Other than a stopover in Frankfurt's less than friendly airport, I had never visited Germany.
Knowing this cruise included a German port of call at a place I'd never heard of, I was not overly excited. Quite honestly, expectations were somewhat low. I was happily surprised when we sailed in, docked, were straight off the ship, and just a few minutes walk in brilliant sunshine brought us into a pretty town right on the edge of a busy beach.
Founded around 1200, Warnemunde at the mouth of the river Warnow, was for centuries a small fishing village of minor importance. In 1323 it lost its autonomous status when purchased by the nearby city of Rostock in order to safeguard the city's access to the Baltic Sea. In the 19th century Warnemunde began to develop into an important seaside resort and today has a population of approx. 15,000. Still a fishing port, it also has a shipyard. The construction of a modern cruise line center in 2005 has contributed to Warnemunde's establishment as the most important harbor for cruise ships in Germany, and is a jumping off-point for Berlin.
Warnemunde from our balcony - couldn't dock much closer than this!
Sauntering along the waterfront, colorful market stands where everything from local honey to fish, some still smoking, and many interesting seafood items, were for sale. Being a Sunday, families were obviously arriving from other nearby towns to shop, eat an ice cream or meal, and have a swim.
Rows of houses, hotels, shops lined the riverside………………
…and in the back streets the smaller house and shops were
smothered in the most wonderful roses.
The beach is windswept with vast dunes and sweeping stretches of sand on each side of the river's mouth. I loved the shoreline at the beach - no crowds early morning - if I'd come prepared I would have been dashing into that water in no time flat!
Next time, making use of the always great local transportation in most of Europe, we took a quick trolley ride and then a train into Rostock……a great town where families gathered for fun and a huge Sunday picnic.
Even just one day in Germany was marvelous………join me in Rostock soon.