Motorhome and Away
Europe 2012 - Along the Ostsee coast

Home > European Touring > Europe 2012 > Along the Ostsee coast

Along the Ostsee coast

In rather wet weather, we drove along the quayside of Flensburg, where several historic ships are on display, then followed the coast passing the impressive Schloss Glücksburg, to an overnight stop at Langballigau. The next morning we continued to the rather deserted resort and harbour of Eckernförde, although the roads were very busy and blocked by major roadworks. We were glad to get back on quieter roads to Rendsburg, another very busy town and followed the ring road through a tunnel under the Nord-Ostsee (more familiar to us as the Kiel) canal, and along to a new stellplatz at Schacht-Audorf, where we found there was a small car ferry so we could have avoided Rendsburg. This was a great location with all types and sizes of ships passing a few yards in front of us, several heading for Hamburg's boat festival, including a recently commissioned Indian Navy frigate (F45) built in Russia (thanks to Google images!). A couple of kilometres walk along the canal led to the amazing 42metre high iron latticework Rendsburg railway bridge, with a small car transporter gondola suspended beneath it. It was built in 1913 and the railway line requires a five km loop to gain the necessary height.

Nord-Ostsee canal stellplatz
Nord-Ostsee canal
New frigate
Indian Navy Frigate F45
Rendsburg railway bridge
Rendsburg railway bridge

After a diversion inland to find a REWE food shop in the suburbs of Kiel, (don't rely on satnav POI's as it turned out to be a mini-market branch on a housing estate!), we reached the improbably named region of Holsteinische Schweiz, with many lakes in the flat countryside. We stayed for two nights at an ACSI campsite on Großer Segeberger See, with a pleasant walk to the town of Bad Segeberg, where we enjoyed a free choral concert in the kirk on a Saturday morning. From there we drove to the Hanseatic city and port of Lübeck. The old centre has seven church steeples and distinctive styles of architecture on an island. Many brick buildings date back to the fifteenth century or earlier, including the leaning Holstentor gate, and the impressive twin spired cathedral. As it was a Sunday, parking at the stellplatz by the modern concert hall was free. We enjoyed a stroll in the sunshine around the old streets and riverside promenade, where we came across a bridge adorned with hundreds of "love padlocks."
Lubeck padlocks on bridge

In the afternoon we headed via a toll tunnel to the resort of Travemünde, with its fishing harbour and promenade, (being rebuilt), and eventually found a pleasant grassy stellplatz at the north edge of the town, and an easy stroll to the main beach. The next morning we had intended to take a shortcut across the estuary on the ferry to Priwall, but the workers were on strike, so we had to drive back into Lübeck and eventually found the main road east, after doing a complete loop of the city due to poor road signs and a confused satnav (operator). We stayed on the main road to Wismar, another Hanseatic town, with a large industrial area and a massive shipbuilding yard. The centre has been well preserved and is now Unesco listed. We took a pleasant stroll around the streets, with many interesting buildings and features. We found free parking near the quay, where boats were moored, selling every variety of smoked seafood.   

Wismar smoked fish stall on boat
Fish stall on boat

The centre is unspoilt with one of the largest town squares in Germany, surrounded by traditional Hanseatic buildings with their distinctive brickwork details. Along the side streets we came across a colourful old art deco fire station, a bronze pig statue on a bridge much polished as passers-by stroked its belly, and an unusual street name ABC-Straße.
There are two ships figureheads called the Alter Schwede, reminders of the era when the town was under Swedish rule, commemorated in August every year. We felt Wismar was well worth stopping at with a lively centre yet a relaxed atmosphere. 

Wismar Alter Schwede

another Alter Schwede figurehead
Alter Schwede figureheads

Continuing along the coast and an overnight stop at a small clifftop stellplatz at Wittenbeck, we drove to Heiligendamm, apparently the first German seaside resort, built in 1790. It was a strange mixture of exclusive hotels and a row of neglected grand villas along the seafront, although a couple were being restored. The beach had ticket machines €2 in high season, but the place was virtually deserted apart from dog walkers. After a quick stroll to the small pier, we walked through the woods to the Mollie steam railway station, but there was no activity there either, so we drove inland along pleasant flat roads, lined with linden trees, to Bad Doberan then, thanks to the satnav leading us to a non-existant MH service point, we got lost among large blocks of flats in the suburbs of Rostock, eventually following a bus to reach Warnemünde, where there were crowds of passengers embarking on two massive Baltic cruise ships. (it wouldn't suite us!). As we crossed on the car ferry we spotted many motorhomes parked on the quayside although we hadn't noticed a stellplatz listed there.

Lubeck gatehouse
Holstentor gate Lübeck

    Lubeck town hall    Lübeck rathaus (townhall)

   Typical Lubeck house   Lubeck church entrance   
Lübeck architecture

Wismar old fire station
   Wismar old fire station
Wismar pig statue    ABC strasse - street name in Wismar

Wismar town square
Wismar town square

Wismar town quare buildings
Wismar traditional buildings


Baltic cruise ship at Warnemunde   Large cruise ship
Baltic cruise ships at Warnemünde

We continued through forests to the Fischland - Darß - Zingst peninsula, stopping at the pretty seaside resort and artists colony of Ahrenshoop, with yet more distinctive doors, a modern Schifferkirke (skippers' church) and a round house made of thatch. We walked to Saaler Bodden, the large shallow lagoon noted for migrating birds, especially cranes, but we didn't spot any. After a free night with a few other vans in a carpark, we drove along to Zingst for another windswept walk by the harbour before turning inland to bypass Stralsund and across the modern bridge to the island of Rügen.

Darss schiffkirk
Darß Schifferkirke
Darss door 2   Darss decorative door   Darss door 3
Darß doors
Darss thatched round houseround thatched house