With our ever-advancing technology, snail mail post may soon be a thing of the past altogether.
But for the residents of a small community in eastern Germany, receiving post by boat is just a part of everyday life.
Inhabited by just 150 people, for centuries the village of Lehde was only accessible by boat. And for 118 years German mail service, Deutsche Post, has delivered post here by water, at least between the months of March and October.
Mail carrier Andrea Bunar rides along a stream in her yellow mail boat at the start of the delivery season in Lehde, Germany
Post service employee Andrea Bunar’s route takes her along a canal system, located about 60 miles south of Berlin
In addition to being an environmentally-friendly method, it is rather easy for mail carrier Andrea Bunar, who gets a workout as she paddles up and down the canals.
She delivers everything from letters to large parcels on a yellow post barge that measures nine metres in length.
She uses her own strength to propel the boat along the narrow channels to more than 60 addresses each day.
She covers about five miles every day and has been delivering the post by boat for almost five years.
The picturesque village is set in Germany’s Spreewald landscape, which is irrigated with 200 small canals
Lehde is known as the ‘city of punts and pickles’, with life revolving around punting and the famous ‘Spreewaldgurken’ pickles
The village is accessible by car but its residents argue that to see its true charm, you should arrive and travel around by boat
The Spreewald landscape is irrigated with more than 200 small canals and is an official Unesco biosphere reserve.
Lehde, also called Lubbenau, is known as the ‘city of punts and pickles’, with life revolving around punting and the famous ‘Spreewaldgurken’ pickles which were invented here.
Popular with nature lovers, visitors can glide through the peaceful waters where village ferrymen offer special punting tour experiences, including a nostalgia tour, an adventure tour, fishing expeditions and nature observation tours in small groups.
The preserved historic houses the Spreewald are completely under monument protection, making the area a popular tourist destination
Tourists cruise sit in a boat near the Spreewald village of Lehde, also known as Lubbenau, about 60 miles south of Germany’s capital
The preserved historic houses the Spreewald are completely under monument protection, making the area a popular destination for tourists.
From the Lubbenauer Grand Harbour, visitors can be transported via traditional Spreewald punt Lehde in just over an hour.
Nowadays, the village is available by car, foot and bicycle, but its residents argue that to see its true charm, you should arrive by boat.
As well as a historic town centre complete with thatched houses, romantic alleyways, galleries and tiny shops, Lehde boast a Spreewald-Museum, presenting the town life from 100 years ago, a castle district and ice-skating in winter.