Our first Port o' Call was Warnemunde, Germany. When we woke up we immediately went out on our veranda. The ship had arrived at a quaint little German seaside village. Warnemunde was in East Germany and had little contact with the west. The town was also a vacation spot in the summer for East Germans. Apparently, this town was heavily bombed during WWII ruining many of its historical buildings. Under communist rule, few ruins were fixed. There are stories of people hiding many artifacts from the communists that were thought lost during the war. They are now displayed with great pride.
We ate breakfast and headed to town. The weather was cold, breezy and drizzling. I had to keep reminding myself it's early fall in the Northern Kingdom.
Our stroll through the town square was on cobblestones lined with buildings since the early 1800s. The shops and restaurants were in German but we found many locals spoke excellent English.
We found ourselves in a residential area with 2-3 story homes, flowers were cuddled in every corner possible. We also noted the blooms on the flowers were rather large and vibrant in colors.
It was getting colder with light rain so we ducked into a Lutheran Church, St. Christopher. It’s alter was built in 1475! It also had a statue of St. Christopher (7 feet tall) carved in 1507!
After warming and drying out we continued our stroll on the seaside. Fortunately, the sun was out and no clouds. The beach had beautiful, white sand that glistened in the sun for miles. Large covered Cabanas lined the sand. We wanted to stick our feet in the blue ocean but the weather was cold (50F) and decided not to.
As we walked along the coast, families walked with their children, baby carriages and strollers. Many were from other parts of Germany vacationing on the coast-again many spoke very good English.
Clouds blew in and the rain started up. On our way back to the ship there were sand sculptures, beautifully done and very intricate.
We spent the rest of the rainy day on the ship at the well-stocked library on the 14th deck, looking out at the ocean. We were even served hot chocolate.
We kept talking about how beautiful Warnemunde was. For so long many of the countries and cities were hidden behind the Iron Curtain that we forgot how beautiful this part of eastern Europe was...until now.