Treasures of Scandinavia & Russia

Warnemunde, Germany

Thursday July 24, 2008

From the Navigator

After departure from Stockholm, the ms Rotterdam sailed in a southerly direction towards Warnemunde. Passing through the traffic lanes we will embark our pilot at 4:30am and be docked at the Warnemunde Passenger Pier by 6:00am.

Welcome to Warnemunde, Germany,

Germany has produced some of the most prolific figures in history; Karl der Grosse, better known as Charlemange, the first post-Roman Europe, the obscure German monk, Karl Mark and Freidrich Engels. The legacy of these individuals will forever live in the pages of history, and today as Germany faces the social, economic and political avenues of change. One cannot help but be reminded of the intellectual, cultural and historical wealth that a unified Germany has to offer. Warnemunde is Rostock’s huge resort area, and the site of its ferry terminal. Its architecture has distinguished itself by the “glass boxes” attached to the house fronts.

Whether they are called balconies, verandas or pavilions, it is these old glass boxes which give the place its character. This former fishing village was purchased by the merchants of Rostock in 1323 to safeguard the Hanseatic city’s access to the sea. Originally consisting of only two rows of cottages, the village gained a reputation for being one of the finest bathing resorts in the Baltic and grew to the charming and popular town it is today.

Colorful fishing boats are moored in the Alte Stropm, and the former cottages facing it now, house boutiques, pubs and cafes. Visit the Kirchplatz square around the church and the wide sandy beach, which is very popular in the summer with German tourists.

A 115 foot high lighthouse is the town’s landmark which offers wonderful views of the coast and Rostock. (Rotterdam Daily Program notes).

Our Visit

Barbara and I had booked an afternoon tour to the village of Wismar, so we had the morning to just stroll around this lovely resort town, with its picturesque streets and homes. The heart of the “village” was just a short walk from where we were docked. Leaving the ship, we strolled leisurely along the Am Banhof, under the railroad tracks, and crossed over the Alte Stropm on a neat pedestrian bridge (sometimes shared by wheeled vehicles). We wanted to take pictures of the church in Kirchplatz square and explore that area.

Just past the square we stopped by a small grocery store to just “snoop”. (Later I returned to purchase “der halbe liter“bottle of German “pop-top” Flensburger Pilsener Beer). As we made our way to the canal we encountered one of the horse drawn wagons loaded with passengers from our ship, who were on their way to a farm visit.

It was getting very hot, and the Village was getting crowded with hoards of German tourists who had been arriving steadily by train for their holiday at the beach. Before we headed back to the ship Barbara walked along the causeway to the small harbor entrance marker, to take some more pictures.

It was such a peasant way to start our “day” in Germany. Instead of lunching ashore (very high prices) we opted to return to the ship for lunch and a little rest before our tour to Wismar.

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