TollenseseeSeptember 15, 2016 in Germany
Will had put in a few hours researching lakeside spots on his Maps.Me app and found several around Tollensesee, a large lake south west of Neubrandenburg. The first access point was in a residential area and had parking close enough for Poppy (who can't walk very far) to get to the small beach. Vicky thought she'd love to splash in the water but she didn't seem impressed and needed encouragement to come and join us in the shallows.
Will's next location took us down a rickety single track road with tree branches that scraped the roof and sides of the van. Luckily we didn't meet anything coming in the opposite direction and were rewarded with a tranquil grass and hard sand car park near the end. A few hundred meters further down the track was a pier and beach access to the lake. Will went snorkeling and saw hundreds of perch with pink fins, olive green bodies and dark tiger stripes. Later, Vicky joined him for a swim in the warmth of the early evening sun.
On our first morning we put the canoe on its wheels and trundled it to the water. Paddling in a clockwise direction we skirted the tree lined shore where the loudest noises were the rustle of wind in the reeds and the occasional cry from 2 pairs of courting swans. We came across a gap in the reeds that led to part of the lake previously hidden from us. When we entered we found a scene out of a fairytale. Large lilly pads created shade for a range of fish including two carp that were about 2 foot long. The sun sparkled on the small waves blown up by the warm and gentle breeze and to complete the scene we spotted a huge bird gliding just below the tree line. It turned and circled back over the top of the trees, giving us a good look at its sillouette and allowing us to identify it as a White Tailed Eagle!
Feeling stunned, we continued, cutting across the lake and saw hundreds of birds the size of small geese flying overhead in long ribbons, we weren't sure what they were as the sun was too bright to see properly but later we saw similar streams of cormorants, then cranes squawking and climbing the thermals in a large corkscrew.
We found a thin strip of sand to stop for lunch. It was so peaceful, with dragon and damselflies darting and the occasional fish coming to the surface of the calm water, protected from the wind as it was by the tall reeds. The return journey was hotter than we had expected for mid September, even in our swim shorts and summer tops.
To finish off the day we both went snorkeling and Vicky discovered the rows of what looked like sharp teeth on the fresh water mussels that lay on the sandy bed. It was interesting to be able to watch them open and close whilst floating above.
Tollensesee is a great place and we were incredibly lucky to see as much as we did from as many different perspectives as we did; canoeing over the middle, swimming in the shallows at the shore and looking through the window of our snorkeling masks into the underwater world.Read more