In May, and going right until August, a strange sight appears in Berlin. All around the city, but particularly in the U-Bahn stations, at busy streetcorners, and anywhere else you find foot traffic, a bunch of red, strawberry-shaped huts pop up. Interestingly, Strawberry Hütten park themselves mostly in the same locations that you’ll find religious missionaries throughout the year. If one of these popups is open, you can buy strawberries, of course, but I suspect something else is going on. There’s no reason for strawberries and religious missionaries to compete over the same space, unless…
That’s when I discovered Karl’s Erlebnis-Dorf, which I’ve decided is the Strawberry Homeland. The strawberry huts are simply strawberry acolytes spreading the strawberry word. For years, I’ve been meaning to make a visit. There’s a location right outside Berlin.
Now, you might be saying, Emily, this is ridiculous, strawberry picking is an old pasttime that many people enjoy. And this is where I’ll tell you you’re wrong, because there is no strawberry picking there, at least from what I could tell. There, parked off the highway, in the middle of truly nowhere, sits a small amusement park frenetic as it is but committed to its theme. Entrance is free, but you have to pay to go on the few rides, including a potato-themed (??) small rollercoaster that sounds and feels like it is going to come apart at the seams. Biblically-accurate strawberry angels–that is, animatronic strawberry faces with eyes and a mouth on the front and back–watch over the park, spreading the good word of the prophet Karl. Karl traveled the world trying to understand the Strawberry Way, and he has brought it here to Brandenburg.
For the sake of a short trip out of Berlin, accessible now via OPNV with the 9-Euro-Ticket, it’s definitely worth a pilgrimage. There are goats and pigs and screaming children and an incredible amount of kitschy, strawberry-themed giftware. There are worse ways to cap off a week of hard work.
What I’m Learning
- Lingoda B2.2 (review): 54%
The week ahead
A quick trip to Munich, lots of German lessons, and doing my damndest to not think about the anniversary coming this week.