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Europe 2012 - Rügen then Southbound

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Rügen then Southbound

Rügen is a large island, fairly flat in the south, but with chalk cliffs along the north east coast. It has a distinctly different atmosphere, and has been a popular seaside destination for many years. Once off the main roads the narrow lanes can change from bumpy tarmac to rough cobbles in the towns and villages. We headed for a campsite set in a forest at Rappin, next to the large inland lagoon, Großer Jasmunder Bodden, in the middle of the island. Once installed at our pitch, we went for a stroll along the lane to the small village and back via a track by the lagoon. 

 Sassnitz walkway
Saßnitz walkway

Sassnitz colourful fishboxes
Colourful fish boxes and nets
Sassnitz Uboat museum
U-boat museum

The next day we drove to the town of Ralswiek where a large outdoor Störtebeker festival is held each summer, then to the larger town and harbour of Saßnitz on the northeast coast.
We parked on the quayside next to the U-boat museum, ironically a British Oberon class submarine, and walked up a modern steel walkway to the town centre . As it was a bank holiday most of the shops were closed so we returned to the harbour, passing several grand hotels with distinctive wooden balconies, some with girls names: Villa Eveline and Elizabeth. Many had been restored to their former glory, others were in need of some TLC. On the harbour there was a modern tourist office with some leaflets in English. After lunch we drove to the north west coast and the small town of Wiek, where we watched many kite and wind surfers of all ages and abilities making the most of the fierce west wind. We returned along the narrow spit of forested land between Juliusruh and Glowe, obviously a popular summer destination judging by the large parking areas, then called in to the village of Lohme, from where the chalk cliffs and forests of the Jasmund National Park can be accessed.

Prora Youth Hostel
Prora youth hostel

The next day we decided to move on to the excellent Wohnmobil-Oase stellplatz at Prora, north of the busy resort of Binz and a short walk to the colossal Nazi KdF (Strength through Joy) holiday camp for 20,000 people, built in 1936-9. The main building is nearly five kilometres long and is now mostly derelict, apart from the central section which houses  excellent museums, and the northern end which is now a 400 bed youth hostel, where a music festival was being set up for the weekend. The fascinating museum had lots of information about the history of the two cruise ships which preceded the camp, which was never actually used for workers' (indoctrination) holidays before the war. There was a model showing the whole planned site, also displays of life pre- and post- WW2 and products of the GDR era such as cameras, typewriters, motorcycles and military equipment.

From there we drove to Sellin, a small resort with more distinctive villas, now mostly smart hotels and restaurants, along the tree lined main street leading to the pier and sandy beach, with the ubiquitous strandkörbe below the wooded cliffs. It is also a stop on the 24km Rasender Roland narrow gauge steam railway, just next to the motorhome parking area.

Rosender Roland steam loco
Rasender Roland locomotive

We headed back to Stralsund along pleasant tree lined roads through the attractive white town of Putbus and across the old bridge to the mainland, then on to a stellplatz at the small fishing harbour of Stahlbrode, which we could have reached from Rügen by a car ferry (5 tonne max) saving twentyfive kilometres!

Stahlbrode vintage motorhome
Vintage motorhome

After a peaceful night on the quay with four other motorhomes, and admiring a vintage one parked nearby, we decided to change our planned route, east along the coast to Usedom, and turned south through Demmin and Teterow. We reached the Mecklenburgische Seen Platte, a lakeland region, and the busy resort of Waren on Müritz, the second largest inland lake in Germany. After a couple of nights at CL type campsites near the lake, we continued south, stopping at the pleasant lakeside town of Röbel, with gardens and many timber-framed houses. It was worth €1 to climb up the 180 steep steps of the church tower for views across the lake, with its thatched boathouses. There was a stellplatz at the yacht harbour which looked full, with one van even towing what looked like a mobile sauna!

Motorhome with sauna at Robel
bring your own sauna?

Heading south along wooded back roads, we reached Rheinsberg with its large schloss and modern sculptures and fountains, and after a night at the sports centre stellplatz in Neuruppin, we drove down the autobahn to the west of Berlin to visit the Sanssouci Palace and Park at Potsdam.  

Sassnitz hotel
Saßnitz villa hotel

Prora KdF camp
Prora "holiday" camp (seaward side)

Prora model 
Prora model of building

KdF Volkswagen brochure   MZ motorcycles
KdF (Volks)Wagen brochure                   MZ motorcycles
Sellin villa hotel
   a Sellin villa hotel

Sellin pier and beach  
Sellin pier and beach    

   Robel timber framed houses
Röbel houses

Robel view of Muritz from church tower
   Müritz boathouses from the church tower at Röbel

Robel decorated house   Lakeside statues at Robel
Röbel mural and sculptures

Rheinsberg modern sculptureRheinsberg fountain Schloss at Rheinsberg
Schloss Rheinsberg
Rheinsberg schloss gilt balcony
Gilt balcony