We left the last post on a major cliff hanger–the promise of Huskies. They live in the tiny German town of Frankendorf: population 200, which was more or less along our route back to Berlin from Rügen. (Side note: Much of the German Autobahn now has a speed limit, however the route up and back to Rügen was largely unrestricted, so we put our little Seat Ibiza to the test! She cruised happily at 150 kp/h but 180 felt like a struggle so we only edged closer to 200 kp/h a few times. Lane edict in Germany is a thing of beauty; in the city, people drive like Mario Andretti after a bad day, but on the Autobahn, the lane keeping is like a ballet of efficiency.) Anyway, back to Huskies, legitimately, this operation happens in the huge backyard of a husband/wife duo who love dogsledding and dogkarting. Naturally, their backyard pours directly into the Kunstertal forest…perfect for their pack of 30 husky dogs. We signed up for the 12km hike through the forest not really knowing exactly what to expect, but it was better than imagined! Without further ado, here is the first thing I saw upon entering their backyard.
You can imagine my excitement. But incase you couldn’t, here it is:
After gearing up with around-the-hip leashes and listening to the opening remarks in German, the dogs were beside themselves and ready to work. They let the dogs out (who, who who who!) and the dogs chose the person they wanted to hike with. I was chosen by Wilma (say it in a German accent– Vilma –that’s better) and Ted was selected by Eda. We learned how to speak basic commands in German, and set out through beautiful wooded forests, complete with a natural spring, leaves crunching underfoot, and mid-trail snacks. The dogs had unique personalities which shone through right away: Eda was super chill, not easily distracted, and loved to lay down – – especially in mud (see below). Wilma was a competitive pup who loved to go fast and focus on her work. Once the hike was complete, the dogs were completely happy and in snuggle mode.
Notice aftermath of the puddle lounge session above.
The funny thing about the around the waist leashes is that the dogs are constantly pulling you, which sounds like a help, except they forget (or probably purposely) elect not to pull you up hills.
If you have an extra day or 2 in Berlin, I highly recommend the experience!!
Once back in Berlin, we really took the next 3 days pretty easy, giving our bodies a chance to rest. For context, we’re currently averaging 9 miles of walking each day and have walked over 130 miles since arriving in Europe.
This time, we stayed in an area called Kreuzberg, which is basically the Mission District in San Fransisco but with fewer (exactly zero) taquerias (sadly) and although it’s the hip part of town, Ted and I preferred our first neighborhood’s charm more. One thing Kreuzberg has going for it is cheap eats and we took advantage. Korean fried chicken at Angry Chicken was so good we had it twice, and I discovered the world’s best yogurt. We did laundry without an elevated heart rate this time, and finished season 1 of Netflix’s, Love (also recommended).
Between delicious meals and naps, we still met up with one of Ted’s friends who is currently living in Berlin (THANKS LINA!), checked out Classic Remise, a really neat car collection/ storage facility, and walked along the East Side Gallery, a section of the original Berlin Wall which was painted by artists shortly after it fell.
Today, we set off on our first inter-country train to Prague, which I’ll update on soon. Basically, after just a few hours in Prague, it totally has my heart and I’m thrilled we’re spending 10 whole days here! A sneak peak on why:
More in a few days… Bone Voyage!
Posted from: our AirBnB in Vinohrady, Prague 2, Czech Republic.