From Russia With Mom – Day 11 – Rostock Harbor/ Warnemunde
We arrive at port about 6AM with a tremendous grinding and bustle of engines. From Rostock it is possible to train to Berlin, wander that city, then return by train – 6 hours round trip to wander for three. Mom and I opt for the local bus tour of Warnemunde instead, as we have both visited Berlin, albeit decades ago. It is a beautiful day, about 70 F. out, I can see the tram passing, see people wandering along the promenade, but Mom doesn’t want to go out until the scheduled outing to make sure her feeling of chill and digestive unease is past – not un-anticipated, but a bit frustrating. I resolve to go for a long bike ride when I get home.
Finally the bus ride/ walking tour – we are in the bus with the South American Contingent – only one other couple speaks English as a first language. The guide, Irene, a sweet young thing with wispy voice , has a hard time keeping control.
A Lutheran church which coopted a Catholic church in full ornate mode – somehow they adjusted, by not insisting on restoring the historic stained glass windows which were destroyed in the war.
It is stunning to realize that we are in EAST Germany – the gray side of the Berlin Wall when I last toured as a student. Instead of the Stalinist blocks which I had seen before, we see sunny plazas, brightly-dressed people, frolicking children, flowers – and McDonald’s and TJ Maxx. Some Stalinist statuary remains, but mostly on a sunny day that past does not show.
After the tour, which ended up covering quite a bit of cobble-stoned pavement, Mom decided to recuperate, and I bolted for the gangplank to do a little unguided exploring. Of course there was a souvenir mart close to the cruise ship docks, and evidently there had been some sort of civic sand sculpture competition quite recently. The theme seemed to require some reference to Warnemunde’s history; the themes ranged from serious to sensuous. (see below).