Saturday, October 12, 2013

Visiting a Berlin Gartenhaus

Public Transportation in GermanyI've always admired the small garden houses that line rail lines, dot the countryside and can be found all over Germany but never imagined I would actually get a peek inside. Generally, our friends in Berlin don't own more than a bicycle let alone a second home.

So when Ian's kita partner (aka his work wife), a life-long Berliner, invited us to visit her and her family's Garden Home we jumped on the U-Bahn.

Located deep to the SE of Berlin in Königs Wusterhausen (fun name, eh?). It was a bit of a trek but completely reachable by Berlin public transport with the purchase of a C ticket.

We were joined by Ian's boss, a transplant from Bavaria. In addition, Ian's kita partner's German partner and daughter would be there. This was one of the first times I would be intensely surrounded by only German speakers. I prepared for German language battle.

If you weren't in Berlin last summer, it was hot. Gloriously, stickily, schwül (not Schwule). Perfect weather for a garden house.

Berliner Gartenhaus

Garden house in Berlin Germany

I could totally live here.

kannichen Berliner Gartenhaus
There lovely little house is neighbored by family - grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts and uncles. Their plot is quite large with multiple gardens of berries, kurbis, tomatoes, herbs, flowers and complete with fire pit, rope swing, and above ground pool. The yard is complete with bunny (squee bunny!) who is a cancer survivor. That is just too good to make up.

The house is actually a series of buildings with a newly updated bathroom/shower house that wouldn't look out of place in any flat, a kitchen house,garden shed, and main house. The main house is simple but lovely with a sleeping loft and living area below. I just mourned the lack of camping in my German life, but this was the perfect compromise. Rustic, yet easy, surrounded by family, we felt like we had traveled a lot further than 40 minutes outside of the city.

We were also fed literally mountains of meat, beer, sekt, and wine as the adults chatted and I pulled out some German I didn't even know I had. At one point the conversation delved deep into plumbing and individual sewage systems and I lost focus. Though legitimately interesting to hear about, there was so much terminology I didn't know and I was caught by the humor of Germans engaging in a long discussion about poop. How perfect.

Anna was the only guest with an age in the single digits and she handled it like a champ. She fed us gooseberries by the handful, swam in the pool, and was generally the cutest little German girl ever. She led the way to the nearby lake and majestic field of grain. 

blond German girl

Trails in Germany

Germany lakes and boats

Königs Wusterhausen, Germany

The aforementioned food and alcohol lasted well into the night and we all made plans for an
emergency stay.  A fire was lit, more talking and drinking ensued. I am pretty sure it got silly.

Ian and I camped out in a tent (almost like real camping!) and  we ate again the next morning like German Olympic champions. Rolls, strong coffee, meats and cheeses.

With so much of my time spent self-sequestered on my loft bed, working away on the Internets,  this felt like a rare glimpse into the life of the echte Deutsche (real Germans). Can I say again - perfect?


~ cheryl said...

OMG - great story. Loved the photo of you curtseying in the garden, and those of Anna. Sounds like you all had a wonderful time. You say you crave the city, but I'm glad you had a weekend that reminded you there is a lot to appreciate in the country as well.

Love you . . . . . . .

Natalye said...

Looks wonderful! Although I love Berlin and all it has to offer, sometimes an escape to small towns and villages in the countryside are a warm welcome.

The Diplomatic Wife said...

What a wonderful experience! That picture in the golden field is priceless!

ebe porter said...

Thanks mom.

Agreed Natalye! Sometimes it is pure magic getting out of the city.

The Diplomatic Wife - It was just beautiful. And that shot in field is my favorite too.

We're Back in Berlin Ja!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!
ebe & ian at Yak-toberfest 2008