Lake season is well and truly upon us, and for me, this is when Berlin really comes into it's own as a superb summer city... with convenient access to the bucolic state of Brandenburg, where we can take our pick from the 3000 lakes surrounding the capital.
Ok, so you may have spent a day out at Wannsee, or mosied on down to Schlatensee or Krumme Lanke, and there are a few other city lakes which are well worth the trip (more of those in later posts) but maybe it's time to go one step further and pack a tent in the car and escape the city. Brandenburg is the state which entirely surrounds Berlin, and it's packed with forests, lakes and cute little villages to explore. Last weekend, we hired a car (our campervan is still in the garage, sob..) and headed south east to Springsee naturcamping platz. (If you want a campsite that's in a forest, rather than in a field with concrete and not much privacy/atmosphere, then always search for 'naturcamping' and you can't go wrong.)
We hadn't been to this site before, but were thrilled to find a spot just on the lakeside, with a superb view and what felt like our own little private jetty to sit on and eat our picnics, sip a beer and launch our inflatable kayak. Just further up from our idyllic spot was a little spielplatz and, of course, acres of forested site to explore. The boys headed off an an adventure while we set up camp. Glastonbury may have been raging about a thousand miles away, but here, tranquil and remote, I didn't mind so much I was missing it this year. .. well, maybe a teeny bit.. .
The next three days brought sun, relaxation, swimming, picnics, bbqs, exploring and lots of messing around in our boat. One day we walked around the lake, which was about 3k, and much to the boys' delight, spotted three snakes and a shrew, not to mention the hundreds of creepy crawlies and birds. Some friends came out to visit us from Berlin, as the city was so hot and crowded, and we spent the day in the little beach area, splashing around and slurping lollies. Being just over an hour away from Berlin, it's totally do-able for a daytrip.
I haven't felt so relaxed in ages, there's just something about camping which really makes me happy... maybe it's the not-washing, and going a bit feral for a few days...dirty feet and leaves in my hair. The boys loved it too. Seeing them romp around in the great outdoors is a beautiful thing to behold, getting really mucky and then jumping in the lake to get clean. I feel so lucky to be living in a city where all this is just on our doorstep.
The whole trip, for two nights with two tents, two adults and two children, cost us just over €50 (not including car hire, obvs). So, while the weather is hot, get out and get camping!