I decided to stat the year with a better plan about spending our weekends. Not being able to travel abroad, and preferring to always be on foot or by bike, kind of limited our options. I have the impression that we could have done more exploring in our back yard in 2020. That is why I decided to change that, and in the first weekend of 2020 we took the train to Brandenburg an der Havel.
It is about 40 minutes long train ride from the main station in Berlin. When we arrived obviously everything was closed except some kebab and coffee shops, but that was expected and we had brought our snacks Before coming here I had the impression that it will be a really small more of a village kind place, but actually there were places to go, sightseeing points and the area around Havel was screaming come back in Summer.
It is very colorful place, it speaks about the history, and it is not small at all, from the Main train station to the old town you need around 20 minutes pleasant walk
First thing that we spotted was the mighty Stone Gate Tower (Steintorturm), dating from the 15th century. It is one of the eight gate towers of the city, nowadays only four are left. In the past it served for defense purposes, and nowadays it is a part of the Brandenburg City Museum. Together with the river and the main street of the old town Steinstrasse (Stone street).
Going further we were admiring the colorful architecture and tried to explore as many possible tiny streets. The one that I like the most is obviously the one with the most colorful houses, in this case Kurstrasse, and afterwards taking the Wollenweberstrasse we were walking along the Havel river, and arrived at the most bustiling point of the city, the harbour. The building of the Werft restaurant looked gourgeus, and it seems as it is the summer meeting point. On the two banks of the river here there were the two open cafes, and people lining up for their dose of Mulled wine.
We continued to what seemed the end of the old town and it was the City Hall. Very typical for the city halls across Germany, and even Poland is that all of them have a Restaurant in the basement, usually called Keller. Not only was there a restaurant in the basement of the hall, but there was another very inviting restaurant right next to it called Inspektorenhouse.
If we would have continued further down we would have reached the Observation point in the Marien Park, but we decided to take another street instead. Strolling along the Bäcker street we learned that here lies the oldest timber-frame house in Brandenburg dating from the 15th century, also part of the things to see on the European Route of the Brick Gotic.
Another learning on this street was that Brandenburg has signature drink called Seelentrost or Soul Comfort, a liqueur made of beer and calamus (sweetflag). The most interesting thing is that it is being sold in traditional brick bottle.
On our way we stopped and stared at many other beautiful houses with great historic value and realized that “the backyard” has so much to offer.
We ended our trip strolling along the Havel with the rest of the locals, and then napping in the comfort of our train seats.