No matter how much I tried to explore the Nothern part of Berlin, there is apparently a lot left to still discover. There are small little towns where you can walk on small cobblestone streets with a view of the former communist blocks of houses all surrounded by lakes and thick forests like in Strausberg, but most of it is at a great extent left out of the usual travel lists. Unless you are a biker and you know your best routes in the middle of nature.
As I am not a biker, but I love hiking and in summer and late autumn I am trying to plan as much time as possible outdoors, preferably in the middle of natural, green surroundings.
This time, I wanted to explore a small part of the Naturpark Barnim, which starts close to the Pankow area of Berlin.
Our SBahn ride stops in Buch, and from there, only a couple of minutes away from the train station, there is a little wild oasis of wilderness waiting for us.
A wilderness with an intensive human presence, as there is a Kindergarten operated from here, which, at least for the summer time, might be a delightful experience for the little children learning life skills in such a surrounding.
The more we walk the one-person pathways, bordered by unspoiled weeds and trees, the quietness is queen and only the view of the concrete buildings form afar and of the trains coming and going to the station remind that we are still close to the city.
After one hour of very slow and easy walking - regular sport shoes can easily help to do it - there is not other human in sight. High-note screams of seaguls lost on their way to the big seas followed by more modest chirpings are the only remarkable sounds breaking the magic of our little urban reveries.
A big lake, well hidden adds more mystery to the entire landscape. It is surrounded by so much mud and wild vegetation that it can be seen only a bit later, from an observation point set up near one of the exits. From you can also eventually notice birds like herons or ducks that, according to the many presentations that we see during our hike, are the regular inhabitants of this area.
There is no way to get lost, and one can take the liberty of running up and down, back and forth through the green carpet of grass.
The outwordly stillness of the moores a little spooky note to the hike, just when we were about to leave the area for continuing our exploration.
Out from the pristine landscape to the urban jungle, the wild summer flowers blooming from the concrete are a reminder that summer wraps in beauty even the ugliest city corners.
But we have just another small thing that we want to eff during this trip. We continue our SBahn trip to Röntgental, a small residential area bubbling with life, where people are either enjoying an open air family picknick in the Goethe Park - with a close-by Schiller Park - or trying the latest icecream flavours at the many parlours opened around.
Slowly walking surrounded by the bustle of motorbikers we are finally arriving Panketal, which looks like an old farming village, with its bricked houses.
A couple of meters away, there is our final destination of this short trip: Zepernick Riding Center. Horses of all ages and breeds are either enjoying their lunch break or training in many of the arenas around. There are so many people around yet there are only the horses in motion that can be heard. I can keep watching those noble animals for hours and still not having enough of it.
The entire location suits the needs of the many 4-leg residents, with food supplies and personnel careful to cater to the everyday requirements of the horses.
As we are heading back to our connection back to the heart of Berlin, we feel refreshed by spending so much time in natural surroundings. Hopefully, would be able to come back in this area soon to explore more.