Cruise 2006: The Baltic
Photographs by Gerald England
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This page last updated: 7th September 2006.
Tuesday morning we wake up in Warnemünde which is part of the city of Rostock.
The ship is berthed in the river Warnow overlooking the West and East moles that guard the entrance to the port.
After breakfast in the Orangery, Christine goes for a pedicure. It isn't cheap and she isn't used to having her feet pampered, but with our wedding anniversary coming up I feel she needs the treat.
Meanwhile I go on deck from where there is a splendid view over the railway station and the town beyond.
Just above where the ship is berthed, a roll-on-roll-off car ferry forms a shuttle service across the river from Warnemünde to Hohe Düne. The yacht marine there has 750 moorings and is one of the largest on the Baltic.
We venture ashore mid-morning. We've been told that the underpass into town has steps, but the guard who checks our passport says we get around it by going through the carpark. So we go down Am Passagierkai to the City Harbour.
We cannot find any way into the carpark from the harbour. We look for an entry on Am Bahnhof but are told the only way is via steps and the tunnel under the station.
However there is a stall there and I procure myself a very nice leather belt for €6.
We are forced to make our way back past the cruise terminal and up the main road to the level crossing at Alte Bahnhofstrasse. Had we not gone so far in the wrong direction it wouldn't have been so bad.
Beyond the level crossing we work our way towards the centre of town. Some others from the ship are drinking outside a place called Bier und Branntweinkontot. We join them for a couple of refreshing iced cokes. Although the barmaid doesn't speak English she is very welcoming. Later she helps Christine negotiate the few steps that lead to the cloakroom.
Suitably refreshed, we meander down the busy Alter Strom. This is the former port entrance. On one side are pavement cafés and small boats; on the other an array of various shops.
Up a side street, we find a shop where we buy some small bottles of water. The road emerges by the lighthouse and the Teepot. The lighthouse was built in 1897/98 and if you have the energy you can climb the 32 metres to the top. At its base is a building called the Teepot, an exhibition centre built in the late 60s.
From the lighthouse, a wide promenade stretches out. Access to the beach is along duckboards, but they are uneven and we are worried about the possibility of a puncture so decide not to venture there.
This area is overlooked by a webcam based at the Strand Hotel.
A rather non-descript road with a small park at one side leads us back to a square containing a neo-Gothic church. We are very tempted by the strawberries and cherries on a stall outside the greengrocer's.
We resist them and pass down some streets of rather quaint old houses before continuing to the level crossing. I notice that the frequent trains on the line are in fact double-deckers.
We are quite tired by the time we get back to the ship.
Back on board we have a bite to eat in the Orangery before retiring to our cabin. Lots of different boats pass by. These include small private yachts and even a three-masted schooner. Larger craft such as cargo boats and the car ferry to Denmark also pass by.
I visit the cinema but am bored after five minutes so go and sit in the cyber-study near the Crows Nest. I don't need to access the internet like I did on last years cruise, but the chairs in that room are some of the most comfortable on board and when the room is quiet, which is most of the time, one can swivel round and watch the world go by. It affords a marvellous view across the town.
At about 6pm the ship departs. The roro ferry halts while we go by and its passengers wave at us.
After dinner we go to the Aurora Show; it is the same as the one we saw last year, but every bit as enjoyable.
Wednesday is a full day at sea.
I attend three port-talks. These are quite informative but the young lady giving them has quite obviously no extensive knowledge of the ports and is reading a prepared script. The main emphasis is to push the organised shore excursions. She positively discourages people from making independent tours. In the case of St. Petersburg where independent touring is not really feasible, then fair enough. I do feel the difficulties at the other ports though are exaggerated.
I take the opportunity to do some laundry. The ship has three laundry rooms with washers, dryers and ironing facilities. You only have to pay for the washing powder. This time I have brought my own.
Late in the evening there is a huge thunderstorm. We are in bed by then but the lightning flashes through the curtains. I hear later that many people watch the storm from the Crow's Nest and enjoy a spectacular show.
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