We woke up to a sky filled with fog and rain and at a commercial pier. We were scheduled to dock near a small resort near a train station that would take us to the city center of Rostock. We learned at breakfast that the ship docked instead at a commercial freight-ferry port and needed to purchase a bus ticket to get to the city center.
This port stop was billed as Rostock (Berlin) Germany. After we reviewed the excursions to Berlin we realized that it would be a 12 hour day to visit Berlin. So, we decided to spend our day visiting the medieval, Hanseatic city of Rostock.
After breakfast Randy, I, Doug and Sue made our way down to the pier where we met Vilma, Jim, Mickey, Betty and boarded the bus and took a 20 minute ride to the city.
After some brief instructions from the bus driver, we were handed a city map and the eight of us started our walk. Hooded jackets on and umbrellas in hand we started on our walk to the old city.
Our first stop was at the Kröpeline Gate (the old city gate). This gate is considered the most magnificent of the 22 former city gates. A few steps away were the remnants of the ramparts of the old city walls.
We were all pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful, wide pedestrian street lined with shops and restaurants ahead. We took our time walking along this very nice street stopping here and there to look at something interesting things in the shop windows.
All of a sudden we came to a stop. We looked to the left and saw a store with familiar name, and yet not, and had to stop. At first glance you thought you read the sign read, T*J* Maxx. But it was actually read T*K* Maxx. Well, Vilma and Mickey had to check it out and disappeared into the store.
Once they reemerged, we continued our way passing by Rostock University and the Fountain of Joy. We finally came to a place on this pedestrian walkway and saw, what I consider a beautiful view.
Stretched out before us was a street lined with beautiful gabled houses painted in soft pastel colors. I loved the architecture along this street. We continued our walk admiring everything we saw. At one point we noticed that Betty was nowhere to be seen. We asked Vilma and Mickey where Betty was. Evidently Betty wanted to have her hair done. Vilma and Mickey found her a hair salon, pooled their Euros and left Betty in the shop to have her hair done. I thought this was very funny!
We eventually made our way to the city square. Like so many squares we have seen around Europe this one was filled with merchants selling their wares, restaurants and outside cafés and the beautiful 13th century Town Hall. The Town Hall was built in the baroque and brick gothic style.
We decided to choose a restaurant and enjoy a bite to eat and try a local beer. In spite of the on again off again rain, we decided to find a table outside. We chose the Burwitz Restaurant and after wiping down the tables we made ourselves comfortable. By the time we got comfortable Betty had joined the group again and looked beautiful and very happy.
Everything on the menu sounded wonderful. Randy was not very hungry so we decided to go with an appetizer that was not quite German but sounded intriguing. We chose to order a dish of Nachos with two dips. The choices included; garlic dip, tomato salsa, barbeque dip and an Asia dip. We wanted to try all the dips so Doug and Sue order them too and ordered different dips than we did. We really liked the garlic dip the best but they were all quite tasty.
But they also wanted to try a traditional dish. So they ordered the Extra long curry sausage—real curried sausage with Burwirz chips and curry sauce. Sue offered Randy and I a slice of the sausage and it was delicious. Great lunch.
While we were eating I happen to notice that familiar faces sat down at a neighboring table. “Oh my,” I exclaimed. The familiar faces I had spotted were the members of The Revolvers group that had performed on the ship just a few days before.
I screwed up my courage and walked over to the table and told the group how much we all enjoyed their performance and wished them well. Before I left I asked if they would mind if I could have a picture taken with them. They were so nice and quickly said, “Absolutely,” at which time I had Sue come over and snap away. Then these very nice young men sat a little longer while Sue snapped a picture too. As she snapped the photo they gave her a thumbs up. They seemed pleased that they were recognized.
After lunch, Vilma, Jim, Mickey and Betty decided to stay in the square and do a little shopping so we continued on our way.
Then we were back up again and walking over to St. Mary’s Church. The church is so large. Unfortunately, the church was undergoing renovation with many sections drapped in plastic. But, no matter, what we could see was just beautiful.
What caught my eyes of were the the Baroque organ, the stained glass window, beautiful pulpit and the astronomical clock. Randy was especially interested in the clock. The astronomical clock was built in 1472 and is the only one of its kind still in working condition with its original clockworks. The clock has the daily time, zodiac, moon phases and month. The calendar at the bottom of the clock is valid until 2017. Amazing.
We started our walk back to catch the bus to the pier once again enjoying this beautiful pedestrian street. Doug and Randy had spied a bakery for us to stop and enjoy a treat before returning to the ship.
We stopped at the Meister – Stuck bakery. Looking at all that was offered it was so very hard to choose. We all chose a Kirsch Pudding Streuselkuchen (cherry pudding crumb cake). The cake was delicious.
We returned to the cabin where another treat was waiting for us from the Crown & Anchor Society. We really enjoyed this little box of chocolates on the first leg of our trip and were looking forward to enjoying them on this leg too.
We decided to rest for a while before preparing for the evening. Tonight was open seating in the dining room. We arrived first but by the time the others came other diners had been seated at our table. We sat with a delightful German couple and a mother and daughter from Newfoundland, Canada.
Tonight we decided to turn in early. We returned to our cabin and sat on the balcony watching as the ship slowly made its way out of the harbor.
Tomorrow we are at sea.