Claudia’s Garden, Part I

Mieke, Dennis, and I spent the weekend with Claudia in Altglietzen where her family has a small A-frame house in a garden community.

The forecast for the weekend was terrible but we had been planning the trip for weeks so we decided to go anyway. As soon as we got on the train it started to pour.

But the train was faster than the clouds and we got ahead of the storm. Claudia’s house is only seven kilometers from the train station but the rain quickly caught up with us and we had to take shelter in a bus stop.

We waited forty minutes for the storm to pass and then rode the rest of the way to the house, following a yellow brick road.

After dinner, we took a walk in the forest behind the house, which was surprisingly hilly. The low clouds and mist were beautiful but didn’t offer us much hope for sun the next day.

But the weather was great for mushrooms and we immediately found two Champignons (Agaricus).

Mushroom hunting was our main goal for Saturday -if the weather allowed it. We had even planned our menu around it so we had to find mushrooms -or starve! Luckily the next day the rain stopped and we took off towards the Rotkappen Forest. Almost immediately we spotted a crowded storks nest. One stork had found more space on a roof to the left.We rode along the Oder River that is the natural border between Germany and Poland. We could see an old paper factory on the other side that had been turned into a market where Germans go to buy cigarettes and other goods. Claudia told us that the bridge to Poland was closed during the GDR years and now that it’s open, there’s been a huge increase in traffic of Berliners driving to Poland to buy cheap gas.

Nevertheless, it was still possible to find quiet corners where time seems to stand still.

When we arrived in the forest, Claudia pointed out scarring on the trees where sap had been extracted. She explained that this how the GDR produced their own rubber.

We spent the rest of the afternoon looking for mushrooms and finding mostly lots and lots of Pfifferlinge (Chanterelles). We were able to gather two baskets full of Pfifferlinge, which meant we had dinner!

I was charged with the responsibility of transporting one basket safely home. We stopped on the way back for ice cream and cake and by the time we were finished, the sky looked quite menacing again. We rode home as quickly as possible but got caught in a really heavy rain and were completely soaked once more.Our story will continue in Part II of “Claudia’s Garden” …

  1. great photos. What are those strange barge-like things on the river? yum. mushrooms

  2. Howard said:

    Amazing mushrooms!

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