A story of Arrival: Discovering the Spreewald
Gherkins are not sexy, and the Spreewald is a holiday destination for weary retirees - or so the author of the following short story believed before she traveled to Lübbenau. Now she knows better.
I admit when Katja called and announced their chosen destination for our next long weekend my first reaction was an incredulous laugh. The Spreewald? Oh please!
We - Katja and Daniel, Mirko and I - are very good friends. Two or three times a year we treat ourselves to a weekend getaway the destination being picked alternatively between us. The four of us like fun, Indulgence, a touch of culture or maybe even a small athletic challenge. We have visited Paris and Vienna together, been to Sylt, and once we even went on a hiking adventure.
And now the Spreewald. As we left I felt as if a "Spreewald Pfeffergurke" was stuck sideways in my the throat. Mirko was driving, and he looked a little grim as well. Along both sides of the highway the landscape turned increasingly flat. So flat that I dozed off.
I woke up to someone whistling a hilarious and relaxed ditty while the other two were talking quietly. I rubbed my eyes and looked around. We wee driving on a country road now. Sure it was still flat but there was no trace of desolation. Left and right mighty trees slid slowly past us behind which were fields and small forests and clearings every now and then intersected by a small wooden bridge crossing a stream and above all the blue sky. We passed through quiet villages and passed small groups of cyclists. It was as if nature had created a lovely park on a whim. "This is beautiful..." I found myself saying.
"We can take a Spreewald boat tour or canoeing on our own, do some hiking, get to know the Sorbian life style, go cycling all from our location in Lübbenau..." said Katya. She sounded happy.
So far I had refused even to think about the details of this little vacation but suddenly I was sure that even if we only did a fraction of the things Katja had listed we would not be bored for even a minute. In front of us was the promise of sweet relaxation and surrounding us was the magic of a fairy-tale landscape.