After twenty minutes walk from the gritty heart of Berlin’s district of Wedding, I found lake Plötzensee. This ostensibly tranquil, overgrown pond takes about thirty minutes to circumnavigate by foot. Sitting down on a bench about halfway round I was ready to label it idyllic; the most exciting moment was a pair of stony eyed frogs leaping from the water. However, just as I was entering a blissful moment of peaceful contemplation, a heavily paunched man sauntered completely naked from the bushes, looking every bit like a long suffering flatmate who finally got some privacy. Barring the odd jogger and cyclist this nudist was one of the few people I set sight on. A bit further along the track, though, I came across a crew of mischief makers who had scaled the rather flimsy fenced perimeter which tries, in vain, to keep people away from certain sections of the water. Techno of some variation whined from their little portable speaker, as they sipped cheap drinks in a billow of smoke, taking turns flinging themselves into the lagoon on a makeshift swing. Moving round the last bend of the water I saw a cluster of youth hostels and a sports centre with both tennis and football. My final observation was a charming little beer garden called Kastaniengarten, a place full of summer merriment.
Ubahn Seestraße, Tram M13
Nearby: Plotzensee prison memorial, Vagabund Brauerei
Price: Free entry
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