Saturday, the 29 April, it was finally time for our big excursion to the seaside. Because of the long way we had to meet early. Really early. The bus was supposed to leave at 5.30 a.m. but it was 6 until everybody was ready to take off. It was taking only ten minutes until nearly everybody was asleep, some of us didn’t sleep at all in the night before. At around 12 noon we arrived at our youth hostel. It was beautifully situated right next to the beach so everybody was joking about going for a swim. But first of all it was time to discover the city. We had some time before our guided tour started so we walked around and had our first “Fischbrötchen” (a bun with fish of course, salad, onions, pickles and sauces like remoulade). Afterwards two guides showed us the beautiful city of Stralsund. In former times many wealthy merchants lived there because of its perfect situation at the Baltic Sea that was the ideal basis for successful trading. They built magnificent houses with a unique facade which is typical for the North. Have a look at our pictures to see them! The harbor impressed with a nice view to the island of Rügen and the big aquarium “Ozeaneum”, but more about that later. After the tour we had dinner in one of the well preserved old basements of the city. Then we had to take a public bus back to the youth hostel because our bus driver had to rest. Lucky us, we catched the last bus driving this evening!
After a very relaxing night (and for some of us a cold dip into the sea) we started our program on Sunday with a bus ride to the island of Rügen. There we went to visit Prora a holiday resort from the national socialist times. The Nazis wanted to build huge blocks for holiday-makers directly at the Sea. 20 000(!) people were supposed to spend their holidays at Prora. The construction work has never been completed due to the beginning of World War II. On our tour around the area we learned a lot about the architecture and how the buildings were used after 1945. Unfortunately investors bought most of the blocks and that’s why even the museum there might have to leave.
Our next stop was Sassnitz, a beautiful city right at the Sea. We had some time to grab lunch and then most of the group went hiking along the beautiful chalk cliffs of Rügen. The rest of us stayed in Sassnitz and discovered a submarine, the nice old town and the little cafés along the beach. Afterwards we had dinner in Stralsunds´most famous brewery “Störtebecker”, named after the most famous pirat germany has ever seen, went back to the youth hostel having a few drinks and riddles and let the evening fade away.
The last day was reserved for the “Ozeaneum” one of the biggest aquariums in Europe. Fish from the northern seas live there and we got to know some interesting facts about them by our two guides. The European plaice for example is a very bizarre species. As larva it looks like a normal fish. But as soon as its metamorphosis starts one of its eyes is wandering on the other side and the fish becomes flat. Another highlight was the feeding of the penguins on the roof of the “Ozeaneum”. After all those new insights we had lunch and then it was already time to move back to Dresden. All in all it was a wonderful trip full of good weather, nice people and lots of fun! We hope to see all of you again on our next tours.
Text by Hans