Sonntag, 28. Juli 2013

A Foreigner at the Falkensee

In the last weeks, I did not spend too much time in Berlin as all my time, energy and other kind of resources have been dedicated to preparing many days of travel abroad. Once back home, with the microbe of travel in my veins, I can hardly resist to spend one day without doing 'something' - either going to an exhibition, museum, visiting friends or going outside the city. 
As during my last trips in Germany I often stopped by Falkensee, I spontaneously decided that I want to go there, especially in one of those very hot days of the real summer in Berlin. I did a basic online documentation and after a delayed start, I was on the road again. The first stop was at Spandau, from where there are buses going directly there almost every 20 minutes. After one hour and a half of travel from a different transport zone to another, we were finally in Falkensee. 
And the rest was silence, as the streets were quiet, except some bikers and a lady in the front of the town hall/Rathaus that guided us to the 'see'. The area may be quiet, but not completely empty: there are banks, some of them hosted in building with a challenging architecture, bio shops - where I found an amazing pack of baobab bonbons - and many many good looking villas. Especially around the lake, there are a lot of modern buildings, many of them copying a bit the elegant style of the Grunewald residencies, with a lot of facilities and a noble look. Many have big yards that stop only 3-4 meters away from the sea so if you are expecting some privacy during your trip to the Falkensee you may not have it. When there are not the villas, there are the small groups of locals and visitors from Berlin, sunbathing or swimming - despite some signs that forbid it - in the lake. Joggers and bikers and dog lovers are also present and it seemed that almost half of the Falkensee was retired around the lake that day. It does not cost a dime and is pretty clean around so why not? Especially for children, there it is a very good opportunity to spend some time outside the house. 
I did not see too many hotels around, but the restaurants are well represented: many Greek specialities and the classical open beer gardens and some ice cream parlours. Youngsters gather in the Gutspark that I haven't find it too attractive and I will not cross it during the late evenings. Big maps - in Geman - can be found in different locations from the main train station to the center and there it is also a Heimatmuseum, dedicated to the history of the locality. From place to place around the lake, there are big billboards in German explaining the flora and fauna of the area, giving the feeling of being on a class trip. 
After almost two hours of lake hiking I felt a bit exhausted and went back to the station waiting for the bus to take us to Berlin. I must recognize that had higher expectations nature-wise, so the next time I am looking for some adventure in the middle of the nature, will rather look for a different destination. 

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