This week's fine weather marked the beginning of a rather unusual season in the Spreewald, an area south-east of Berlin known for its multiple irrigation canals, scenery and distinctive culture. As soon as temperatures rise sufficiently, post office employee Jutta Pudenz can be seen on the waterways in her postal canoe, delivering mail around the village of Lehde.
The 57-year-old has been delivering mail to the locals by canoe for 19 years now. And each year, the day Pudenz begins her watery business is marked by a press conference. She herself has become something of a tourist attraction for the many visitors who paddle around the area every summer.
And what, you may well be wondering, do the locals do about their mail in the winter? They have two letterboxes, one on the riverside and one by the road. In the winter, Pudenz can be seen doing the same rounds by bike. In the past, she has told local media that she prefers the canoe, because then at least she doesn't have to carry all those heavy parcels and magazines.
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