Today we took an adventure, off to Lubbenau by way of the Ostbahnhof, eastern train center. At the Ostbahnhof we located the reservation office and turned on our Eurail pass, finally. We also found a laundry service that was a great deal less pricy than what we were going to pay at our hotel, oops. One of the fun things about travel is discovering how to feel comfortable.
With forty-five minutes until our train time, I talked Bob into coffee at McDonald's then when to O2 to see about getting my phone set up to use the internet while in Germany. The young lady clerk assured me it was really easy, asked for my passport, 10 Euros, had me open up my phone, pulled out the data chip and the Verizon chip and put their's in instead after getting me all set up.
That's when she found it didn't work because the US locks the phones to the service so they are less easily stolen. I guess to make it work, I should have contacted Verizon before I left, but I still have service; it's just listed as being under roaming charges and who wants to pay them? It would be nice for Verizon and Germany's phone companies to work out a deal.
In the process of finding out internet via my phone this way was a no-go, we missed the train and were forced to wait for the next train.
My solution was to have lunch at Subway. Subway had us select our bread size, bread (for me seeded and toasted, for Bob french bread not, meat (for me Turkey, for Bob, steak). We both said no to cheese, I had extra lettuce and cucumbers, Bob had lettuce, tomato, onion, mayonnaise. Bob said his steak was tough, mine was fine. My drink choice of Coca Cola Light was out, so I tried the tea and it was sweetened (what a waste). The food okay, the restaurant was mostly neat and the help well-trained and helpful.
This time we caught the train and I took some photos of scenery sliding past, lots of construction on the trains and played games.
When we got to Lubbenau, Bob was delighted to find a map (he's crazy about maps) and wrote down how to get to the Friedlander Museum. The road takes you into Lubbenau Center (Centrum) and past a church and along the river.
Bob wanted to stop for beer when he spied the mini-golf course--it was in the sun in a grassy field and I really thought it would be nicer by the river so I told him he needed to work for it.
Turns out, I had to, too. He decided we weren't going to take the boat out to Lehde, we were going to walk because the Spreewald was a hot spot of birding. The Spotted Flycatcher was our only lifer, spotted by seeing him land next to a tree trunk like a Wood Pecker. There was even a hole but he sat like a flycatcher, fluttered like a flycatcher and matched the photo and behavior. The rest of the birding was sort of punk, although I can see why the area could be wonderful, with lots of reeds and water and trees, including the dreaded cottonwood in full cotton mode, achoo.
After a really warm hike, we found the picturesque Lehde, and a restaurant, the Frolicher Hecht where Bob and I both had the Krombacher pilsner, nice beer, very drinkable. The waitress didn't speak English so between Bob's halting German and my sign language we managed to find out the word for spoon, luffel and have an order of chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce delivered, very yummy, with two spoons.
Then we went to the museum which was a fascinating view of a small town located in a narrow strip of land completed surrounded by river. They make their living from growing horse radish, cucumbers, and by making handicrafts like decorated egg shells and handprinted cloth.
Because space was in short supply, everyone lived close together and some families had three generations in one home, even sharing the same bed.
The local traditional clothing was on display, as well as examples of how they make the boats (they are like pontoons that they pole through the shallow waters), their tools, gardens, and more. We tried to return to the restaurant to find the boat back, but got lost walking through homes/hotels and ended up back on the road.
Birds: *Spotted Flycatcher, Mallard, Coot, House Sparrow, European Robin, Great TIt, Rock Dove, Starling, Common Wood Pigeon, Chaffinch, Common Blackbird, Black-headed Gull