Thursday, September 27

Island for sale

Werder Island, just 60 kilometers (37 miles) to the north of Berlin, is up for sale this weekend to anyone who has at least 95,000 euros ($135,000) to offer, the auctioneers said Friday. The island measures 42 hectares -- around 60 soccer fields -- and lies in a conservation area in a freshwater lake called Gudelacksee. The closest town, Lindow, is three kilometers away. From there, a rail link connects the lake with the German capital -- once a day in the summer and on weekends only during the winter. There are other drawbacks: the new owners will probably have to continue to allow public access and will not be allowed to build anything on the island. But it does have good waterway links to Berlin and to the north, all the way to the Baltic. The current owner is the German state, which has tried on previous occasions to dispose of the property -- without success. The auction takes place Saturday, Sept. 22.

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