This entry is going to cover almost two weeks so I’ll break it into location headings so we can all get though this!
But first an intro…
My overarching memory of the Baltic coast will be…rain. We’ve had about four thunderstorms, barely a day without a downpour and the most mosquitos I’ve ever experienced. Our clothes have been damp…our washing has been damp and getting it to dry it has been a real battle…BUT this is such a beautiful bit of coast. Lovely classy seaside towns with glorious, safe, sandy beaches.
Lubeck – Rain
What a beautiful place, we arrived on a Saturday night (after a quick stop at decathlon where I bought a new chair…very exciting!) and it was lovely to have a quick walk into the town before the kids got too tired. We got up the next day thinking we’d have a nice mooch about…but no…we’d landed ourselves in a town on a Sunday and German opening laws mean that EVERYTHING is closed. It’s something that has caught us out a few times now as this was ditched a long time ago in the UK. It rained on an off all the time in Lubeck, this turned out to be a trend.
Boltenhagen Swingolf – Dry but boggy…from the rain.
We drove out from Lubeck and east along the coast planning to stay somewhere simple and quiet. After a bit of faff we found a lovely little stop for just over five Euros behind a cafe and Swingolf place (which seems to be a bit like a glorified pitch and putt?!). We rode our bikes around and marvelled at the biggest slugs and snails in the world, no joke they were huge, massive. The next morning we had our first taste of beach for this trip down in Boltenhagen… and it was sunny!
Wismar – So…much…rain
After Boltenhagen we drove further east to a place near Wismar with the plan of a couple of days on a bigger campsite and a day trip into town. The campsite was the kind of place we’re not keen on, more holiday park, a bit grim, and very pricey. A bit more planning would have told us this, but that would mean taking things a little more seriously which is a bit lame, right?…right? In the end we stayed in their carpark for half price but could still use their loos, win win. Our plans did however get ruined by rain. This time a deluge which had us packing up and leaving after one night as sitting in the van, in a carpark, watching the rain got boring very quick. The change of plan turned out OK in the end though when we found a free carpark in town, had a look round, then went to the local swimming pool. We’d been promising the kids a swimming pool for a while and this turned out to be quite and experience. Loads of slides, a wave machine, and the whole of the rest of the town looking for something to do…bedlam…and two very excited kids.
Warenmunde – Some rain, and an eventful carpark.
An evening drive from Wismar brought us to the lovely Warenmunde. A beautiful baltic coastal town just West of Rostock, with a gorgeous beach and for Aidan the most exciting thing, a lighthouse. We stopped for a couple of nights in a carpark just back from the beach and had a great cycle into town where we went up the lighthouse and looked at all the boats in the docks. We even bought a nice new fancy “stunt” kite which then refused to fly as the wind had died down…doh.
Rugen – Rain-Sun-Mosquito…rinse…repeat.
After a nice early morning dip on Warenmunde beach we got in the van to head to Rugen. We’d had recomendation for Rugen from friends (Thanks Marko and Elena!) and everthing we read sounded great. We covered quite a lot of ground and topped of the gas cyclinders at a garage in Stralsund, which made me jump when the seal on the euro adapter popped and I had LPG firing out everywhere. After that bit of excitment we forged on and got to what was supposed to be a one nighter but ended up being our home for our whole stay on Rugen….Prora Wohmobile Oasis!
Highlights of the stay were:
– The beaches, which were long, sandy and really shallow shelving so lovely and warm. Within seconds of arriving at any beach Aidan and Anna started digging holes and building big reservior systems.
– The ruined Nazi resort at Prora that is now being re-developed post re-unification but must have been an amazing and spooky sight in the 80s when it was all ruins for miles and miles.
– Binz, beautiful seaside town, but not in the Skegness way, a lovely classy mix of beachside bars and bucket and spade shops. After Warenmunde we’re figuring they know how to do the seaside on this coast!
– Cycle paths through the woods and along the beaches, we rode for miles and could manage completely without moving the van.
– Naturerbe Zentrum, a cool woodland nature centre with a treetop walk and massive tree viewing platform. Also a lovely cafe with veggie options…woop!
– Aidan’s top would be HMS Otus, the British submarine that an enterprising guy bought when it was decommissioned in 1990 and moored up for people to view. SO MANY BUTTONS AND PIPES!
And maybe my favourite bit….
– Anna learning to ride her bike with pedals, she is one determined little lady!!
Moving south to Berlin and Parsteiner See – Finally some lovely weather, but oh boy the bugs!
After five nights on Rugen we were feeling itchy to move on (the travelling life is finally getting us) and we struck out for an evening drive off the island to head south. We had a nice little stop in an empty field in the middle of nowhere then moved on to try and find a campsite just shy of Berlin that had been recommended to us (Thanks Tibor/Hensi)…but couldn’t seem to find it anywhere. A friendly local lady took pity on us and sent us off to somewhere which maybe wasn’t where we were aiming but was gorgeous. An old fashioned strip of a campsite along the side of a grogeous lake two kilometres from the Polish border. super relaxed and family oriented with the focus being on swimming in the very shallow and perfectly clear lake. We were on a bit of a schedule as we wanted to get to berlin to see friends and only stayed for one night but evening and morning swims were both beautiful. One thing that was very noticable was a lack of big motorhomes (like ours!!) and many more retro caravans, it all felt like we could well be in the DDR in the 70s….FKK swimming for the locals included!