Monday, July 24, 2017

Bloghütte Fläming - Four Days of Adventures in the Brandenburg Countryside

[Werbung / sponsored:] This is a travel and adventure report which is part of a cooperation with the tourist board 'Der Fläming', now written after I was invited to a blogger trip by them.



Oh wow, this is going to be a REALLY long blogpost with many many photos. So better grab yourself a pot of tea and lean back, it's gonna take a while... :)

Some weeks ago, some other bloggers and I went on a little adventure trip for four days and were invited to the Brandenburg countryside by the tourist board 'Der Fläming'. Fläming is a region in Brandenburg in Germany, south of Berlin. This region is full of wonderful nature, far away from urban mass tourism, but still super rich of impressive sights, creative activities and wonderful people. But see yourself what we experienced and become curious of going there on your own! :)



Bloghütte Fläming - Four Days of Adventures in the Brandenburg Countryside

So back at the beginning of June, Laura (Herz an Hirn), Katha (Kathastrophal), Lisa (Mein Feenstaub), Inka (Blickgewinkelt), Tobi (Der Kuchenbäcker), Antje and Flo (for Freiseindesign), photographer Greg (Greg Snell Media) and I were invited to spend four days at museum village Baruther Glashütte which is a technical monument, dealing with the social and technical history of the old glassmaker profession and lifestyle.
After having been there for a long weekend from Friday morning to Monday afternoon, I am still super overwhelmed by all the impressions and wonderful people we met, although a few weeks have passed since then.



Day One at Bloghütte Fläming

We spent our first day with a welcome picnic, a village tour, a glass blowing crash course and a wine tasting in the evening.

So shortly after our arrival, we were all welcomed with a picnic with fresh homemade bread, spreads and sausages, all made by Christian Reuner. So so good!
We sat inside a yurt and were all excited about the weekend being ahead of us.

Afterwards, the afternoon started with a tour through the village. We all had our own appartments at Museumsdorf Baruther Glashütte and had a super nice guide showing us around one of the oldest glass maker places in Brandenburg with its pretty ensemble of oven houses, workshop buildings and normal houses, telling about the past and the present of this village.
Among forests and fields, Glashütte consists of one main street and several pretty and old houses. In the center of the village, there's the old glass factory which is still in use. The peak of the glass production was in the middle of the 19th century and many of the glass makers inherited their profession to their descendants. Thus, many generations of men in that village have been glass makers. The glass makers' daughters were mostly occupied with sanding the glass until they got married. Afterwards, most of them were no longer employed, but stayed at home and managed household and children.

In 1861, they built a huge factory tower, nearly of the same height as the dunes around the villages. Until 1980, the glass industry in Glashütte was mainly profitable due to the good train connection.
In 1983, the protection of the historical monuments and buildings was officially declared and shortly afterwards, the glass production was shut down.
When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, lots of new businesses were founded and a new association with seven initial members started to restore many parts of the village.

Glashütte now still produces things made of glass and you can also go there for glass workshops with Steph and Christoph with whom you can produce your own glass ball.

Glass is an non-organic, undercooled liquid and at the same time, glass is liquid stone. So exciting. The team working at the glass museum and factory had so much knowledge and shared so many interesting information and stories with us!
Next to all the traditional design, Karina Wendt, an industrial designer who was raised in the Fläming area and still lives there, combines glass and porcellain in a really modern and super pretty way. Make sure to check out her website!

(Last two photos by Kathastrophal) 

So when being at the glass factory and museum, we were invited to a workshop, got to know more about the glass production process and blew our own glass balls.

The old glass factory ground is really stunning and we were all happy about having made our own glass balls. Yay!

What an adventurous first afternoon at Glashütte!
In the evening, we were invited to WeinSalon Glashütte for a wine tasting and wine workshop. We learned the basic terms for describing different kinds of wine, we got a checklist for degustation, did a quiz and were served a delicious meal by Gasthof Reuner, made with regional ingredients and matching the vine (or vice versa :)) which was made in Fläming as well. In between, we ran out for watching the perfect sunset in the pouring rain, a perfect ending for a great day.



Day Two: Time for Adventures!

On the second day, we had breakfast at an old train station, went to an abandoned military city photo tour, had a mini cooking class for lunch, a forging class and dinner with friends.

After a wonderful night in my very own apartment, we started the second day with a delicious breakfast which was served in the old waiting hall and outside at Bahnhof Klasdorf. Apart from organizing events and hosting the café, they also organize literature readings, music and dance evenings, such a fun thing!
Lisa with her brightest smile. :-*

My lovely friend Katha and her morning coffee. // The breakfast was so so good, versatile and homemade. Such a good start into the day.
After breakfast, one of my absolute highlights followed: we drove to Wünsdorf for visiting the abandoned House of Officers (Haus der Offiziere) with its military institute (from 1919) and army sport school (from 1933). The tour was held by go2know and took about two or three hours. Time flew by so fast, I didn't even check my phone, but was so busy soaking all impressions in, taking tons of photos and shooting short videos for my Instagram stories.
go2know offers those guided tours at abandoned buildings in several places and I absolutely enjoyed it.
The former Soviet military base in Wünsdorf is also called "Forbidden City" ( = Verbotene Stadt), because until 1989, it was a highly supervised restricted zone.
The House of the Officers and the military institute offered lots of amazing photo motifs like the historic swimming hall (built during the Imperial Era), a splendid theater hall, an officer's casino, the villa of the commanding officer and lots of impressive architecture and lots of everyday objects from the officers an soldiers of the Russian army. See yourself:

We could have stayed at the abandoned swimming hall for hours. Definitely one of my highlights of the day which will also receive an own separate blogpost.
The shower room.
Lisa and I were so so excited and took like a ton of photos.
After visiting the swimming hall, we went to the old theater, had a look at every corner and also saw the casino.

The main building was so impressive with all the details telling from past years.

We found confetti which was left by other visitors and couldn't stop shooting details everywhere. And isn't Katha super beautiful? :)
It was so so much fun hanging around with these two all the time. Such a good team! :)
Wow! That was really amazing! When we came out of the military ground after the tour with our super patient guide who had to step every few seconds in order to wait for us, we were so thrilled! What an experience! If you book a tour and go there, you can take bus 618 from Potsdam central station for about one hour until the stop 'Waldstadt Hauptallee'.

If you are interested in such kind of abandoned places tours, I also got the recommendation to go to the Army's Research Institute ( = Heeresversuchsanstalt) in Kummersdorf where one can find the biggest military monument of Germany. Moreover, in Wünsdorf, there's the Bunker and Books Town ( = Bunker- und Bücherstadt), the Airport Sperenberg and the Airport Jüterbog where it seems that you don't even need a tour for going there. What is more, the Historical-Technical Museum of the Experimental Base in Kummersdorf organizes interesting guided tours.

Afterwards, we hopped back onto our cars and then drove to the next stop of our adventure: Flair Hotel Reuner in Zossen. Daniel Reuner, of whose brother Christian from Hotel Reuner in Glashütte we had already eaten dinner the previous evening, also owns an own hotel and restaurant and uses mainly regional ingredients and vegetables from his own ecological cultivation.
The first highlight of visiting him was being able to see his greenhouses and the fields behind his hotel.

It's always the best feeling to know where the food you are eating is coming from.
For me, greenhouses are a really magical place.
He even has sheep! Too bad they weren't in the mood for cuddling, but this was the closest we could get.
This wonderful man was part of his team and still worked on the fields. His face was filled with laugh wrinkles, wonderful. He happily agreed on having taken his photo and he really impressed me with his super positive appearance.
At the hotel, we then enjoyed a quick cooking class with making fresh salad sauce from freshly picked herbs and were served a delicious lunch menu. Mhhh!

Afterwards, we went back to Glashütte, had some time to relax and went shopping at the local small corner shop.
Aren't those mint drop packages cute?
This is how most of the houses, including those in which we stayed, looked like. So pretty!

Next to all the glass manufacturing, there is also a forge in the village. Because Fläming is a region in which traditional crafts have been shaped through working with fire, this forge which is 300 years old has now been at this location in Glashütte since 1920.
Nowadays, metalsmith Peter Steinfurth works there and gave us a workshop in which we all forged an own simple knife. What an experience!

Wohooo, we made our own knives!

In the evening the village community invited us to a barbecue outside.
There were delicious homemade salads and cakes and of course also handmade glasses.
Sitting by the fire and exchanging stories was a perfect way to end this perfect and exciting day.



Day Three at Glashütte:

We spent our day with an organic breakfast at the pottery café, a sculpturing class, a handcar ride, lunch at an old train station, a barn windmill visit, coffee and cake at Albertine and then barbecue evening. See yourself!

On Sunday, we got started with a delicious organic and homemade breakfast at the TöpfereiCafe (Pottery Café) in Glashütte.
The breakfast was really good, it was served on their dishes which you can also buy at their shop and we sat outside in the morning sun.

Glashütte is so wonderful, we again walked around for a few minutes and one of the neighbors invited us to his chicken shed and we were allowed to feed them. Pure excitement, as you can see in Lisa's face. :)

The next thing on our agenda was a sculpturing class at Bildhauerbahnhof Sperenberg (= Sculpturing Train Station).
At the old train station and on the huge property, you can learn how to make own sculptures. The workshops are taught by Ine and Wouter Spruit who also sell supplies and own art. Moreover, they run a small café, host guests who want to stay over night and have converted the former chicken coop into the workshop area.

Such an inspiring place!
We all worked with soapstones and I made a bust (which a little bit also reminds me of a minion). Thanks for the photo, Greg! :)

Such a hot and exciting day!
(For those of you still reading this long blogpost, here's a huge HOORAY! :))
So after the workshop, we hopped onto a handcar.
With Erlebnisbahn.de, one can rent those handcars or other similar models and then ride along old train tracks south of Berlin. We even got our own special tickets.
Photo by Lisa. 

That was MUCH fun! We sang along, joked around, took photos and had a pit stop at Bahnhof Rehagen. It is an old train station at the old royal Prussian railway line. Today, there's a restaurant with sophisticated French and German food from France or from the Region of Fläming.
Moreover, you can stay there for the night and sleep in old train wagons which have been restored as hotel rooms, yay!

After the handwagon ride, we drove to another highlight, the barn windmill in Saalow.
This barn windwill (Scheunenwindmühle) is unique in the whole world and offers tours and explanations concerning the historical backgrounds.
Here, you can see how the wind wheel is located inside the wall and not on the outside of the building.

In the afternoon, we had super tasty homemade coffee, chocolate and tarte at Albertine. Mhh! They sell cholocate from all over the world and have amazing vanilla hot chocolate.

Later on, we were again invited by Gasthof Reuner for dinner. There was an outdoor barbecue with regional food (also with fresh fish and venison).
In between, Lisa and I explored some of the abandoned buildings next to the hotel restaurant and were delighted by the countryside charme.
After the barbecue dinner, we sat in the backyard for some more hours, Laura taught us a funny folk dance and Katha, Lisa, Anni and I danced in the rain to trash songs before going to bed. So wonderful! Lovely day, lovely people!



Day Four with Workshops and Farewell

We had organic breakfast at the WeinSalon, did a bread baking class and joined a Shibori class, wohoo!
So then it finally came, the last day. Most of us already felt a little melancholy after this super amazing weekend. For breakfast, we were again invited to the WeinSalon in Glashütte and had a delicious organic breakfast. I looove those GDR egg holders and their colors.

Afterwards, we met up with the local restaurant's chef and his bread baker.
We learned about the ingredients coming into a good bread, learned about dough kneading techniques and made bread.
Behind Gasthof Reuner, there is a stone oven in which they bake the bread for the restaurant. The flavor is amazing.

Of course, we were also again spoiled with really good homemade snacks and could hardly stop eating. What a pleasure!
Weather was good to us all weekend and as if the days weren't exciting and informative enough, we were also allowed to join another workshop. We could choose between felting, making jewellery with glass beads and Shibori. I chose the latter.
We were invited to Hüttenwerk 4, a shop and workspace run by Designer Christiane Wendt-Teschner. She taught us how to dye fabric with the Shibori technique and we all took home hand-dyed dish towels.

So as you might imagine, our goodie bag of the weekend was filled with lots of amazing handmade things from all the workshops and with some surprises from the local shop owners.
But the best "things" were not things: it was all about what we learned, the knowledge we gained and the memories we made. Those four days were really heavily packed with many items on the agenda, but every piece was well thought through and I am super impressed by the organizational skills of the team and most of all of the creativity and team spirit of all the people living and working in Glashütte. Such a wonderful community!

I'm so incredibly thankful for having had the chance to participate in this really special creative and culinary adventure in the countryside! Thank you so so much for inviting me, tourist board Fläming! :)

The whole long weekend was well-organized with good (mostly organic) food, awesome workshops and beautiful accommodation. Thank you again to my lovely host Cordula from Ros(t)ige Zeiten who provided me with such a beautiful apartment, her wonderful charisma and happy mood, sheep in the garden and a lovely farewell-gift. Also thank you to all the super open-minded village inhabitants who taught us a lot of exciting thing, who even let us use their private W-Lan networks and created a W-Lan map for the whole village for us (so cute) and organized a barbecue evening for us.
It felt like being with friends and family!

See more photos on Instagram under the hashtag #bloghütte_fläming and check out Katha's awesome travel guide blogpost and the wonderful detailed article that Annie and Flo have written for Freisein Design.

My heart is full! Thank you for this adventure, I will definitely come back!

Thank you for reading (and again hooray for all who made it through the whole blogpost ;)) and have a wonderful summer! Maybe you are already planning your next holiday trip or weekend adventure in Fläming...

Lu

P.S.: As already written above, this blogpost was written after the tourist board Fläming invited me to this blogger trip. All opinions expressed here are my own ones.