berlin is a curious geographical conundrum. wikipedia says it’s a number of times bigger than paris, and it does seem big to us. it takes half an hour by subway or bus to the center of the city (whichever “center” you pick). and since only 4 million people or so live in all this space, it doesn’t feel the least claustrophobic. the streets have large sidewalks and are lined with trees, there are parks and lakes and canals around every corner.
but, if you take the s-bahn in any direction and ride till the border of the AB zone, you’ll soon be in a completely different place. mind you, this is still berlin: a different berlin. like jiading it still shanghai… but not really.
up north in karow, for instance, close to where the wall used to be, horses graze on nearly frozen fields or around small ponds. there are paths marked by signs, paths that walk around small clusters of lakes, or up and down the soft hills. chopped trees, neatly piled on the side of the path.
near enough to the city that you can still see the omnipresent tv tower looming in the distance – but far enough that you can almost forget you live there.
we’ve discovered this path, the barnimer dörferweg through the couchsurfing berlin walks group, which we’ve joined. we’re looking forward to new walks when the weather warms up a little. they’re a nice and diverse bunch, so if you want to get out of the city for a while and breathe fresh air, you should come too! :)