Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Warder am See and Schleswig-Holstein - Tuesday, 22 September

It was a bit dismaying to wake up this morning and find it still raining. With an entire day of touring ahead of us, we all secretly wished for a bit of sun. Temperatures were around 58° so not too cold. Breakfast was open at 7:00 and we had to be on the coach at 9:00. The breakfast wasn't nearly as good as at the Wyndham in Berlin. .

Martin, our guide, met us in the hotel and explained the day's itinerary. And then we were off. On the coach he explained a bit of the geology of the area and how all the lakes were really puddles of water from the glacier melt.

Our first stop this morning was the little village of Bosau. In this village whose name means "under beech trees" is the smallest Dom in Europe. The church was built from 1150-1156 and is now Lutheran. Most of the population in the north of Germany are Lutheran and in the south, Catholic. Outside the church are memorials to the fallen dead from WW I and WWII.

The inside of the church was dominated by the Triumphal Cross and a series of paintings depicting biblical scenes.

The choir decided that it was time to offer some praise in the form of a song. It was heavenly.

We were all very thankful that the rain had stopped and the day seemed to be a bit brighter.

After a brief drive our next stop for the day was Eutin. The village dates back to the 7th and 8th centuries when it was inhabited by the Slovak tribes. In the 12 century Henry the Lion takes over the city and lends it as a fiefdom to Earl Adolf II von Schauenburg. The city's history centers around the Residenzy and the political machinations of Lübeck. After 1800 Eutin became the summer home of for the ducal court. Central to the city is the Schloß which was begun in 1270. It appears to have been built in a patchwork manner with extensions and modifications. In the 1600s it was occupied by the Danish military until 1773 when it was returned as a result of the Danish barter agreement. After WWII it was used as a refugee center. Today it serves as an exhibition hall and concert venue.

A brief walk brought us into the town center where were able to see St. Michaels church that was built around 1200. The steeple's tower is nearly 220 feet high.

We got to the market square and had about 35 minutes to explore, have lunch or just a libation.

By the time all had returned to the coach we had to make a mad dash to the 5-Seen-Fahrt boat cruise dock at Fegetasche. The cruise takes us on 5 of the lakes in the Schleswig-Holstein region. Lasting about 50 minutes we cruised on Großer Plöner See, Behler See, Langensee, Dieksee, and Kellersee, enjoying the beauty of nature and the quiet lakes - no motorized jet skis or motorboats

And even some horses on one of the islands.

We disembarked the boat at Bad Malente-Gremsmühle and then traveled by coach to the medieval city of Plön. There we walked to the Plön Castle grounds. The castle was built in 1636 and was also a summer residence for the Danish kings. In the time of Wilhelm II he built another structure for the family's living quarters. It was also the home of the Prussian Navy cadet school and Wilhelm added on the the living quarters so that his son could benefit from that education without going to school with the "common" men.

We did an about face and walked back to the palace itself. It has been used as the public reception area for the kings, Wilhelm II, a boarding school. Since 2002 it has been the site for the Fielman Akademis, a training center for opticians.

It was a steep descent down to the market square of Plön and we were glad the cobblestones were not slippery.

At the square we had a chance to visit St. Nickolai's Church. It dates back to the 12th century, but has a much more modern feel inside due to the changes in the church in recent years. The stain glass was very contemporary compared to what had been there. Nothing was damaged in the war, just the congregation's desire to change. Again, the choir had a song for the occasion.

It was just a short distance to the square and another Rathaus.This building is original and dates back to the 15th century. An interesting banner flew across the entrance.

It was just about 20 minutes back to the hotel and a couple of hours before dinner.

Dinner tonight a typical Schleswig-Holstein buffet - tomato soup, sauer Fleish, smoked salmon, dried and pickled herring, hot potato salad, sauerkraut. meatballs, and schnitzel. Berries and creme for dessert.

Time for tomorrow's departure was changed to 9:00 instead of 9:30 to allow for traffic and any other unforeseen issues. We will be glad to see Martin again in Kiel.

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