Our kind of day
Filled with interesting things, people and places from beginning to end. (Oh, and there might have been a bit of food and drink in there too)
It began pretty early. We’d set the alarm for six, because we had an early start for our trip to Schwerin today. I poked my nose out of the verandah to see the sun rising above an undoubtedly German landscape. Welcome to Warnemünde! We had just arrived.
We began with breakfast in our favourite spot. A bit breezy out there at this early hour but we enjoyed the fresh air as always.
A bit like Richard Scarry’s Busy World, we watched as trains went to and fro, the ferries crossed the harbour and the traffic on the large dual carriageway sped past. Come on, we’re ready to get going!
Our day began with an hour’s ride in a westerly direction, past the former Eastern bloc apartment buildings, now smartened up but still looking pretty bleak and forbidding in places.
But soon we were out into the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern countryside, some of the richest arable land in the country.
Arriving in Schwerin, we immediately understood what our guide had been telling us, that this was a city of lakes and fine buildings.
We were about to get a feel for the place from the largest of the lakes; the second largest lake in Germany, in fact.
As soon as we were out of the small harbour, we got the picture!
Now Schwerin is the capital of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and as such, has all the parliamentary offices and departments here around the lake. This former stable complex was now a large part of that.
As we sailed further out into the lake, we could see what we had really come to see: the Castle.
But it was a lovely morning and we enjoyed an half hour cruise on the water, eyeing up some of those lakeside properties and wondering which one would suit us best.
One of these two, do you think? Might do nicely…
Of course, really there was only one lakeside property worthy of our consideration, though half of it was taken up by the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern government. It being rather picturesque and the home state of Angela Merkel as well, it frequently finds itself hosting visiting dignitaries too.
In the morning sunshine, it was looking pretty lovely, in spite of the crane and restoration works. We looked forward to seeing inside.
Having disembarked for the second time this morning, we made our way to the entrance. Not this one though, which leads to the government offices – we were shown to the other side, to the historic part of the castle at the rear. But which is the tradesman’s entrance?
Walking around the pathway gave us a good opportunity to get a closer look, though, especially at these gables which had provoked our curiosity when we saw them from the boat.
Each one was slightly different, being made up of individual motifs and figures. I had no idea about any of it, but just admired the interest and personal touches to the design.
We were pleased to have enough time to take a quick look around the gardens.
The Orangery and the sunken Parterre were beautiful and would have been a great place to sit with a coffee and a pastry…
With a wonderful view of the lake, we could have sat and gazed at the landscape for a while.
But it was time to move on, time was pressing and we were going to take a look inside as well. So, having taken a quick snap from the terrace, off we went.
The front/back entrance to the castle is undergoing restoration and, it appears, this is taking quite some time. Still, they are doing their best to minimise the effect on the appearance of the place.
Stepping inside, my first instinct was to look up at the beautifully painted ceiling vaults. Somehow, it was exactly as I’d expected – brown and white, simple but decorative. Rather lovely, in fact.
Hans Peter, our guide said that our visit began with some training, to climb the stairs. Thankfully, the stairs were rather well designed for ease of climbing, being shallow and wide. I’ll share what we found at the top of them in my next post!