Sunday, July 11, 2010

From what used to be Eastern Germany

We ported in Warnemunde, Germany on Saturday morning. Many of the
guests on board took the early early train to Berlin while the rest of
us stayed in the Mecklenburg area. Mecklenburg is the federal state
where Warnemunde is which is actually considered part of Rostock.

We opted to tour in the area. We began with a bus ride to Bad Doberan
to visit the 14th century Cistercian abbey. It is a beautiful building
and has survived much. the stained glass
windows were spectacular.

Next we took a short ride on a narrow guage steam train known as the
Molli. It has been running since 1886. For any train fans, the track
is 900 mm wide. has more information. We rode from
Bad Doberan to Heiligendamm through the scenic countryside.

We got back on the bus to go to Kuhlungsborn which is a beautiful,
upscale seaside village. We had a dessert at the Wilhelm restaurant
located at the Neptun hotel and then had an hour for shopping or
whatever. We walked to the beach and down the pier. It was our first
time to say Hey! We are really at the Baltic Sea. If we had taken
towels to wipe our feet off afterwards, we would have ventured to the
water's edge.

During the bus ride back to the shop, our guide shared her memories of
when the borders opened between East and West Germany as well as what
she remembered from before and after. She turned 12 the day before the
borders opened.

We had a quick lunch back on the ship and then walked into town to do
our souvenir shopping. They were having a festival of sorts so it was
busier than I would have expected. The beach was wall to wall people
(well, there was a wall on one side but you couldn't see the other).

Instead of going to dinner, we saw the Prince of Persia in the Walt
Disney Theater which was enjoyable. Then waited for sailaway which
ended up being over an hour late because the second train from Berlin
was delayed. But what a sailaway it was! The port is a busy one with
ferries and sightseeing boats plus there were three cruiseships. We
had to go about a mile further into the port to be able to turn
around. All the shops were blowing their horns, and because of the
festival, there were lots of people lined up around the edge of the
piers. There were fireworks as we were leaving.

It was a great day in Warnemunde... we have a sea day on Sunday and
arrive in St. Petersburg on Monday.

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