I open my eyes again: Wow, it’s really beautiful here! I can’t believe I’ve never been here and no one’s ever told me about this place! The vastness of the lake, fresh air, spring flowers and great weather – I feel like I’m on holiday!
But I am in Tegel. No, not at the airport, but in Alt-Tegel, the last stop of the U6. From the U-Bahn exit, it’s just a few hundred metres along the road, also named Alt-Tegel, until I come to the Tegeler See. I have made myself comfortable on a bench on the lake shore. It’s a great place to spend some time, enjoying an ice cream I bought in the small pedestrian area near the station. As I let the warm rays of the sun fall on my face, I observe other people who have come here today, too. Many people walk along the lake on Greenwichpromenade, some feed the numerous ducks and swans and others climb onto the sightseeing boats for a cruise on the lake.
Looking for Marie
But I, too, had a plan for my trip to this idyllic spot in mind: I want to see the Dicke Marie! The hubbub on the promenade inspires me and I start my search. I make my way through the woods on the eastern shore of the lake past miniature golf courses and boat rentals. I encounter many joggers and cyclists – the Tegeler Forst is obviously very popular thanks to its idyllic nature. The sun casts its light through the canopy and many of the trees bend towards the shore. As I approach the marina, I suddenly notice a sign pointing off into the forest: Dicke Marie! Just 10 more metres and I then finally meet her: Marie is in relatively good shape, considering that she’s Berlin’s oldest tree, counting more than 900 years. Yes, down below you can tell Marie’s age, but high above the tops of the other trees, she’s putting out fresh green! Everything that this tree has experienced in just the last century alone is almost unimaginable: wars and destruction, the division of the city, and not least the fall of the Wall. I wonder if she’s enjoying this place today as much as I am. After a short detour to Tegel Palace, which is unfortunately not open today, I return to the lake. The boats sail to the Wannsee, Potsdam and even to Werder. Spontaneously, I decide to buy a ticket for a cruise on the river Havel, because today has once again confirmed what I’ve always known: exploring new places is always worthwhile!