Schwerin Palace

Trip Start Aug 06, 2012
Trip End Aug 19, 2012

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Flag of Germany  , Mecklenburg-Vorpommern,
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

We docked in Warnemunde/ Rostock early in the A.M. Many of our fellow travelers todo off for Berlin - a 3 hour bus ride each way- but we decided to skip that long bus ride and go to
Schwerin, home of the Grand Dukes of Mecklenberg. It was a little over an hour drive from our ship. This is a very agricultural area
of the former GDR (East Germany). It was lovely. On our way we saw storks and deer in fields. Also saw a couple of unidentified raptors soaring over the fields. All of the fields also had hunting stands. They love their wild game in this part of the world.
Our tour guide for the day was very interesting. She described in detail what life was like in the GDR before the wall fell. She described the awful cars they had to wait years to get (including one that she claimed was made of cardboard). She told us how her mother was forced to become a doctor rather than the high school math and science teacher she wanted to be. She really described a pretty dismal life. As we drive through the countryside we noticed that the roads and bridges were in much better shape than ours are. The autobahn has
"wildlife bridges" so the deer, foxes and wild boar that live there don't cross the road and become pancakes. That was really great. They also have frog tunnels under the road in certain places, so the frogs can get from one swap to another. She told us that in one place the even had people come out and guide the frogs to the tunnels during the breeding season. I have to assume these were some kind of endangered frogs.
Once we got to Schwerin we got on a boat and toured a beautiful lake, arriving at the palace
by boat. The palace is part museum, part state legislature. The grounds are quite beautiful as is the interior of the building. During the days of the GDR the palace fell into great disrepair. Not all of the rooms of the palace have been restored so we were able to see some with only partial repairs. The palace itself was started in the 16th century and it has been added onto over the centuries. It has a ghost named Little Peter who was an odd fellow who, a legend tells it, dug a tunnel under the lake, but we can't remember why. The guide told us that they sent a guy down into the tunnel with a drum and he kept on drumming until he stopped and he Neve came back out. Who knows.. At any rate Little Peter seems to be a presence all over this town.
After our tour we returned to the ship for our final night aboard. We packed and had one last shipboard dinner and off to bed went we went.
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