Monday, September 21, 2015

Berlin to Warder am See - Monday, 21 September

We left Berlin at 8:30 this morning, on time. Today's journey will take us to Warder am See with two brief stops along the way.

Our route took us through much flat farm land punctuated with windmills and solar farms.

It took just a little over 2 1/2 hours to get to Schwerin, a bit more than we had anticipated. After a mad and quick dash to the toilets, we were back on the coach and ready to begin the city coach tour.

Schwerin is known as the city of lakes and woods and it is evident why. You are never to far to see a lake. The city was first inhabited by Slavic tribes, but in 1160, the Conqueror Henry the Lion took the land and founded the city. In 1358 the land became the Duchy Meklenburg and at the same time Schwerin became the residency. At the time of the 30 Years War the Mecklenburg duke was expelled. The landmark of the town is the Schloß and it fell into disrepair. In 1837 Grand Duke Paul Friedrich moved the court back to Schwerin. It became a city in 1972. The capital of Mecklenburg had by this time moved to Rostock, but after the reunification, thanks to the efforts of Bertha Klingberg, Schwerin was once again the capital of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Surrounding the lakes are beautiful villas that belong to many of the members of the parliament.

Behind the castle garden is the grinder's mill with a fully functional water wheel.

The Schloß is an impressive structure that dominates the landscape. It was designed the architect Demmler. From 1843-1857 the new castle was designed and built in the style of the French castle Chambord on the Loire.

Taken from the spot across the lake at the site of the 2009 Schwerin flower show, the castle still appears to be under some reconstruction.

At the conclusion of the tour, we disembarked the coach and walked to the Altstadt, old town. Time for some lunch and a stroll around the square.

At the one side of the square was the Schwerin Dom.

The present cathedral is the third one on the same site. The first building was erected in 1171, the second consecrated in 1248. The present cathedral was started in 1250 and completed about 150 years later. The triumph cross dates to the 15th century.

Some of us have a different idea of what lunch should be!

From Schwerin it was on to Wismar, about 30 minutes away, but we made a wrong turn so it actually took us about an hour to get there. By that time it was pouring down rain, hence the raindrop splattered pictures. Wismar was a member of the Hanseatic League and as such became a fairly wealthy city. It was also the site of bombing by the allies on 14 April 1945. St. Maria's Church shows not the effects of the bombing, but of the Communist government's ill-fated attempts at dynamiting the building.

Our tour was a bit disjointed because of how late we were arriving, the rain, and the narrow streets that our coach could not navigate. We stood in the square with umbrellas and learned of the Swedish occupation and the some of the architecture.

The first house was used by the Swedish prince and is one of the oldest in the north of Germany. The gabled house was an attempt to project wealth, but as the windows on the third floor show, there was not much floor space there.

The Wasser Kunst in the center of the square handled the water pumping.

It was decided to return to our coach and continue on to Warder am See where we checked in to our hotel. After an hour to get settled we made it to the dining room for a buffet dinner of cream of broccoli soup, roast pork, spätzel, cauliflower and broccoli, turkey, and ice cream with berries.

And so another full day comes to an end. We look forward to a fun-filled day tomorrow.

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