Stralsund – Another Hansa City
Posted on June 13, 2015
From the Darss we expected to zip right along to Binz, but we drove so close to the great Hansa port city of Stralsund that we thought it would be a shame to bypass it. So we headed for the Centrum and parked a bit on the outskirts once we saw some of the great spires. You never know when and where you might find a no charge parking spot without paying $2.00 or more per hour, and constantly worrying about an expired meter. We couldn’t have found a more picturesque spot to stop, right by one of the inland lakes that characterize the north coast.
We cross a bridge and are met by a protective wall, city gate and one of several huge brick Gothic churches from the Middle Ages. But that’s after we pass an ice-cream parlor and share a tasty milkshake.
The city is a real jewel and is approaching full restoration, great for tourists and locals alike.
The City Hall is on one side of the main plaza in all its Gothic glory of characteristic brick.
A civil wedding ceremony was taking place in city hall. Some guests were waiting outside to cast their approval. The getaway car was waiting. The comical thing was that the car was an old East German Trabant, the prize under Communism of being on a wait list for decades.
The square was in full sun and many people were enjoying lunch or a drink, usually beer and a cigarette.
We joined them under a large umbrella and had a delicious meal.
After lunch we wandered around the cobbled streets seeing the sights. We came across another great church, now repurposed as a maritime museum. We could visit the large lobby without paying admission. Since most Polish museum exhibits are described only in the Polish language, we haven’t been paying only to be confused and uninformed.
Inside were photos of the massive damage to the church during the second world war., and the church’s reconstruction.
Most interesting was a globe showing the effect of ocean currents. Some decades ago a cargo ship heading from China to the US sank in the Pacific Ocean. The ship was carrying a load of rubber ducky bathtub toys. Over the years these duckies have been found all over the world, and are physical witness to the ocean currents and mixing of waters above and below the equator. Currents even flow in the northwest passage, now opened due to global warming and melting sea ice.
We head down to the wharf.
We get to the wharf at last, where we can see the car bridge that will take us over to the island of Rügen.
Now it’s time to be on our way as we must check in to our apartment in the town of Binz, an old seaside resort. We’ll be staying in one of the traditional white buildings with a balcony overlooking the water. For us, we overlook an inland lake, but that’s ok.