Wednesday, 2 November 2016

T4rdis2 Tour 2 Day 121 - 125 Germany

Day 121
Saturday 29th October 2016.  Fine but overcast and very windy

This morning we left our Stellplatz at Seller and headed for a campsite very close to the 'almost island' of Zingst which is just off the North coast of Germany and only connected to the mainland by a very narrow strip of land.   We'd decided on a campsite for our stay this time because we're finding that a lot of the seaside Stellplatz around here are equal, and sometimes more in cost when compared with campsites that accept our ACSI  discount card, and added to that, we've hardly got any clean clothes left so it's definitely time to do some washing!

We arrived on site around dinner time but there was nobody about and only a few other 'campers' parked up, however we did find a notice pinned on the reception door that invited us to find a spot and then come back later to pay, so that's just what we did - and we were delighted to find that they seemed to offer free internet which we greedily made the most off! (everything updated and several episodes of Strictly downloaded).  But then 2 days into our stay a log on page appeared indicating a cost for using it - we were very naughty and didn't admit to what we'd already pinched!  Also it turned out that they had got a washing machine but it was a route march away and only available at certain times, so for the time being we'll just have to wear our undies inside out!

We'd chosen this area to visit mostly, because we wanted to explore the  Zingst peninsula , but as an added attraction, we'd also read that in the autumn it's a major migration stop off for cranes (amongst many other birds).  Therefore,  as we were parked very near to one of the 'lakes' that lie between the mainland and the island, in the afternoon we pottered out to see if we could spot any - but alas NO - and we didn't stay out long because the wind was vicious and there was a definite threat of rain in the air.   However, as we were heading back to T4rdis2 we did spot a couple of deer roaming free in a field, and as we were downwind of them they were unconcerned by our presence.  So with the aid of our binoculars we watched them for quite a while, but then suddenly their ears pricked up and they went bounding away - they must have heard John sneeze - but it was a lovely sight to see!

Day 122 
Sunday 30th October 2016 - A wonderful sunny day from start to finish

This morning dawned bright and clear - a perfect day for cycling and setting about our task of exploring Zingst, a 45 km long but very narrow peninsula which is described as being one of the most beautiful but wild areas along the Baltic Coast.  Apparently, Zingst used to be an island, but in 1874 a storm tide closed the inlet and connected it via a sand bank to the mainland, and these days a road runs across the narrow isthmus.  Our campsite was on the mainland but very close to the spit of land that crosses over about half way along the peninsula,  so perfectly placed so that we could explore the left half  today and the right tomorrow.

Now, maybe some of you would think we're a bit strange in wanting to spend quite so much time cycling, but in such a lovely place, and blessed with decent weather,  it turned out to be heaven for us. In all, over the 2 days we covered 120 kms of trails that provided very varied (but mostly flat) terrain, and besides the magnificent views and vistas, it also had the added benefit  of providing plenty of exercise.  Over both days we spent about 8 hours in the saddle, and we very much appreciate how lucky we are in being fit enough  to do this - even if we do moan about little aches and pains afterwards - John said he'd got a pain in the neck - I'm not sure if his head is to heavy or if he was complaining about me!

Our first target for today was the town of Zingst itself, which proved to be a busy little metropolis, and obviously the main centre of attraction for tourists, with lots of shops bars and cafes, as well as a small pier with another of the 'diving bell thingy'  to take visitors to the sea floor if they wished to go.  The town was also fronted by a lovely white powder sand beach which more or less continues along the whole north coast of the peninsula, and above which the cycle track runs along a dyke in both directions.

So it was here that we cycled along the shoreline to the town of Prerow, and then continued slightly inland though old woodland (that is still decked  in lovely autumn colours) where a track led us to Ottosee - the topmost tip of the peninsula where we found extensive marsh land and sand dunes, and an area that we later learnt is part of the Western-Pomeranian Boddenlandschaft National Park.

This was where we'd planned to stop for lunch, but to get to the most scenic bits you needed to cross some long boardwalks which weren't really suitable for our bikes, so we abandoned that idea and continued down the west side of the peninsula, first to a lighthouse, and then further on to the border of the National |Park, pausing for lunch in the woods as we went.

Next, we crossed back over to the lagoon side and through the town of Born where we found a jetty that reached out into the lake - a perfect afternoon coffee stopping place, and one where we not only admired the water, but also the numerous pretty thatched cottages that adorn most of the island - they even had thatched toilets!

By now the afternoon was wearing on, and because we've lost an hours daylight, the  evening was tracking in fast, but that turned out to be a good thing because as we headed back  to our crossing over point the sun was sinking into the lake  providing a magnificent and colourful sun set, which of cause we paused to enjoy.

Then we just had the final 7 kms to go, but on the way we were treated to our first view of a crane who snaffled a small rodent out of the ground for his tea, and we also managed to spot more deer in the fading light - a perfect end to a perfect day.

Day 123
Monday 31st October 2016 - Overcast but with occasional glimmers of sun

This morning we did dither as to if we should go out again on our bikes or not because the overcast skies looked a bit threatening, but worse weather is forecast for the next couple of days so we risked it - and although the sun didn't shine much it did pop out to say hello for short periods.

So off we went, and once on the peninsula we turned in the opposite direction towards Pramort - an area where there are bird hides over more massive marsh and reed beds.   Now, it has to be said that some of today's ride was less inspiring than yesterday because a lot of it was along dykes with grazing land and reed beds at the side.  

However, this habitat is essential to the island's maintenance because the plants and trees that thrive in this saline soaked area, that is derived from occasional  floodings of sea water, bind the sandy soil together - apparently Zingst's  land is almost entirely made up of just fine sand.

Then, once we arrived at Pramort there was plenty to hold our attention from within the 2 bird hides. From our vantage point we were able to observe all manner of water fowl which included lapwings, geese and swans to name but a few, and we also spotted more deer grazing on the marshes.

Then, as we sat and ate our lunch we noticed two huge birds of prey in a nearby field - possibly eating their lunch as well, and when they had finished they provided us with an aerial  display as they soared off up into the sky to circle almost over where we were sitting - we think they might have been sea eagles, but whatever they were they were very majestic!

Unfortunately, we couldn't stay and watch for to long because with being still we were getting cold, and the warmth of T4rdis2 was still a couple of hours away, but we both agreed our visit had been well worth the effort, and on the way back we also had the pleasure of sitting on the beach watching the lapping of the waves while we had our afternoon coffee and cake.

Day 124
Tuesday 1st November 2016.  Howling wind with regular heavy squalls of cold rain!

Well, we knew it was coming, and when we drew back our blinds this morning we were very glad we'd made the most of the last couple of days - we definitely wouldn't be straying too far from the warm confines of T4rdis2 today!  This morning we continued our journey across the North coast of Germany to the little town of Rerik with a plan to stay on another ACSI campsite - we needed to be on a campsite because our washing situation has become a little desperate - and luckily, this site has a luxury laundry with 3  washers and dryers so we managed to get it all done at once, and all for 12 euros, which we thought was a bargain when compared to the price of a shower which is 1 euro per minute! (but we don't have to pay cos it's included in our ACSI rate!)

In the afternoon we managed to find a little window in the bad weather so we scurried off to the local 'Edeka' store to buy a few essentials for our afternoon in - John has taken a shine to cherry flavoured beer - I know it sounds disgusting and it's not quite my cup of tea either, but there was plenty of alternatives so I didn't go without!  And then it was back home with our feet up to sip our beer and catch up with another episode of Strictly - only 2 to go now before we're all caught up!

Day 125
Wednesday 2nd November 2016 - More gale force winds with almost constant rain in the morning but then a bright sunny, but cold and windy afternoon.

Our plan for today had been to walk out across another isthmus onto a peninsula called Wustrow, but it didn't quite work out that way, mostly because the cold wet windy weather kept us in until after lunch.

However, once the sun started to peep out in the afternoon we couldn't resist wrapping up warm and going for a stroll on the windswept beach.  Here the choppy waves regularly hurled handfuls of foam up the sand, but the noise generated by them made conversation quite difficult, so although we had each others company, we were more or less left alone with our thoughts - mostly concerning what we are going to do over this coming winter.  At the moment our plans only extend as far as the end of December - we're going to spend that month back on Riddings campsite so that we're near our family over Christmas, but beyond that, the page is fairly blank!  We're toying with the idea of staying in England, but depending on how severe the winter is, we're not sure if that will be a good idea!  Oh well, it'll give us something to talk about during these dark nights.  

Eventually, our walk took us up off the beach and into a parking area just before the peninsula, and it was here that we found our way barred by a big security fence that prevented us from entering the area - so even if we'd had the time our plan would have been thwarted anyway.  At the time we couldn't work out why this was, but when we got home we looked up the history of the peninsula on good old Wiki and found that it had a long military past, and that now there is very little public access available.  It was first occupied by the German Reich back in 1932 and used as an artillery school, and later the Russian Red Army took over and from then the Soviet's remained in charge until May 1994. After that the entire peninsula was sold to an investor who planned to build a marina, a golf course and horse farm, a hotel and apartments to house over 2000 guests, but this was opposed by the citizens of Rerik, so now the land remains wild and the only way to visit it is by boat!

Me and my new

Swans in the harbour

So, instead of walking on the island, we turned tail and sauntered back through Rerik's marina and coastal promenade, but with the ever threatening storm clouds gathering we didn't linger to long before we tootled home - maybe it'll be another episode of Strictly this evening.

Anyway, that's all for now xx