It’s summer! Berlin is one of the greenest cities in the world, and now is the time to enjoy long walks in the woods, by the water or through the fields. If you’re looking for footpaths and bike paths in the greenery, away from traffic, take a look at the 20 Green Walks (20 grüne Hauptwege) that the city has developed as green corridors between different parts of Berlin.
You can walk along the:
- Spree all the way from Spandau on the western border of the city to Erkner on the eastern border. (Not all in one day, however: it’s 59 km!)
- Havel and its lakes from the north edge of the city to the south edge and on into Potsdam
- little river Panke straight up from the centre of the city northwards, through the Schlosspark Buch with its salmon-pink Rococo church, all the way to Bernau, with its medieval walls.
For more ambitious walkers, there are major hiking trails in Brandenburg, easily accessible by public transit: for example, the 66-Lake Path that makes a big circle around Berlin. If you hit the Briesetal segment of the 66-Lake Path at exactly the right moment in the summer, the little islands in the river Briese, a metre or two square, are covered with blue forget-me-nots with little clouds of blue butterflies hovering over them. (And if you hit it at the wrong moment, you may be eaten alive by the mosquitoes … but hiking does have its ups and downs!).
For less ambitious walks, there are always the wonderful Berlin parks, not just the most obvious ones, like the Tiergarten and the Tempelhofer Feld, but also a whole array of others. Try the:
- Britzer Garten with its marvellous plantings of roses and dahlias and spring bulbs
- Schöneberger Südgelände with its old locomotives lost in the woods and the Shakespeare Company of Berlin in the outdoor theatre in summer
- Botanischer Volkspark Blankenfelde-Pankow with its seasonal treats: a meadow covered with blooming heliotrope, or the Allees lined with apple and plum and cherry trees.
Wishing all BIWC members a great summer. There’s plenty to enjoy in and around Berlin!
BIWC member Joan Luft (USA)