Artists’ colony and orchard country
to Caputh, let the world be” Albert Einstein wrote to his son Eduard when he invited him to his summer idyll. Berlin, though not far in distance, is so far away from Schwielowsee lake. It was a quality the artists who started the Painters’ Colony in nearby Ferch greatly valued. Schwielowsee is just one of more than 40 Havel flow-through lakes which make the meandering river and its many branches such an Eldorado for trips by houseboat, dinghy cruiser, or canoe. In the Westhavelland Nature Park, Brandenburg’s largest nature sanctuary, stretching out around Rathenow, visitors can watch the Great Bustard performing its courtship displays during the day, or stare up into the night skies of Germany’s first International Dark Sky Reserve. Theodor Fontane, in one of his most well-known poems, eternalised a pear tree in Ribbeck. Nowadays there is not just “a” tree, but an entire pear orchard where each of Germany’s states planted a tree of their own. The whole Havelland is orchard and fruit country. Cherries and apples flourish around Werder where one of Brandenburg’s biggest festivals is celebrated every spring when the fruit trees are in blossom. The best place to pick sea buckthorn berries is Schwielowsee lake at Petzow, where a castle, park, and church are added attractions well worth a visit.