“Indian Summer” in the Mecklenburg Lake District
The Müritz National Park is a world apart: glittering water surfaces on small, magical forest lakes, soft hills, mysterious moors and echoing beeches. Our travel blogger Anja was once again on the road in our beautiful county and now she’ ll show you how to sail on water with a dog and get lost in the maze-like rivers of the untouched landscape.
It is almost like a dream of any stressed city dweller: to drive north by car and leave the city behind. Out of Berlin and the frenzy of the city. Beside my friend Sandy, I also brought with me her dog Kurt, a boxer. Kurt is a genuine Berliner and therefore very familiar with noisy cars, stinking backyards and crowded parks. On a saturday morning we brought him into the car and he looked a little in a bad mood. He was probably aware that he had a long car ride ahead of him. Grumpy, he looked at us, shook his head and dug himself in the back seat for the rest of the drive. Car journeys definitely do not belong to his favorite activities. He prefers to play in the woods and catch his old yellow ball, which he affectionately drags everywhere as if it were a handkerchief.
When we finally arrived in Wesenberg at the gate of the Müritz after about two hours and opened the car door, Kurt immediately jumped out of the car . With joy he jumped and wallowed on the ground, tried to catch flies and smelled flowers as if he was seeing them for the first time. This is what high on nature looks like, while I was thinking of some stoned friends in Berlin who are now probably sleeping off their frenzy from last night…
I watched Kurt and would have liked to do the same. Instead, I just stood still and breathed in the clear air. We were in the Mecklenburg Lake District, which took us less than two hours by car from Berlin to a completely different world. The luxurious green of the gnarled trees pleased my eyes and I had the feeling that I was getting my head clear for the first time after long.
The Müritz National Park is unique in the world and almost completely untouched by human hands. Genuine forests, lakes and bogs give an idea of what it could have looked like in Germany before the clearing of entire regions and built-up areas. While the 322 km² large national park in the west reaches as far as the Müritz, it attracts its visitors in the eastern part into the depths of the old beech forests of the UNESCO world natural heritage near Serrahn.
Canoe trip to the Schwaanhavel
Since this variety is best explored on a canoe tour, we rented a canoe in the canoe mill in Wesenberg. There the nice lady at the reception gave us a waterproof packing container for the tour luggage and a map of water trails. After a short briefing we sat in the boat and tried to convince Kurt that he won´t only safe but also very comfortable in the canoe.
A lot of space, some snacks and a cosy mat were waiting for him. However, he disagreed and all sweet requests, tender stroking and orders did not help: Kurt was not interested in canoeing and with a heavy heart we left him behind on the shore to explore the landscape from the water.
We went over the Havel to the lock Wesenberg, but for the first few meters we needed longer than expected. We, two big city girls, just couldn’t go straight with the canoe. In the zigzag course we went from one side of the shore to the other one and many passing canoeists felt forced to give us paternal advice on how to hold our paddles. The water sports people are united.
Right behind the lock we turned into the Schwaanhavel, a small river with enchanted alder forests and lush green mosses and meadows on the banks, which grew so wild that they reminded me of the Amazon. Tree trunks lay in the water, reeds grew over the whole area and we had to avoid branches over and over again.
The river and also the adjacent Lake Plätlin are closed for motorboats, because the Schwaanhavel shrinks so tightly in some places that also our canoe had to be pulled.
Kanu-Mühle (“Canoe windmill”)
Ahrensberger Weg 1, Havelmühle
Raft trip on the Lake district
The entire region of the Mecklenburg Lake District is ideal for cycling and canoeing tours, but on a raft tour visitors will also experience an unforgettable time, for example at Stechlinsee, or in Mirow and Rheinsberg with their charming castles.
I really would have liked to spend the night on a raft, that had all the comforts of a normal houseboat, and September is actually the off-season, but especially fishermen and people seeking for peace and quiet seem to have followed the call of nature last weekend and all houseboats were therefore fully booked. It’s time to finally bring some structure into my life and make long-term plans instead of waiting until the last minute, in the hope that an even better opportunity would open up.
So doing all our research one day before the departure did not help, and we eventually had to spend the night in a holiday flat. Fortunately, on Sunday morning some fishermen came back from their trips and made their way home. It was an ideal time for us to explore Lake Canow by raft and cruise comfortably along the lake district.
We enjoyed the warm autumn sun including the adventure feeling and comfortable swinging – slowing down to a whole new level, so to speak.
This time also Kurt honoured us with his charming company. His fear of water from the day before seemed to have disappeared as he laid on the deck with pleasure and let his ears be tickled by the airstream.
As the rafts are powered by only an eight hp engine , they do not require a boat licence and are also easy to steer for amateurs.
Tante Polly Floßtouren
Canower Allee 35
Junlge fever in the Müritz National Park
Of course, we could not miss the northern region of the Mecklenburg Lake District during our excursion into nature. In the Müritz National Park the responsible ranger Daniel Kowalt was waiting for us and told us about his tasks as a conservation area caretaker, the uniqueness of nature and the long history of the national park.
Daniel is a tough nature boy in his late thirties and comes from the Spreewald. He told how, after a few years in an office job, he has been missing nature, so he decided to quit his job and start pursuing his true vocation. In doing so, he radiated a calm satisfaction that is characteristic of many people who have found their very own way. Once again, I threw out all my career plans and started thinking about an old, long-cherished dream, which alternately included a surf school or marine biology. If only one could decide, I sighed theatrically.
Daniel’s soft voice brought me back from my dreams. He was just telling how he had studied landscape ecology and nature conservation in Greifswald with Michael Succow and asked me if I knew this man. I was ashamed to say no. Michael Succow was something like the “itinerant preacher for nature conservation” and played a major role in the GDR’s national park programme, which placed seven percent of the territory of the former East Germany as a national park and biosphere reserve under strict nature protection. Today’s Mecklenburg-Vorpommern alone accounted for four percent. Thus the Müritz National Park would celebrate its 25th anniversary this year.
Ornithologists in particular usually experience their paradise on earth in the Müritz, as many sea eagles and ospreys have their habitat in this area and can be observed from the numerous observation stations. The biodiversity of animal and plant species is enormous with over fifty mammal species and more than one hundred moss species. As Daniel told us that, his laughter shone all over his face.