Everybody knows that if you want to glide along on canals looking at fabulous medieval architecture in Belgium, you go to Bruges, right? Well, think again!
There are not many places in Europe like Döberitzer Heide, former military training grounds turned into a nature reserve. This area of 5 000 hectares just outside Berlin was used first by the Prussians, then by the Soviet Red Army for live firing exercises, causing frequent bushfires which, strangely enough, helped create an ecologically valuable open landscape. The fact that the whole site was entirely off-limits to the public (no agriculture, no building projects, no power or transport connections) meant that plants and animals, while being menaced elsewhere, could flourish in peace in Döberitzer Heide.