Wernermunde, Germany

Trip Start Jul 02, 2008
Trip End Jul 25, 2008

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Flag of Germany  , Mecklenburg-West Pomerania,
Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A lovely day greeted us as we stepped on deck before departing.  I have a habit of running up for my coffee in a to go mug when we have tours.  And we are seeing Warnermunde on a tour called Roostok by Road, River, and Rail!  Off we go and onto our coach for the road part, which lasts only 15 minutes or so.  During that time the guide, a lovely girl named Carolin, regaled us with stories of how it had been during "Eastern" times.  I had not realized that the area was formerly East Germany.  Cool!  After the short bus ride, we went to a tram facility where we boarded a special tram that would take us around the city.  Only special because it was only for us.   She said we could laugh at the people who would try to board when we had to stop at the stops for safety reasons, but the doors would not open and they had not seen the "Not in Service" on the display board.  Which indeed it happened, and was kind of funny, in a cruel way. We took the tram around and across the city, seeing the various parts of the old city walls and gates that were either still standing or having been rebuilt.  It had started out as three cities, and had merged into one and encircled by a wall for protection form Viking raids.  Even after it became one, there were three mayors for awhile.  There is a cool old church that has been turned into a multi use facility, with  concert hall in the former hall, and apartments in the roof. (it's a BIG church)  Obviously a nod to the anti church days of Communist rule.  It was interesting to see the city, and hear the stories that her Grandfather had relayed to her. 
After the tram, we were dropped in the town square, where we were shown the old town hall, with it's history of settling disputes and how the Lord Mayor, who would preside over these resolutions, would give his answer from behind a wall through a small door because if it was not a judgment the town folks liked, they would take it out on him.  She said they did not know what he did when he finally had to come out of the Town Hall building.  Then we were off to the most amazing church, St. Marys.  It is in the process of being restored, and has a varied history.  Rostock had a rivaly with Liebzieg, and they each competed in tring to build the largest church at the time.  So this church went through several building stages, and ended up not only being smaller, but had acoustic problems and is not in the correct angles as well.  It is a beautiful place though, and inside is the most amazing clock, that tells the date, time, sun phase, moon phase, sign of the zodiac, what the local people should be doing (fishing, planting harvesting etc), and the clock was build in the 1400's.  And is still in Operation!  At noon each day , the doors open on the top and the apostles walk across to be blessed by Jesus, before entering the other door into eternal bliss.  Only the door closes on Judas, and he is stuck waiting for it to open, which it never does of course.  It is cool.  I'll try to post a copy of the post card I bought so you can all see it well.
Out of the church and into the warm afternoon we headed into the center of town to be let loose to shop and browse, get a cup of coffee or just sit and wait for the tour to resume.  Michael and I headed into a shop she suggested to look for blank CD's so I could copy our photo's for Carol.  Success!  I headed into the local TKMaxx (yes, it's like TJMaxx) to look at the shoes, they have the best shoes at good prices and are all over the EU, Michael went in search of a local soccer Jersey or t-shirt.  After my brief foray for shoes I walked towards the small University building and discovered the University's shop filled with t-shirts, hats and jerseys for the University and with the town crest.  I bought a university shirt for Michael and headed back to the tour.   He was excited he got the t-shirt, but he also got a shopping bag out of the deal.  For what I paid for the shirt (and a hat for me) we should have gotten a lot more!  But hey, we're on vacation!
The tour group finished walking down to the water where we boarded a sight seeing boat and headed back to the ship.  Drinks (local beer and cola) was served as well as a light snack.... you gotta love cruising, food everywhere! 
It was only 12:30 when we were let off by the ship, and we wanted lunch so we headed to the Lido restaurant and lunch before heading out to explore the small seaside town of Warnermunde!
Warnermunde is amazing.  It has always been a popular sea side resort, especially during "eastern" times when East Germans could not travel easily.  The long esplanade is lined with shops and restaurants on both sides, with a large waterway in the middle.  Michael and I wandered around, and out towards the lighthouse and beach area. The beer began to catch up with me (2 on the boat, 1 with lunch on the ship) and I started to quickly fade.  I stopped and sat on the stone wall by the waterway and Michael walked on to the light house at the end of the quay.  He picked me up on his way back by, a little grumpy I had pooped out on him, and we headed back to the ship where I was zonked out for a good two hours. 
We never made it back ashore, I was too pooped.  I half wanted to go back to have schnitzel, but didn't since the cruise staff had arranged a German band to come play aboard, and they were having a brat/beer fest on the Lido deck.  Instead, the four of us got together and played cards by the sea view pool.  After munching down a German dinner, we finished cards and watched as the sun set and it began to get cool. 
On a cool note, we were docked right by the railway station and I got to see the I.C.E. (the InterCity Express) train arrive.  It was cool because I had never seen one in person before, although I had purchased a model of it back in the 90's for my model railroad! 
We were in port until 10:30 pm to accommodate the groups that had gone to Berlin for the day, so we all just kind of wandered around, checked out our ships photo's in the photo gallery, and eventually parted ways with Carol and Bob who headed off to bed.  Michael went to find his penny slot machine and I went on deck to soak up the evening atmosphere.  What a lovely evening it was too, slightly cool, but nice.  I sat on the causeway side of the ship and watched the ferries and other boats go by, then headed to the pier side of the ship to watch us shove off.
Much to my surprise, music was playing from the pier building.  Between the ship and the pier welcome center, it made for an awesome acoustical experience.  Just as we started to slip away form the pier, the song "Time to say Goodbye" started playing and one of the terminal staff came out with a large hand the size of a person and started to wave at us.  It was very funny, and made for a nice shove off.
Nicest of all was Tanya of the Ensemble group had joined me and we had a lovely chat as the ship set sail and headed into the Baltic.  Another ending to another wonderful day aboard the Eurodam!  By 11:05 she had headed off for the Indonesian Crew Show and I was off to bed.  I cannot seem to get enough rest.  I guess it is the go go go of it all!
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