Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Secret Natural Retreats near Berlin: Gatow and Kladow

If you are following my blog for a while, you know already how much I love spending as much time as possible outdoors, especially during the summer. As Berlin abunds in such offers, although I love discovering more and more natural retreats from one to a couple of hours away of the city, I also appreciated those oasis just a couple of stations away from the big B. One of the last weekends, I've spent some lovely time in two places which can be reached easily by using the BVG local transportation system: Gatow and Kladow.

GATOW


Until this year, I've only been to Gatow for a visit at the Military Museum. The area around the museum is mostly an urban agglomeration of small mansions and copy-pasted family houses built as many as the space around the former military airport allowed. However this time, once I stop at the Alt-Gatow bus station, the view is completely different: individual stone houses, covered by exuberant layers of ivy, with generous flowers gardens.


Nearby, there are also big veggie gardens, mostly for the use of the big organic food chains in Berlin. If you are there early in the morning, you can see people passionatelly picking up the vegetables. A couple of meters away, there are also some strawberry farms from where you can pick your own fruits and also a milk farm, great for those who love to experiment with cheese and milk-based products.


My favorite summer views may always include blue waters, surrounded by green forests and crossed by white elegant yachts. Mission accomplished in Gatow, as the area near the shores of the river Havel has plenty of it. There is a park where the children are playing, with long wooden tables for picnics or various celebrations. Enough to spend there an impressive amount of time, doing nothing. Nothing at all. Nearby, there are a couple of Italian restaurants with big outdoors space, so you can sip your beer and enjoy your pasta or pizza with a view.


Except if you are looking for a cultural challenge and you are lucky enough to find the Art Gallery on Kladower Damm 97 open.  


Happy now? Then unleash your bike and run hard until the next stop of the day...

KLADOW


I've been first to Kladow three years ago, when limited by a new job and the pregnancy I was exclusively looking for some easy destinations, preferably very close to Berlin. Then, I really enjoyed the charming summer feels. Although I did change a lot since then, the good vibes were still there and was happy to be back in this lovely place. A place where there are many stories to be told, like this tree that since the 17th century succeeded to survive various historical encounters. 


There are so many examples of individual architecture in the area, with big areas left for the green bushes or flowers that embelish both the view and the mood of the inhabitants. 


But who actually would stay indoors when you such views are waiting for you outdoors? Kladow can be reached not only by bike or bus from Berlin, but also with a BVG available ticket by boat from Wannsee. An option to be hopefully checked soon.


Until then, time for counting the happy ducks on lily pads.


On the promenade, there is a row of food places, from fish restaurants to fast-foods, a bit over-priced, but with a view over port, so at least once in a while you may spoil yourself. Some places to also have a sand playground so if you are visiting with kids in tow, you may find a nice way to keep them a bit busy while you are having your lunch.


The foodie choice of the day: Maisel Biergarten, for a hot potato soaked in sour cream. A very countryside choice, easy going and unexpensive too. A couple of days after this visit later, went to check again the Chinese restaurant Regent where I've been the last time, and unfortunatelly, both the service and the food went a couple of steps and stairs down. 


The views are an invitation to slow down and get yourself away from the daily worries. Nothing to worry and be sad about. Not now, not today and maybe either tomorrow.


Far away on the other side of the river, Potsdam with its many attractions is winking at me, but I am lazy enough to answer its call. At least not now. It is so quiet around that it seems that instantly all the many people sipping their beers in the beer gardens, made a sudden agreement to not utter any single word for the time being.


Although summer may run away too fast - please, don't - I hope that at least once the month to be able to return here to try another restaurant at the promenade, walk near the river and enjoy every single ray of light. There is life after the summer but until then, I decided to get the best of every moment of daylight. A decision I am sure will keep it!

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