“trapped in the amber of the moment”…not :-)

today is our last full vacation day at the baltic sea…we still have the voucher from the blinkfüer for the amber museum in ribnitz-damgarten…so, after a leisurely breakfast and morning spent reading the süddeutsche zeitung we are off by bus to ribnitz to visit the museum…it turns out to be quite interesting, the exhibition of amber jewellery though is partly a bit on the clunky side, partly a bit rather “modern” (modern in the sense our youth orchestra’s conductor used it when she thought we’d botched a classic piece up: “didn’t realize that mozart was that modern…”), so not exactly “trapped in the amber of the moment”

after a late lunch in the museum’s café we go for a stroll through town and then catch the bus back.

interesting museum, ribnitz-damgarten a typical north german town caught in the middle of reminiscing about the old days and the reality of the now.

dinner tonight is the candle light dinner: a five course menu of excellent food!

a snake, some amber, a lighthouse, and fantastic views

and yet another day with fantastic weather! almost too good to be true, but it is! we are really enjoying our time here on fischland-darß!

our target for today is the nature reserve area west of prerow, so we take a bus all the way up to prerow (passing through wustrow, and ahrenshoop). prerow is a little town snuggling to the northern dyke. the beach stretches east- and westwards from prerow, making a slight curve to the north and ending in the nature reserve area we are planning on visiting today. lots of people are out today and we make our way west along the shoreline.

after about 45 minutes we arrive at the old harbour that was used by the former east german navy as a military harbour — illegally even in the DDR as the darß had been declared an east german national park area before the east german navy took possession, but there you go. today it’s being used as an emergency harbour and a rescue boat is stationed here. a short walk land-inwards around the harbour and then towards north we arrive at wooden “styles” and pass into the national park area. soon we are in the midst of reed, reed, reed, with the occasional group of birch trees having wheedled their way in. after about 30 minutes we arrive at the northern most part of the reserve and have a nice view across the reeds and the brackish water, observing the migrating birds which are populating the peninsula at this time of the year, doing a pit stop on their way south (or to the south of the UK?)…after a bit of just watching we continue on, the path is framed by low wooden “railings” about 10cm off the sand ground…the reed gives way to a dune-ish landscape with small conifers (instead of the reed)…as we cross the reserve something slithers quickly away from the path, under the wooden railing and just freezes next to one of the small conifers: coming closer we see that it is a ringed snake (or natrix natrix), about 100cm long! it had been enjoying the sunshine — same as we really 🙂

crossing the dunes we finally reach the west coast of fischland-darß. the beach is littered with little stones and i start looking for amber…and find a number of small amber pieces!

lunch is at the lighthouse darßer ort — from which we also have a fantastic view (though, i only take a quick glance round, and then make my way down being a bit unnerved by the narrow platforms running around the top: make a mental note not to apply for lighthouse jobs on lighthouses with narrow platforms)…we walk back through the forest…back at prerow spa we have a tea and a coke at one of the cafes, sitting in the setting sun, enjoying the last rays of sunshine.

against the wind…

the weather has cleared up again today…no cloud, just pure sunshine, we do have a very strong south-westerly wind, though.

after another excellent breakfast and a leisurely reading of the süddeutsche zeitung we are off to the open-air museum in klockenhagen — as it’s quite a distance and we don’t fancy using a bus with such a nice weather outside, we get two bikes from our hotel and first follow the dyke to the main part of dierhagen and then, retracing our sunday walk we go past the humongous hotel strandhotel fischland and emerge onto the path going southward behind the dyke.

once we turn westward again, we have the wind against us — which is not that bad as long as we are in the forest, but once we are past the dog oak (it looks better than its name suggests 🙂 we are in the open…and have to fight almost every meter against westerly wind!

we finally arrive at the open-air museum, park our bikes, pay the entry and make a bee-line for the café to warm up:-)…we have cake, a normal grog (me) and a sallow thorn grog (dorothee). the weather outside is still fantastic (despite the wind, yes) and once we’ve recharged we venture outside again and stroll through the recreated village: very fascinating stuff, lots to look at…we take our time and dive in.

around 17:00 we call it a day, mount our bone-rattlers and go back the direct way.

another walk, a smoked mackerel, and a cruise on the bodden

the weather today seems a bit bored with all that sunshine over the weekend and decides to throw in some variation. a band of cloud is crossing rapidly overhead — but then, it would have been a surprise, if it had decided to take the local bus or to walk to cross the peninsula, wouldn’t it? lacking the agility of the clouds, we have to walk to wustrow, our first target of the day: included in the package deal we booked with the hotel we not only have very good breakfast and dinner, but also various “goodies”, such as a the loan of the two bone shakers (aka bikes), one-time entry to the amber museum in ribnitz-damgarten, and — a two hour trip on the darßer bodden, one of a system of interconnected lagoons stretching from ribnitz-damgarten to almost the polish stettin.

we reach reach wustrow by following firth the beach northwards and then the road peninsula-inwards and eastwards: the cobblestone road leads us past a series of villas dating back to the early decades of the last century and ends up at the main road that traverses the fischland-darß-zingst peninsula. turning right we go down towards the church and then left to get to the harbour…first we have to find (fight, almost) our way through a jungle of road construction sites, but finally we end up at wustrow harbour, the starting tour of our boat tour of the bodden.

first, though, lunch! after looking around we decide to buy a freshly caught and freshly smoked mackerel from the local fish-shack-cum-eating-area together with a mineralwater (with a grog for me afterwards): definitely the best mackerel ever (and inspite of the weather deciding that now is the time to have a little go at flushing the system)!

shortly before 2 o’clock we board the ms boddenkieker and are soon off on a tour of the darßer bodden — which, despite my initial doubts, turns out to be fairly interesting and we learn quite a bit about the flora and fauna of the bodden system (that and have another grog onboard 😉

while we were onboard the boddenkieker the sun had a quick shot across the water, but as soon as we alight it’s turning overcast and a bit too cold for comfort — which is just an elaborate lead in to the fact that we take the bus back to our hotel 🙂

another fine day, not too hot 😉

a looong walk

the weather is fantastic again! we decide to forego the bikes today (still recovering derriere-wise from yesterday’s tour) and make a longish walk southwards towards the direction of klein müritz…we are trying to stay on the beach as long as possible.

the wind is coming in strongly from the sea — that is from the west —, the sun is shining and we make our way along the water line towards the south. we have started late (had to work through this sunday’s frankfurter allgemeine sonntagszeitung first :-), so, by the time we reach the main part of dierhagen, it’s lunchtime and we turn in at the pfannkuchen, a family-kind-of-restaurant serving pancakes (and other stuff, yes, but i’m a really huge fan of pancakes, so…)

after lunch we continue for a bit through the village, then find our way back to the beach…the wind is still going strong, land-inwards, though that doesn’t stop a couple of kite-surfers from trying: a bit of a challenge with the wind blowing against them. we stop to watch for a while: it seems like the kite-surfer is more in the water than on top of his surfboard — good swimming exercise, though, somehow we doubt that that is what kite-surfing is all about…about an hour later we reach the path branching off from the beach going in an almost straight line eastwards. we take it.

the landscape the path takes us through is very surprising: we start off with moor land, low trees — and all of a sudden the landscape changes abruptly and we are in the middle of a traditional, old mixed tree forest with old, thick trees: some of the old oak trees are even amed.

we return via dierhagen-neuhaus following the path between the dyke and the village which after a little while takes us back onto the dyke and back to our hotel.

a very nice and interesting day!

a bike tour on top of the dyke

last nights dinner was fantastic…excellent food, very friendly waiters…and! a very good beer: schwarzer steiger from saxony, a dark beer, going tastewise in the right direction (guiness 🙂

breakfast this morning is equally good, the weather outside has cleared up completely and we have blue skies and lots of sunshine! after breakfast we try out the bikes provided by the blinkfüer and (after a brief detour to the nearest supermarket to stock up on water) we are off to ahrenshoop…the route is pretty easy, all we have to do is ride on top of the dyke for several kilometers then follow the signed bike route.

it’s a saturday and lots of folks are “on the road”: on bikes, on inline skaters, and just on foot; old people, families, teens, the whole range — at time it really is crowded. despite the blue sky and never-failing sunshine it’s not getting warm: a cold, moderate wind is blowing all the time from the east — excellent weather for being outdoors!

the bikes are OK — nothing to really write home about, on my bike the bottom bracket starts creaking and groaning and i am a bit suspicious about the seat post as it seems to be a bit far out; pushing it in, however, doesn’t seem an alternative though, as somehow i’ve never quite taken to having my knee on the same level as my ears…

we were quite eager to see ahrenshoop: it was “advertised” as “being comparable to worpswede,” an artist village that we already knew and that is rather famous for the artists and the work that was inspired and came into existence there…well, after our visit to ahrenshoop, all i can say, with all honesty, is that not only is ahrenshoop comparable to worpswede, but so is adliswil — we just don’t have to mention the result of the comparison, do we?…(so, no, ahrenshoop is not really the worpswede of the baltic)

what is quite impressive in ahrenshoop is the seamen’s church.

we go back on the bodden side of fischland-darß through a fantastic landscape across open grassland, dense and high reeds, and arrived at the old harbour of althagen. after taking a break to watch one of the two zeesenboots sail into the harbour we return to the bike route and make our way back to our hotel.

a nice day…ahrenshoop not quite up to its advertisement, but the weather was fantastic and the bodden landscape just marvelous.

a trip to the southern baltic sea

after a very hectic week of renovating dorothee’s kitchen, living room, and bathroom, we are going up to the baltic sea, to fischland darß today — and as always, by train 🙂 the 9:10 ICE from erlangen to nürnberg, then by ICE to hamburg, from where we’ll catch an RE train to rostock, change again, this time to the train to stralsund — which we’ll leave at ribnitz-damgarten around 17:25. from there the plan is to take a taxi to our hotel in dierhagen…quite a trip and we hope to arrive at the hotel at about 18:00.

we are both quite knackered from filling holes, painting, fixing, redoing the kitchen top, exchanging the kitchen sink and lots of trips to our local DIY store, obi (and i’m still a bit worried whether pipes to the kitchen sink will suffer a bout of incontinence or not — i hope not, but just to make sure we’ve turned off the water in the kitchen :-/

the train trip up to hamburg is not overly exciting…hamburg main station, however, is busy as if they just opened it: it’s friday early afternoon, lots and lots of people are going back over the weekend. it seems that a large chunk of that flood is going the same direction we are going: the train to rostock is chock full, overcrowded really, and the first class is soon flooded with overspill from the second class. as we leave hamburg and travel east, the weather turns: from grey, wet, and foggy to, increasingly, spots of sunshine — together with the rain clouds and the north-east german landscape it provides for some rather dramatic scenery! fantastic 🙂

inspite of being chock-full, the train is pretty much on time when we reach rostock and we do make the connection to our last train for the day to ribnitz-damgarten. the weather has cleared up almost completely and we enjoy the sunbathed landscape: rolling hills with little forests dotted around, and the occassional, very romantic lake rushing by. we do arrive almost on time in ribnitz, have no trouble getting a taxi and in no time at all are being chauffeured through ribnitz-damgarten, along the bodden (to our right), and arrive just shortly before 18:00 at the hotel blinkfüer! we’ve booked a suite — which consists of downstair-upstairs combination of lounge and bedroom with attached but self-contained bathroom with shower — very nice!

our first impression: very nice hotel.