THE CROOKED WOOD IN POMERANIA / POLAND

If only trees could talk to us. What strange stories would then submerge subsequently from densely wooded grounds like this weird forested site in the very North-West of Poland?

This most curious natural monument is situated Southern from the city centre of Gryfino at Nowe Czarnowo in Western Pomerania near the border to Germany. The fairytale forest consists of at least 80 pine trees showing a mysterious deformity and shape (other sources name 400 pine trees, but I have not counted them while being there). All of the trees have the same northward 90-degree bend at the base of their limb but despite bent beginnings, all of the trees have grown to be tall and seemingly unhampered by this deformation. There are traces of rowed plantings, however, the majority of trees are scattered about the normal pines. Some of them are in small groupings.

The most popular theory about how the trees became crooked is that a group of German farmers planted these trees in the 1930s, intentionally damaging the base in order to create some sort of product, perhaps uniquely shaped furniture.  The world may never know if it’s true because the German farmers were unable to finish their work due to their forced migration after World War II.

Others assume that a snowstorm could have knocked the trees like this, freezing them into a bent position until the snow and ice melted in spring.  There are plenty of trees in the area, all of which grow upright from the base without the funky curve distinct of the crooked trees. So the Crooked Wood remains an odd occurrence and unsolved mystery of exceptional green.

Jo’s Monday walk : Back lane beauty

 

ENCHANTED FOREST

In our neighbourhood at home one of our favourite trails for hiking leads through Briese Valley / Briesetal near the Northern gates of Berlin. The Briese is a small, not very long river flowing mostly in a glacial groover. Here you may find a wild alder swamp forest, beaver dams and marshland in quite original condition. During our recent visit nature has rested still in winter mode but at least some green to be admired on the watersurface.The nicest part of this trail starts at the village of Briese in the direction of Zühlsdorf over a distance of around 6 km. There it is possible to make a rest at a nice old forester’s lodge in the woods where you get small snacks (such as homemade deer sausage) and drinks during the weekend all year round and then go back on the other riverside with different views, a nice roundtrip of approx. 12 km.

 

 

Jo’s Monday walk : Natural beauty at Fonte Filipe

 

TIME FOR A SIESTA

The vast poetry of empty streets and colorful houses leaves a lot of space for imagination and dreaming following irrevocably very old ambitions. At noon the sun now moves slowly around the very next corner where the shadows shrink to minimalistic images of black, white, blue and red. All is slowing down irresistible, and time stands still for a while.

Jo’s Monday walk : Rock cistus and water

 

 

 

PRAVCICKA BRANA – GATE TO CZECH SWITZERLAND

Pravčická Brána is the largest natural stone bridge in Europe and a natural Czech monument, truly one of the most striking natural sites in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains and symbol of the whole region. It is located approximately 3 km North-West of Hrensko in the national park Czech Switzerland not far away from the border to Germany. Wandering paths are leading there both from Czech and German side where Saxonian Switzerland stretches.

Barberine Rock in Saxonian Switzerland, Germany
Postcard from 1906 showing the very first ascent

So this gate and bridge is connecting both countries in a beautiful and stunning landscape and may be visited during opening times for an entry fee. In 1826 an inn was constructed by the gate, and in 1881 Prince Edmund of Clary-Aldringen built there the romantical hotel Sokolí hnízdo (English: Falcon’s Nest) with 50 beds which you can see in the photo hereunder. 

Jo’s Monday walk : A tale of three castles- 2. Alnwick