Rowing in Neuer See

Rowing in Neuer See

Peace and quiet in the city

– © Pierre Adenis

I dip the oar in the water, it makes a quiet gurgling sound, then I pull on it and the boat starts to move with a squeaking noise. Another stroke and then another. Before long and I’m in the middle of Neuer See (New Lake) in Berlin’s Tiergarten. There are already a lot of boats on the lake, with couples kissing, families picnicking and Japanese amateur photographers. The sun’s shining in my face, the sky’s blue, and the whole world is reflected in the water. I lean back, close my eyes and listen. I can hear children laughing, a few cars going by, the birds singing, the music from the lakeside café where I hired the boat. I feel the boat rocking quietly in the water. I take off my sandals and let my feet dangle in the water. I take a deep breath in and out again. It’s like heaven. So slow, so peaceful, so much nature, right in the middle of the big city. Then somewhere a church bell chimes, it’s two o’clock in the afternoon. I turn the boat round. My lunchtime break is over.