Somewhat out of sync due to my little drag racing post, this is my third and final offering from our trip to Berlin at the beginning of April. Sunday dawned quite sunny, the wind had dropped but it was still a bit nippy. Today we took the ringbahn to Westend which is oddly enough on the west side of the City. From here it was a short stroll down Spandauer Damm to the beautiful Charlottenburg Palace. Up ahead thousands of runners competing in the Berlin half marathon streamed round the bend accompanied by what sounded like a brass band. We arrived just as the Orangery cafe opened so popped in for a hot chocolate and generous slice of cake to set us up for a walk around the park.
The Palace was first built in 1699 for Sophie Charlotte the wife of Friedrich I. It was extended in the 1700’s. Of course in those days Berlin was a fraction of the size and the area it was built in was the village of Lietzow. Today the 55 hectare (135 acre) park is nestled among housing, shops and busy roads. The River Spree borders one side and apart from the main lake there are several other watercourses. All this set amid beautiful trees and areas left to grow wild. This was the best place I have seen so far for wildlife with numerous bird species. In the summer I would think this is an oasis for butterflies and dragonflies.
We saw gorgeous Red Squirrels, a dashing Kingfisher and a mystery animal swimming across the lake. Beaver or Coypu? I will never know. I made my way to where it was heading but with a swirl it disappeared and we never saw it resurface. There was a tree by one of the channels which had been brought down by a Beaver so it could have been my first ever sighting of one.
We got back to the Orangery in time for lunch, a big, steaming bowl of creamy vegetable soup and crusty roll. A perfect end to the visit.