We arrived back in Warnemünde in time to explore the town itself because by all accounts, it was well worth a visit.
It was only a short walk, past this Russian tall ship and through a tunnel beneath the railway tracks into town.
On such a glorious afternoon, everyone was out enjoying the fine weather and the harbour was bustling with visitors and locals alike.
We wandered up the riverside walk, taking note of the ice cream shops, the smoked fish shops and the inevitable bucket and spade emporia.
A short trip around the bay would have been a good idea, had we not got something a little longer in mind for the next few days.
The mouth of the river was marked by a lighthouse and an elegant bronze statue.
As we stood admiring it all, a small boat came in, returning from a fishing trip. That had been one of our options for this morning and though it might have been fun, it was hard to imagine how we could have enjoyed anything as much as our visit to Schwerin.
Hot on the tails of the fishing boat was a Scandinavian ferry. It would be easy to sit and pass several hours here, just watching the ships come and go.
But we wanted to see more of the town and the beach. As you can see, we weren’t very far from home.
We ambled along the promenade until we came to an opening and turned right to head for the beach.
This was a well maintained stretch of sand, perfect to bring the family, as many had done today.
Typical of the Baltic Sea beaches, the Strandkorbchen were available for hire. the German equivalent of a deckchair, they were set out in rows for miles along the sand.
As far as the eye can see.
Not everyone wants to sit in a Strandkorbchen though, and there were areas where some were simply sitting on towels, but others had brought small tent-type sunshades. These seemed especially popular with families who had very small children, who very sensibly take sun care seriously.
I was impressed too, by the accessibility of the beach. Not only was there a walkway from the promenade right down to the water, with changing rooms and loos nearby,
there were facilities for those needing assistance to get into the water too. So good that everyone here can enjoy the fresh, clear water of the Baltic Sea.
Yes, of course I couldn’t resist! As I stood, ankle deep in the clear, fresh water, I had a conversation with a German woman nearby. Was the water “frisch” or was it “kalt”? We ummed and aahed and decided that yes, it as “kalt”! She didn’t go any further than knee deep!
I have swum in these waters, just before I met my Hero, when I was in this part of Germany with the Isle of Wight Youth Orchestra. Maybe I’d have gone in again today, but I didn’t have swimming things with me and the German FKK tradition wasn’t so appealing right now.
Back to the prom, then, with fresh, cool (and sandy) feet!
We walked back past the artdeco Kurhaus, where people would come to stay for a therapeutic holiday and enjoy treatments for various ailments. Germany has a long tradition of “kur” and in the pre-reunification days, workers would be prescribed time here every few years. I can imagine that a week in such surroundings would be very therapeutic indeed, but I’d want this weather too!
Our route back to the ship took us along leafy streets lined with guest houses and small hotels.
Past more bucket and spade type stores.
And past a small supermarket, where I nipped in to get a few packets of our favourite sauce and a couple of magazines. I was interested to see the plastic bottle recycling unit here in the entrance, and the queue of youngsters waiting to deposit their empty water bottles in it. I didn’t get a close look but it appeared to do more than simply store the bottles in there – it certainly crushed them and possibly offered a small financial incentive too.
In no time at all, we were home again, feeling ready for a shower and a cool glass of something. The evening promised to be interesting: we had arranged to meet friends for drinks, we had dinner planned and then a show.
Not a dull moment whatsoever.
(which is probably why I’m still blogging about yesterday today!)