Schwerin, Travemünde, Fehmarn and Plön

Wednesday 18th July 2018, Exeter
Writing back in England I find it hard to remember what we have been doing and in which order. Below are our notes and Ian’s photos. They give an idea but dates and details may be a bit muddled.

Sunday 6th May 2018, Schwerin
A beautiful city aiming to become a World Heritage site. Set on a large lake within the city there is a typical German fairytale castle with golden leaf turrets and towers. It is reminiscent of the palaces built by Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria.

Schloss, Schwerin, Schleswig Holstein.

Schloss, Schwerin, Schleswig Holstein.

Burggarten, Schwerin, Schleswig Holstein.

Schlossgarten, Schwerin, Schleswig Holstein.

Dom, Schwerin, Schleswig Holstein.

Monday 7th May, Travemünde and Fehmarn, Baltic Sea
Our route northwards took us to the charming seaside town of Travemünde. We chose that particular route as it enabled us to use the ferry across the estuary of the river Trave rather than taking the longer drive round. We parked Modestine in the town and spent a couple of hours simply enjoying the sunshine, having a coffee overlooking the river whilst sitting in those lovely stripey two-seater beach chairs made from woven basketwork with a canopy that can be pulled forward to cut out the immediate glare of the sun. We later walked along the promenade until we were facing the beach and the sea and here we stopped for a sandwich lunch.

Ferry, Travemünde, Schleswig-Holstein.

Promenade, Travemünde, Schleswig-Holstein.

Gabled houses, Travemünde, Schleswig-Holstein.

During the afternoon we rejoined the motorway towards Lubeck and made our way up to the island of Fehmarn lying just off-shore out in the Baltic. It is linked to the mainland by a bridge.

View from Ostseeblick layby near Fehmarnsund toward Heiligenhafen, Schleswig Holstein.

Bridge, Fehmarnsund, Schleswig-Holstein.

Bridge at sunset, Fehmarnsund, Schleswig-Holstein.

In the centre of the island is the only town of any size - and that is tiny. Here we parked to look at the town centre with its streets of houses, all linked together, built in red brick and looking surprisingly modern considering the dates on the lintels or over the doors indicated they were actually seventeenth century or earlier!

Rathaus, Burg auf Fehmarn, Schleswig-Holstein.

We drove down the rural lanes to the sea and found a large but reasonably comfortable campsite amongst the dunes for the night. We quickly realised that there was one main town in the centre of the island from which roads radiated out. When they lead down to the sea there was invariably a campsite amidst the dunes at the end of the road and the only way out was to return back along the same road.

Having parked Modestine we walked down to the beach where Ian amused himself skimming stones on the waves whilst I was delegated to burrow into the hot, fine, powdery sand in search of pebbles for him to throw. Nearby several swans were bobbing around on the waves. I searched hopefully, but unsuccessfully, for pieces of amber which come chiefly from the Baltic being fossilised sap possibly with insects trapped within it that were formed when the Baltic was actually a tropical forest.

Over the past few days it has been unbearably hot. We have still seen no rain over the past six weeks. Surprisingly however, the fields are still stunningly green and bright, filled with yellow dandelions. Presumably we have just been missing out on the areas where the rain has been falling.

This morning, Tuesday 8th May, we were up and away by 8.30 before the day became unbearably hot. Soon we reached the little lakeside town of Plön. We discovered Plön on an earlier visit and found it charming then. If anything it was even more so today. We did much the same as last time but this time in sunshine rather than mizzling rain. We stopped for our coffee treat on a terrace beside the water where we watched pleasure boats plying their way around the lake, while along its edge we later followed the trail representing the solar system on a scale of 2000,000,000 to 1. We walked from the Sun to Jupiter before abandoning the solar system in favour of a climb up to the ducal palace, now used as a training school for opticians. Finally we made our way back down into the town where we bought filled rolls for lunch and found a shady bench to watch the activities of the market while we ate them.

Planetenpfad, Plön, Schleswig-Holstein.

Planetenpfad, Plön, Schleswig-Holstein.

Porter’s ledge to cadet college, Plön, Schleswig-Holstein.

Cobbled street, Plön, Schleswig-Holstein.

Then it was back to the exhausting business of driving on the hot and frightening German motorways. The roads are generally very good but there are no speed limits and law abiding Germans with their open top BMWs become men possessed when there are no speed limits to obey. Modestine is incapable of going at the speeds that are normal here in their two lane motorways. I still feel terrified too when joining or leaving the motorways. Turn-offs in particular are very tight and Germans drive on their brakes to negotiate the abrupt bends as you turn off.

I was exhausted from the heat and the permanent buzzing of passing cars when we eventually turned off at Schleswig where we found the only campsite. It’s the one we used last time when we spent a fascinating day at the Viking museum opposite the campsite. This evening we went for an evening stroll along the lakeside where the old Viking village and wharf are still there.

Dom from Haddeby, near Schleswig, Schleswig-Holstein.

Haithabu, jetty, houses and earthwork defences near Schleswig, Schleswig-Holstein.

Ancient hornbeam, Haithabu, near Schleswig, Schleswig-Holstein.

Andreaskirche, founded by Ansgar, near Schleswig, Schleswig-Holstein.