Staycation Collection member Amy took a mid-week mini-break last week, and one of her highlights was lazing around on a lake (Großdöllner See). Here she shares her experience.
“Last time I tried stand-up-paddle boarding was in Ibiza a few years ago: we went straight out off-the-back of a pretty heavy night in Amnesia and an early morning ferry to Formentera. Needless to say, I wasn’t a natural and vowed never to partake in the sport again, especially after having been washed ashore and forced to drag the paddleboard over rocks to get back to the beach I set off from.”
“After a solid session of sunbathing, gossiping and laughing (probably far too loudly!), the unspoilt tranquillity of the Brandenburg lake beckoned to me, and since the paddleboards were sitting on the sand waiting to be commandeered, I decided to give it another shot.”
“As it turns out, paddle boarding on a flat lake and in the sea are two very different things! I loved floating along on the lake and I soon gained the bullish - and ultimately misguided - confidence of a Brit on holiday. I also knew that no water-sports activity is complete without a good mouthful of water. After experimenting with some vigorous dance moves in the name of comedy, I took a tumble into the clear water (luckily I didn’t lose my sunglasses).”
“Once I regained my poise, we took a full tour of the lake after discovering a secret bend, which is hidden from the shore. I got stuck in an undercurrent at one point, and then almost lost one of my camo-print Crocs in a spot of quicksand. The feeling of furiously paddling whilst getting absolutely nowhere provided a soothing reminder that sometimes life is just like that, but at least I’d managed to get an arm and leg workout in whilst trying to escape my predicament. I call that a day well spent.”
“Next up was coffee and ice cream, after which I fell into the kind of nap you can only get on vacation: heavy with sun and feeling obscenely relaxed."
“Stand-up paddle boarding is a mix of canoeing (but standing up) and surfing (but easier). You jump on this big, foamy board and gently propel yourself with an oar. Steering takes a little while to master, but it’s pretty intuitive.”
“I went with a friend, and it was lots of fun to drift along side-by-side, talking nonsense and soaking up the sun. I’d also consider going out by myself as I found it so relaxing.”
“On our first day, we went out for an hour or so, but on day two, we spent a few hours circling the few adjoining lakes. I’d say 1.5 hours was the optimal time!”
1. “Being told by two women how graceful we looked on the boards!”
2. “It’s really satisfying to try - and succeed - at something new”
1. “I got off the paddleboard a little too far from the beach, and stepped into a huge patch of quicksand!”
2. “That I had to come home! It was such a little paradise”
What to take.
“Be sure to put lots of suncream on before you go out, as the sun is strong when reflected off the lake. I nearly lost my sunglasses, so either leave them onshore or use a strap.”
Numerous properties in The Staycation Collection have paddleboards for guests. But there are lots of places where you can rent a board by the hour.
In Berlin, Stand Up Club rent boards from Funkhaus and Stand Up Paddling Berlin Schlachtensee, as you might imagine, rent boards for use on Schlachtensee. If you’d rather head out to Brandenburg, check out this website for a full list of rental places.
Thanks for sharing, Amy! If any of you would like to share your adventure, please get in touch!