Friends and Family, Life in Germany
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Spreewald

You love your friends because they are generally witty, smart, sweet and awesome people.
But sometimes, there are a special few, who bring more than just their natural awesomeness to the table.

Meet Iman.

Brainchild behind the berry picking expedition.

Brainchild behind our Spreewald visit.

After several failed attempts and false starts, we woke up early one Saturday morning and headed to the hbf. Then, after an hour or so on the train and, feeling particularly energetic, we hopped off a few stops early to take a scenic ride through the countryside.

…Ultimately arriving at water, and German tourists in boats.*

*The Spreewald is a pretty strong attractant for a certain type of German visitor. They were on barges, being punted along the river, usually drinking and shouting annoying ‘helpful’ comments to everyone they glided past. They were acting so ‘touristy’ (with the negative connotations), that it almost made me feel like a native!.

It was all quite pretty- and boy it must be stunning when that wisteria (twisty vine on the staircase) is in full magnificent bloom.

But still, we hadn’t reached our ultimate destination!

Spreewald is famous for its gerkins, and I’m ashamed to say, that none of us ate any while we were there.

Instead, we had icecream (or fischbroetchen), sunscreened up, and headed for the water.

Bahareh and Mercedes were first in the boat.

They grabbed their oars, and rode confidently into the wall..

..but very quickly worked out the whole ‘steering thing’.

Andy and I turned out to be both fairly useless at rowing. He was definitely better than me- those strong climbing arms literally pulled through- but our teamwork was a bit rusty.

Which is to say, we spent a lot of time in the reeds.

And these guys…

…┬ákept pulling (smugly) in front:

I kind of liked just gliding slowly along. The sunlight being at its dapple-iest, lilies blooming, brightly coloured dragonflies zipping around: it was all super charming.

Some parts of our journey involved a dismount, and ultimate teamwork.

Which, well just look at us winning:

From Iman

From Iman
From Iman: Pushing his boat to the edge so he can climb back in.

Eventually, after what must have been over an hour and a half of racing, gliding, bumper-boating and photographing, we decided it was time for a drink break.

As we disembarked, some ‘friendly’ gorging tourists being punted past ‘helpfully’ told us how we should have landed our boats.

One of our number ‘helpfully’ suggested where they might shove their punt.

Time for a rest:

And no rest should be without icecream.

Can you guess the flavour?

Cucumber!

Of course, after the beers, we had to head back to civilisation. We managed to make a few wrong turns, almost got crushed between other boats in a super busy section, accidentally picked up hitchhikers (swimming kids), and spent more time in the reeds on the side of the river than I care to admit.

But we survived- which I suspect means we are True Adventurers! We should all really get some kind of badge.

There is something just awesomely fulfilling about being outside, in the sun, doing something (kind of) sporty!

We hopped on the train back to Berlin, and celebrated our calories spent with a massive Persian feast.

From Iman: Some people are meant to paddle, some people are meant to be paddled.

Thanks for the organisation Iman!

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