Schools of fish, Re­nais­sance towns, sandy beaches, and wa­ter mazes make Berlin's sur­round­ings well worth a road trip, Solveig Steinhardt dis­cov­ered.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

Week­end get­aways like Re­nais­sance towns, sandy beaches, and maze-like canals.

If you still think the best aquar­i­ums are the ones with the strangest trop­i­cal fishes, you prob­a­bly haven't been to the Ozea­neum in Stral­sund (www.deutsches

meeres­mu­ At this huge ocean mu­seum three hours north of Berlin on the

Au­to­bahn, the at­trac­tion is not the bio­di­ver­sity or the bright col­ors of the aquatic species. The mu­seum fo­cuses in­stead on the most com­mon lo­cal fish, such as sar­dines, mack­erel, floun­der, or tuna, and presents them by the thou­sands in gi­gan­tic, scenic tanks. The re­sult is truly breath­tak­ing: Vis­i­tors have the im­pres­sion of be­ing un­der­wa­ter, with thou­sands of sea crea­tures pass­ing above their heads. The Ozea­neum, housed in­side a mod­ern build­ing over­look­ing the Stral­sund har­bor, is spread over three floors, with an en­tire level ded­i­cated to Baltic Sea species and one for the North Sea habi­tats. Comprehensive ex­hi­bi­tions ex­plain the dif­fer­ent biota in great de­tail, from the coast down to the depths. On the ground floor, vis­i­tors can lie down and ad­mire life-sized re­pro­duc­tions of the world's big­gest whales and giant squids hang­ing from the ceil­ing, while sounds and voices de­pict the dif­fer­ent species. The visit can eas­ily last four to five hours, af­ter which you can take a walk in the his­toric cen­ter of Stral­sund, whose pic­turesque Re­nais­sance build­ings and city lay­out earned the city its sta­tus as a UNESCO world her­itage site. Or pack your beach bag and drive north over the Stre­la­sund bridge to ex­plore the Baltic is­land of Rü­gen, whose cities Binz and Sellin have been pop­u­lar beach des­ti­na­tions since the 1920s. But you don't have to travel far from Berlin to spend a day at the beach. Fifty kilo­me­ters south is Trop­i­cal Is­lands, a large la­goon-style pool sur­rounded by palm trees and white sand, all en­closed un­der a giant glass dome that used to be an air­craft hangar. It may look a bit cheesy at first, but it's a fun get­away for fam­i­lies and groups of friends. Last May, the in­door trop­i­cal bub­ble was ex­panded, and the brand-new trop­i­cal park, called Ama­zo­nia, now fea­tures 35,000 sq.m. (377,000 sq.ft.) of out­door aquatic en­ter­tain­ment, in­clud­ing a white­wa­ter river and a heated pool open year-round. Those who pre­fer a more idyl­lic get­away can drive down 100 km (62 mi) south­east to Spree­wald, where dozens of in­ter­con­nected canals make up a wa­ter maze sur­rounded by vege­ta­tion. Rent a boat, get a map of the canals, and en­joy get­ting lost in the ru­ral sur­roud­ings.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Germany

© PressReader. All rights reserved.