride to the entrance of Plänterwald, which is just where the Klipper boat restaurant is.
If you carry on around to the left, on the riverside path, you get good glimpses of the old abandoned fairground, Spreepark, including the enormous ferris wheel, a fallen dinosaur and a spooky looking roller-coaster. The park was opened in 1969 but closed in 2002, due to insolvency. You can read more about it here . This path will lead you back round into the forest, or you can delve straight in near the Klipper boat.
A couple of weeks ago, when we entered the forest, we were struck by the scent of wild garlic carpeting the floor. There were a few foragers about, filling baskets and buckets with the pungent herb, so we collected a little too, with warm garlic bread ideas formulating in our minds. The forest is not big, but it’s full of winding little paths, lots of dens made of sticks to run around in and fallen trees to climb up and over. Forest bathing is proven to boost the immune system, reduce stress, improve feelings of happiness and increase creativity, not to mention lowering heart rate and blood pressure and speed up recovery from illness. So during these difficult times, there is no better way to spend some family time outside together, with no risk to anyone else (remember to keep your distance of at least 1.5m from others, no picnics or gathering with friends, and practice safe hygiene). We cycled there alone and forest bathed to our heart’s content, returning rosy cheeked and happy just before dark.