…and a little bit further!
Why didn’t I do this before … I am completely thrilled after leaving Karl-Heinz and am already thinking about when we can go to Brandenburg an der Havel again.
But one after the other …
It’s Sunday morning, a really golden October day with over 20 degrees awaits us. We drive the hour from Berlin-Siemensstadt to Brandenburg an der Havel and are excited to see what awaits us. The starting point is the Havelfloß guesthouse, where you can hire rafts and explore the waterways around Brandenburg an der Havel without a boating licence.
The guesthouse is somewhat hidden behind a narrow driveway. Here you can not only rent rafts, but also stay overnight in one of nine rooms directly on the Havel.
A warm welcome to Karl-Heinz!
We are already expected by Mrs Dierich, the owner of the guesthouse. She also introduces us to Karl-Heinz.
Karl-Heinz is the name of our raft, which is at our disposal for the day.
We don’t think we’re going to sail around like Huckleberry Finn on a few wooden logs hammered together. No! A small floating holiday home awaited us.
The “house raft” is designed so that you can spend the night here with a maximum of 5 adults. With a few simple steps, the benches can be converted into beds.
There is also a small gas cooker, a dry toilet, camping chairs and some crockery on board. So the basic equipment for a great trip on the lakes and the Havel around Brandenburg.
While I get the “inner workings” of the raft explained to me, Patrick gets an introduction so that he can drive us safely through the area. Even if you don’t have a boat licence, you are allowed to use the 8-horsepower motor on the waterways. For inexperienced “sailors” it is quickly possible to steer the raft. The only thing that takes some skill is docking and casting off at the jetty, and you should avoid the excursion steamers, as they are reluctant to deviate from their route.
After the technical details are settled, we sit in the sun for a while. On our tour, we were accompanied by Mr Heise, a city guide from the city of Brandenburg an der Havel. He showed us the water map of the area and together we decided in which direction we wanted to go first – upstream or downstream.
Let’s go to Acapulco
The decision has been made, we went to Acapulco first. However, our Acapulco is not quite so far away, it goes to the Beetzsee.
With Patrick at the wheel, we cast off and drive along the Havel for a while, which then leads us into the long Beetzsee.
I already know that I like this trip. Autumn shows its first traces in the trees along the shore, the sun glistens in the water and we are surrounded by an unbelievable calm. The raft can’t go fast, so it goes comfortably past fishermen in their boats. Birds fly over the lake – it’s beautiful!
When we arrive on the Beetzsee, we first head for a figure standing on a pillar in the middle of the water. This is Fritze Bollmann.
Who was Fritze Bollmann?
Fritze Bollmann was a barber in Brandenburg (1852 – 1901). He ran his own shop in Brandenburg an der Havel from 1882 – 1896. He was actually a hard-working barber, but nevertheless he fell into economic hardship and became addicted to alcohol. He was often drunk in the city and quickly became the laughing stock of the children. Bollmann did not understand the children’s mockery, chased them and splashed them with shaving foam. He became more and more the laughing stock of Brandenburg. When he then also stepped out of the barge while fishing in the Domstreng, the children of the town wrote a mocking song about him. There was even a postcard with the lyrics of the song, but its distribution was quickly banned.
The song is still sung today. From the initial 2 stanzas, further additions were later made, which also changed again and again. This text is a variant of the song.
A statue of the fishing Fritze Bollmann now stands in the middle of the Beetzsee and reminds us of the barber.
We continue on our way to Acapulco past the Beetzsee regatta course. The listed facility is the only regatta course in eastern Germany that is suitable for international competitions. Rowing and later canoeing competitions have been held here since 1969. In 2009, the course was extended from 6 to 8 lanes.
Welcome to Acapulco
A small island at the end of the regatta course is popularly called Acapulco. The actual name is Hünensteg. In the summer months, the small island is used as a bathing island. Houseboats, rafts and other boats are anchored here. There is a small beach, but now in autumn I can’t imagine a South Seas feeling like in Acapulco here. But who knows, maybe in summer it will be a place that invites you to swim.
Before the expansion of the regatta course, the Hünensteg was a peninsula. The connection to the land was severed to make room for more race courses.
While we go around the island in our raft Karl-Heinz, Mr Heise tells us the legend of the island’s origin:
At the time when giants/huns still lived in the region, a family of huns regularly crossed the lake at this spot. Father and mother only had to take one big step and always arrived on the other shore with dry feet without any problems. The girl never made it, despite a mighty leap, and always landed in the water. One day the girl took a handful of sand and threw it into the water of the lake. This created a small elevation, the Hünensteg, which from then on enabled her to cross the lake with dry feet.
After we have circumnavigated Acapulco, we decide to go back to Brandenburg an der Havel to get some more impressions of the city from the water.
On the move by raft in Brandenburg an der Havel
We cycle along the Brandenburg Niederhavel until we come to the Domstreng. A Streng in Havelland refers to the narrow, often man-made waterways between two lakes. We enter the narrow canal and soon we can see the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral.
When an excursion boat appears behind us, we decide to make a short stop. We moor at a camper van parking lot. From here you can walk across a footbridge to the cathedral and discover the former castle mill, which is now a residential building.
The excursion boat has to turn around here, the Domsteg ends here. We also return to the Niederhavel.
We turn off again at the next junction and enter the Näthewinde. Here, many arbours stand on the bank, small footbridges lead to the water. For me as a city dweller, a welcome idyll, a place where I could certainly recharge my batteries. The Näthewinde ends at the Mühlentorturm, we turn around and head back.
We pass the St. Johanniskirche and the hidden Slawendorf. We continue along the Brandenburg Lower Havel until, after 4 hours on the water, we decide to return to the Havelfloß guesthouse.
Patrick skilfully moors at the jetty with Karl-Heinz and I immediately ask him when we want to go on another tour. I am calm and balanced, completely relaxed and can imagine even spending the night on the raft on another tour.
Information about the raft rental of the Havelfloß guesthouse can be found at the Website .
The trip on the raft and the expert accompaniment on board were made possible for us free of charge as part of a research trip. Many thanks! The report on this was written independently.