For landlocked Berliners, far from any ocean, the River Spree that runs through the city is a big deal. In comparision, our Schuylkill and Delaware rivers have great majesty! Yet, how much Berliners have the opportunity to enjoy the Spree is great. This chanellized river has become a source of recreation and fun. Lots of boat rides, places to have fun and local restaurants dot the river. The new government complex is built on both sides of the river with lots of pedestrian bridges. One place that I love is where the rivers edge has been turned into a beach. One such place is at the East Side Gallery, behind the painted Berlin wall. Its great to visit this sandy hideaway.
The Badeschiff is hard to find, but when I do its well worth the efforts. A couple years ago, in response to demands for outdoor swimming a private entrepreneur decided to float a big swimming pool into the Spree. I somehow deleted all the pictures I took of the pool, so this one thanks to Dan Douglas, Director of the Raliegh Urban Design Center and a 2007 USA Eisehower Fellow who spent part of his travels in Berlin. Given that the river is not swimmable, this pool gave Berliners a wonderful way to experience being in the river. The pool itself is the hull of a large barge. A big bubble installed over the pool in the cold weather makes its winter worthy. This is a place like no other to enjoy the Spree.