Paddle, peddle and piddle.

                                               Paddle, peddle and piddle.

After an almost constant diet of concentration camps, secret police prisons, nuclear power stations, stalinist steelworks and tout infested medieval towns, we decided to take a holiday.   

 If you have not heard of Spreewald, it is probably because you are not German. It is south of Berlin, a large area peppered by nice towns, where the river Spree spreads out into a mass of waterways and canals. We spent three days there kayaking, swimming and cycling through the towns, forests, flower banked waterways and green meadows basking in golden light.

There were places to swim whether you arrived by boat or cycle. And not a jet ski nor noisy powerboat to be heard.

One thing we had to get used to were the systems of locks to gently allow boats to traverse the different levels of the rivers and we had to learn a certain lock etiquette. It was very different to paddling in Finland with its wild fast narrow rapids filled rivers and vast lakes. This was so very gentle and domestic. There were even waterfront cafes and bars.

The main danger danger was paddling madly around the windy channels to come face to face with one of the many tour boats, full to the edges with large beer swilling Germans being serenely punted by a wiry lady or gent at the back with a pole. Jill dubbed them lederhosen gonoliers. 

Cycling was a similar experience except on solid ground.

And now for our main complaint about eastern Europe, a lack of toilets, a particular problem for tourists of a certain age with bladders to match. When you do find one it can be expensive given they charge anything from 50 cents to two euros for a pee.

Caught short on our cycling adventure Jill decided relief was needed at a certain spot beside a lake populated by a small squadron of curious swans. Given we had not seen another cyclist for about half an hour it seemed safe, but I was to stand guard.

 No sooner had she began than a whole line of cyclists appeared while she quickly pulled up her drawers. We waited, it happened again…and again about four times.

 Jill referred to it as doing “pee-rouettes” at swan lake.

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