The sun was shining again when I clambered out of the tent. We had kayaked to Wolziger Lake in near darkness and camped near the water. We were pitched next to a small channel with geese and horses and moored boats and a view through reeds of the rippled surface of the lake. Roxy 2, our hybrid kayak, was resting upsidedown over the bags, and Scott was making tea on the stove. I was looking forward to exploring Storkower Canal, scared of the lock on the water map as usual, and feeling quite sore. The previous day I had drunk too much beer, got two bright pink stripes of sunburn on my legs and then paddled strenuously for several hours. In fairness, Scott does most of the power work and steering from his back seat, and I help by looking at the German water map and taking photos. I let him believe that his kayaking prowess is the ultimate Manc-skill.
Vabali in Berlin is what someone on an American style holiday show would call an ‘oasis of calm’. It is right in the middle of Berlin but even when you are sitting naked in Pandangan, the upstairs sauna, with a picture window and a wide view, all you can see is trees. No one can see you except the reclining Buddha outside the window. And the other naked people all around you.
Ruby was there to sort her life out and Vabali Berlin is where we started. Gently perspiring, breathing and silent. Looking at trees and lawns and ambling bodies slipping into the hot tub in the garden. A rambling hippy theme park with a coloured map and blackboards with timed activities involving oils and leaves and little pots of salt. It was Germany after all. Vabali is a green and calico surprise quietly spreading out amidst the traffic and trains of Hauptbahnhof. Continue reading “Berlin : Vabali – Ruby goes to the sauna”