Friday, 11 September 2015

Glashutte - staying in an amazing historic village near Berlin

We went on a brilliant holiday last week to Germany to visit my friend and her family and join them for her daughter's first day of school celebration.  We haven't seen them for years - the children weren't even born the last time we got together.  It was also the boys first flight (and only my second trip on a plane) so we were all very excited.

On my friend's recommendation we stayed in the next village to hers, at a historic building in a place called Glashutte (please forgive the missing umlaut on the 'a' I can't see how to type it). 

The Museumsherberg Glashutte is a former school building providing youth hostel style accommodation with rooms containing 4 bunks and shared bathrooms, but it is incredibly reasonably priced (it cost us about 35 euros a night for our room and hire of bedding and towels), the owners are warm and friendly and the location is fantastic.  It even has its own reed bed cleaned outdoor swimming pool which was a big hit with the school group we shared the accommodation with during the first few days (I imagine very welcome as the temperature was 34 degrees C on our first day).  If you wanted to spend more and get something more private there are double rooms available in the main building and also other buildings you can hire in the historic village.

The village itself is well worth visiting, with a wide variety of craft shops and demonstrations of tradition skills, including the glass making which gave the village its name. 

For us the main draw was the proximity to our friends, but the peaceful location in the forest, near farmland and only a short journey to other attractions was a winner.  We did so much it will take me a serious essay to cover it all, so for now I'm sticking just to Glashutte itself.  Walking out the door we were straight into forest walks, complete with information boards and activities, such as this one 'how far can you jump?'.

 The boards covered all sorts of topics, including the different types of trees and animals that inhabited the area.  As a way of moving from my basic 'where is the library' school taught German and expanding our vocabulary these were really useful. 

As we were walking it started to rain, and at points when the kids were peaceful the total quiet except for the noise of the rain falling and our feet snapping sticks was something we don't experience at home where the woods are ringed with major roads and crossed by flight paths.

Ollie lay down and stared up at the canopy, which seemed a good idea so we all followed suit.  In the midst of constant busy activity taking time to stop, breathe, listen to the forest and watch the rain drops falling through the canopy was magic.

It's funny, we had a fantastic time with our friends, exploring museums, a wildlife park and so on.  We were welcomed into their family and made to feel really at home. We even went swimming in a swimming pool with penguins.  But one of the strongest memories for me will be that ten minutes spent meditating in the forest.

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