Oh how I love weddings! The nervous excitement and laughter that fills the air before the ceremony, the heartwarming declarations of love that give you goosebumps and the promise of a lifetime of happiness as two people vow to never give up on each as they embark on life’s journey together. Weddings are incredibly special events and deeply personal to the couple getting married that to be present and celebrate in their joy is truly an honour. And so after a few days of sight-seeing in Berlin, it was time to head to the beautiful town of Lychen in north-east Germany for the reason behind our trip – to see special friends say ‘I Do’! We arrived by train at a tiny railway station that made you think you had stepped back in time, especially after the hustle and bustle of the big city! We piled into cars and set off for the wedding venue, driving through the beautiful, lush green forests that lined the both sides of the roads.
Our home for the weekend was the picturesque Seehotel Lindenhof, a boutique hotel surrounded by a lake on three sides, making it it’s own private little island. We had a quick turn around before an afternoon of adventures, canoeing through the Uckermark Lakes Nature Park to our lunch spot. The sheer beauty of this part of the world is breathtaking and paddling through the forest down narrow little canals with their abundance of lily pads was like something out of a fairy tale. This area, known as the lake district, boasts over 100 kilometers of waterway and spectacular wildlife including beavers and pond turtles. Sadly as we weren’t too sure what to expect and there was a fairly steady supply of alcohol, I chose not to take my camera and hence have no photos to this hidden gem. The afternoon festivities set the scene for what was a magical weekend of celebrations and memories that I will treasure forever.
Before heading off on the Italian leg of our trip, we had one last night in Berlin. We caught the train back to the city with a few friends and after a relaxing afternoon at our hotel, we headed off to a Mauerpark Flea Market, a hive of activity on a Sunday afternoon, in a part of the city previously known as the Death Zone – an infamous piece of land surrounding the Berlin wall. A very interesting and eclectic mix of people (including a real-life sandman??) found their way to this neck of the woods, which has something for everyone with out-door karaoke in an amphitheatre, food stalls and a market that sells everything from designer clothes to furniture. We settled on ice-creams before making our way to Badeschiff, a floating swimming pool in the Spree river. Although it was seriously hot we didn’t end up swimming as food became a much more pressing need but it was still well worth a visit! Unfortunately, given the nature of this spot, photos are a big no-no. Finally, with very tired feet and a lot of city grim, we hopped back on the u-bahn (underground railway) and headed back to Mitte where we found a lovely Vietnamese restaurant for dinner, Chinco Vietnam, which although not very German, was just what we needed after a long day of walking!
I loved every moment of exploring this city and left with a slightly heavy heart as there was so much more to see and soak up, but that quickly changed as we headed for our next stop… ITALY!!