Bad Doberan is one of many nice northern German towns near the Baltic Sea. It really got in the money when it became the summer playground of the Mecklenburg dukes in the late 1800s. Then it became the “in” place for the monied social class. The beach, however, was several miles away so a railroad was built to ferry the fine families to the sparkling white sand. Heiligendamm, as the beach area is known, became the first seaside resort in German.

Historically, the town got its start in the early 12th century when Cistercian monks established a monastery there, and today a great brick abbey church remains. It’s worth a visit i its own right.

The great  Minster

The great Minster

Ruins on the abbey property

Ruins on the abbey property

Eva really wanted to spend a day on the beach, so, like all the fine ladies, she took the train.

Mollie, the train to the beach at Heiligendamm.

Molli, the narrow-gauge train to Heiligendamm.

Eva heads for a day at the beach.

Eva heads for a day at the beach.

The train runs on schedule but the station surely could use a coat of paint. There’s so much to do to recover from the war years, and the Communist regime in particular, that there’s still a lot of catching up to do. Eastern Germany is still far behind western Germany in many ways.

Train station

Train station

Clear but cool today

Clear but cool today

Pretty deserted today

Pretty deserted beach

In strolling around, Eva came across a number of the fine old houses of the late 19th century. They surely need a bit of love and paint.

19th century luxury

19th century luxury

We'll renovate - just send money.

We’ll renovate – just send money.

Renovation is happening.

Renovation is happening.

Downtown in the central park is a small bronze bust of Frank Zappa, the American rock star. Curious isn’t it. He was quite the radical and very attractive to eastern youth trapped in a suffocating political system. For 25 years now there has been a music festival here in his name. Such a good thing to have happen.

Frank Zappa - rock star and advocate for free speech

Frank Zappa – rock star and advocate for free speech

We left Bad Doberan by way of the beach town of Warnemünde, which was really a pleasant place to hang out for a while. We went to the beach, dressed appropriately. In town only a few blocks away it was much warmer.

Proper dress for the beach in May

Proper dress for the beach in May

Harbor view right at the edge of town

Harbor view right at the edge of town

While we played tourist, some people were earning a living.

Skilled mason repairing a sidewalk

Skilled mason repairing a sidewalk

Others are taking life easy.

I like this way of travel, so easy on the paws.

I like this way of travel, so easy on the paws.

To get to where we were going we had to cross the wide Warne River, right where it flows into the Baltic Sea. There’s lots of traffic here what with busy shipyards nearby and Scandinavia not far away. Here comes a car ferry from Stockholm.

Huge car ferry

Huge car ferry

Fortunately, we had ferry service ourselves to the other side of the river. We first had to wait for traffic to pass.

Car ferry from Sweden heading for Rostock

Car ferry from Sweden heading for Rostock

We arrived on the far shore easily enough and off we went on the next leg of our travels.

The back route int Pomerania

The back route int Pomerania

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