Tuesday, 2 September 2014
02.09.2014 - 02.09.2014
We were blessed with an almost clear sky on our arrival at the Port of Rostock where the Royal Princess just managed to fit herself alongside the newly built cruise terminal at Warnemünde. With breakfast out of the way we made our way to the theatre for an 08:15 meeting with others for our Shore Excursion.
Once ashore our delightful guide directed us along the pier to a small craft which transported us up the river to the old port of Rostock. Throughout the 45 minute cruise we were informed of the many changes that have occurred to the waterfront over the years. Our final destination being the site of the original 'overseas port' now relocated to Warnemünde. From here we were transported by coach to the 'Old Town' section of the city. We spent an amazing three hours wandering past many ancient buildings most of them extensively restored after being damaged during WW2.
Our guide kept us entertained and informed with many facts and colourful stories about he history of the city. The local university is 'free' and has a current student population of 60,000 with many of them not only from other parts of Germany but also internationally.
As with many places in Europe the public toilets require a small payment or coins to operate them. As I had no local currency and an urgent need we decided we'd use the facilities at McDonald's. Great idea but you need a code to operate the keypad and you need to buy something to obtain the code. Two small size Cokes please. 2.38 Euro thank you. Do you take US$ ?? Sorry, no. Credit card OK ?? Yes sir, no problem. It will be interesting to see the FX fee on that transaction.
Off to the New Market, a square lined on one side by the restored Town Hall and by the historic homes of the wealthy merchants on two other sides. The final side of the 'square' was totally destroyed and the East German authorities were not prepared to fund the rebuilding. Our guide was confident that funds will be found to complete the 'square' within the next 10 years.
Next 'official' stop on our tour was St Mary's church which features many attractions, from the 85 feet tall stained glass window, a massive ornate organ and an astronomical clock built in 1472 and still working with its original clockwork.
Back onto the coach and off to the Trotzenburg Micro-Brewery where we were treated to free samples. The master brewer explained that they brew about 10,000 litres of beer annually, all of which is sold directly to the public in their bar and restaurant.
Back to the ship in our coach and in plenty of time for a late lunch. After lunch we made a short foray into Warnemünde, a very charming settlement with lots of shops, cafés and bars. Clouds gathered and obscured the sun and it became quite chilly.
Jenny had an interesting encounter with a guy who was made up like a white statue, as she walked past he lent over and with his walking stick tapped her on the behind. Her reaction was priceless !! On the way back she decided to get even and tap him on the backside. She managed to 'get' him but his reaction was to tap her on the backside as she tried to flee.
Too much to eat again tonight, meals were fantastic but much too generous. Surprisingly even I resisted the dessert menu. Back to the cabin and trying to decide what to do for the evening. At the moment it looks like seeing the ship leave her berth is the most likely.
Clocks are to be advanced by an hour overnight and tomorrow is a 'sea day', one of only three on this segment of the cruise. Tomorrow is also the first 'formal' night, an opportunity to drag out the glad-rags.
There's a photo of some of the restored buildings in Rostock at http://365project.org/tonydebont/365/2014-09-02.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony