Müggelheim, where Berlin looks like Sweden

Zur deutschen Fassung.

Staying in Berlin for two months, I get plenty of calls from readers, fans, friends and foes who happen to live in Berlin and want to meet up in person.

“So, where in Berlin are you?” they ask.

“Müggelheim”, I reply.

Most of them have never heard of it.

Then, they look at a map or whatever electric equivalent of maps people use nowadays, and they say “oh, that’s terribly far”. Which is kind of a weird statement, because the concept of “far” is relative, and surely, Müggelheim is closer than Samarkand or Saigon. (Although, I have to admit, the latter two can at least be reached by train. For Müggelheim, you have to take bus no. 169 from Köpenick.)

In any case, the people who called me are suddenly very busy, lose interest or have a family/work/health emergency.

Well, their loss and my gain, because it gives me more time to enjoy a part of Berlin that most Berliners never set foot in. They are missing out on a natural reserve, full of pine and birch forests, dotted with lakes and hills, crisscrossed by canals, and so peaceful, you can’t imagine that you are still in a city with 3.6 million people.

In fact, whenever I leave the house (the forest begins right there), I feel like I am in Sweden or on the Curonian Spit.

Because of the similarity to the Baltic Sea, there are even Vikings, rowing to ransack Rahnsdorf.

But of course they are no match for the Water Police.

Even the public transport happens by ferry, like in Stockholm.

And the best thing? While there is a Water Police, there ain’t no Fashion Police, so you can go about your daily business in jogging pants. Even if it’s a very serious business, like sitting in the forest and reading books.

It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

Many people who live in the countryside tell me that they could never live in a city like Berlin, with all its noise and traffic and violence and drugs. I have no idea what they are talking about.

You do have to watch out for sharks in Müggel Lake, though.


About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
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14 Responses to Müggelheim, where Berlin looks like Sweden

  1. Mueggelheim? Isn’t that where the muggles live?

  2. Romy says:

    Hello Andreas. I’d love to come and meet you in Müggelheim. Will you still be there in early April? (I’ve to leave Ghana, visit Rwanda and the Netherlands, first).
    Romy 🙂

    • Hello Romy,
      well, that sounds like quite a trip!
      At my speed of travel, it would probably take me 2 years from Ghana back to Europe.

      My stay in Berlin will be over by 22nd of March, unfortunately, after which I will have to hit the road again to who-knows-where. Probably a few more stops on my quest to find the center of Europe.

      But, still not having been to your allegedly beautiful island, I do hope to be able to visit some day!

    • Romy says:

      Hello Andreas… My couch surfing account has been deactivated! I’ve no idea why. You should come to Belfast at the end of April, start of May. We have 2 festivals running- The Festival of Fools, free circus and street theatre, and the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival – music gigs, art, spoken word etc… I’ll put you up & can help you get into gigs free (I work for both!)

    • Thank you very much for the invitation!
      But at that time, I already have another house-sitting lined up, near Leipzig.

  3. All that beautiful water and forest… yes please! Maybe not with snow though 😂
    Comfy pants are fine for country or city, IMO😉 I will always choose comfort and mobility over fashion.

    • It was just a little snow, nothing to worry about.
      And oddly enough, the day with snow was warmer than many of the non-snowy days.
      But by noon, it had already melted.

      I still don’t dare to wear jogging pants when I go into town, where I could bump into the Chancellor or a government minister anytime. :/

  4. ThingsHelenLoves says:

    This country corner of Berlin looks like my kind of place. Plenty of space to run the dog and no one judging my dog walking outfits. Fashion they are not!

    • There is so much green space here, it’s amazing!
      I have been going for walks for hours, still discovering new places, little lakes, moorland, and clearings in the forest. And I can walk for several hours without ever bumping into a car.
      It really doesn’t feel like Berlin.

      The only drawback of winter is that most of the water ferries don’t run (especially not the one with the rowing boat), so I often have to walk enormous distances to get from one island to the next.

      By now, I even dare to go to the shops in jogging pants. But only in the evening, when there are not too many people around.

  5. Pingback: Müggelheim, wo Berlin so schön wie Schweden ist | Der reisende Reporter

  6. Karen Lee Price Luda says:

    How utterly lovely! You do live a charming life.
    I haven’t called about my granddaughter’s visa situation as she’s fallen in love with an environmental engineer in Austin and will therefore be coming over for only the three months allowed under a tourist visa. I still hope you’ll come for a visit some time and peruse our bookshelves, though.

    • Hello Karen,
      I’ve also had the visa issue on my to-do list for a long time, but this proves my strategy yet again that most things can be waited out and resolve themselves. ;-)
      Also, love is not the worst region to change plans.
      (Your granddaughter should also know that as a US citizen, she can come to Germany as a tourist and then change her visa while she is here, should she ever change her mind.)

      I’ve actually been to Austin, but that was in the bad old days of working too much and I spent most days at the law library.
      And that’s why I am now walking around the lakes and the forest all day. :-)

      But I really liked Austin! Very different feeling from the rest of Texas.

      And whenever I will be in the Kaiserslautern area, or just passing through, I shall give you ample warning before.

    • Karen Lee Price Luda says:

      We look forward to it! The warning needn’t be particularly ample.
      Also, I, too, have often benefitted from ‘positive’ procrastination.

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