Traditions still alive
The natural streams and artificial canals of the Spreewald are almost 1,000 km long. You can explore the UNESCO biosphere reserve, relaxed, and at your own speed, paddling a kayak. If you would rather take it more easily, you can have yourself poled along in the traditional style by a local raftsman (or raftswoman) delivering loquacious and amusing comments – or in complete silence, taking the “Quiet Boat”. In the Spreewald village of Lehde, which is built on several islands connected by bridges, you will feel as if you were in a fairytale village. The memories of the costumes and handicrafts of times long past live on in the open-air museum’s old Wendish farmhouses. The Osterreiten, an Easter equestrian procession, in Zerkwitz near Lübbenau, or the Stollenreiten, a more dynamic Whit Monday equestrian competition, in Calau, are two of the still-living local traditions. The Gherkin Cycle Path is perfect for bicycling. Whoever only associates Spreewald with pickles is making a mistake, because this is the area where most of the strawberries harvested in Brandenburg flourish. And then there are the Peitzer Teiche, an area of more than 1,000 hectares of ponds dating from the 16th century, and the largest single pond area in Germany, where today mainly carp are raised.