Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rostock-Warnemünde Germany

As we near the end of our Baltic Cruise, we dock at Rostock, until 1989-90 the most important port of the former German Democratic Republic. It was an aviation manufacturing center right up until it was bombed in World War II, and the site of the very first jet plane test flights. One wouldn't be aware of this history while admiring the peaceful views.

Although we've traveled somewhat extensively in Germany, including a week driving through the former East Germany (DDR) we've never been here before. We divided our time between the the spots, traveling by train to Warnemünde in the morning, and walking around Rostock in the afternoon.

Much of what we saw is quite "touristy" in a pleasant sort of way. Since we're tourists, we enjoyed ourselves doing nothing in particular, and added Rostock-Warnemünde to our list of places we'd like to visit again.

It was interesting to notice the similar architecture in the cities we visited, dating back to the influence of the Hanseatic League.

We always enjoy window shopping at local markets, large and small.

Modern statuary sometimes just isn't quite as impressive as the old generals on horseback, but it can definitely be just a bit, well, weird.

The pretty waterfront the reminded us of the spot in Copenhagen where we'd just enjoyed lunch with Lene and her sons.


We walked out to the end of a breakwater to admire Rostock's magnificent beach, but guessed it might be a little cool for swimming.

We also enjoyed slipping away from the main tourist spots and walking along the side streets.

Kathy translated this sign for Brian: God Protect This House from Famine and Fire, City Planners and Taxes. In olden days versions of this read "war and taxes." It rhymes in German.

As Yogi Berra titled his autobiography, you can observe a lot by watching. Brian was impressed to learn how one German fellow carries his umbrella while keeping his hands free to order and eat a döner kebab.

Now it's back to the ship to ready ourselves for the transit through the Kiel Canal... or so we thought. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting and informative. I enjoyed looking at your photographs Doing a Baltic cruise next week. Disembarking at Warnemunde. Is it easy to get to the Station in Warnemunde from the Port. I believe the Station at Rostock is about 500 m. from the Old Town. Is this so. There is a connection with the KGB and Rostock. Is there any Museums relating to this and the aviation history. My husband is interested in this aspect. I have received some advice from the Tourist Office and tried to download it, but my security measures would not let me open the attachments.

Kathy and Brian said...

We appreciate your kind comments. To answer your questions as best as we can, it's a very comfortable walk to the station from the port. Allow 10 minutes or so. It's a short and pleasant train ride to Rostock, but note there are two or three stops with "Rostock" in them, so wait until you see or hear Hauptbahnhof.

As we recall, trains leave every hour or so. Don't overlook Warnemunde itself before or after you visit Rostock. It's a beautiful little town to wander around.

We left the Hauptbahnhof and walked to the Old Town in a sort of perpendicular direction to the station through residential neighborhoods after crossing a roundabout. There are taxis at the station, naturally, but we enjoyed the walk (as well as saving some money). Probably another 10-minutes or so pleasant stroll.

We didn't notice any museums as we wandered around. Our blog entry resulted strictly from Internet research. The local airport seems to have a "virtual musuem," which you've probably discovered already. If not, you can find it at

A "virtual museum" doesn't indicate there are any exhibits on site.

There is, however, a navigation museum that includes exhibits on aviation:

Schifffahrtsmuseum (Navigation Museum).  Paintings, photographs, and models tell the story of Rostock’s maritime past from the Vikings to the present day, with special exhibits on aviation and trade. (August-Bebel-Str. 1. ☎ 0381 857 9711. Open Tu-Su May-Sept. 10am-6pm, Oct.-Apr. 11am-5pm. €3, students €1.)

Kathy speaks German quite fluently; however, people in the the tourist office at the least will speak English, and a friendly "Guten Tag" followed by "Sprechen zie English?" will take you a long way.

We hope we've helped a little. It's a fascinating area and we only skimmed the surface during a day in port. Bon Voyage!

Kathy and Brian