2021 Peenemünde

Motto: Going on holiday could easily be our main activity!

With both of us having got two Covid-shots, we can and dare make cross-border holiday trips again. And, as usual, we opt for a mix of touristic, cultural, social and educational. Final destination this trip will be Peenemünde.

Our route in July 2021

The first night of our trip we spend in Uplengen/Remels. The summer weather has yet to come....

After crossing the river Weser, we stay the night in Sandstedt (municipality Hagen im Bremischen).

The Sandstedt motorhome parking is located Am Radarturm. This is why.

Just to show how serious the Germans are about Corona.
All these rules apply to the pick-up of a sandwich, a bag of chips or a fried fish from the mobile cafeteria.

Because it's raining cats and dogs, I might as well stay in the van and study the theory for a radio amateur license.

A27 to the North.

Motek has nothing better to do than taking a nap (and now and again peek outside with one eye).

Smaller roads to the East.

The over a century old Schwebefähre between Osten and Hemmoor across the river Oste.

This picture (nicked from Wikipedia) makes clear how it works.

Further downstream, in Oberndorf on the Oste, we have lunch at our favourite restaurant-on-a-ferry, the Ostekieker.
Click for the story of the ferry (in German).

Freiburg (Elbe) has a gigantic motorhome and caravan parking.

Late in the afternoon, this beauty (Setra S6, 1960) came by for some fresh drinking water.

Around 10 PM an unknown gentleman on a bicycle came to see us. After giving us some brochures and maps of the region (called Kehdingen), he took us on a guided tour through the medieval town and its historic harbour. We were back around 11 PM. Motek had had his evening stroll by then.

Afterwards we found out the unknown gentleman was the former mayor of the town, Detlef Hammann.

Among the sites we were shown was this 18th century grain warehouse, now cultural centre, ....

.. and the Oderik, owned by the municipality.

On our way to the Elbe ferry (Wischhafen-Glückstadt, from Lower Saxony to Schleswig-Holstein) we happen to see an easily recognisable fellow villager.

After about an hour waiting time, it was our turn. A few years ago we had to wait for 2½ hours. The crossing takes 25 minutes.

Next stage site is Itzehoe. In the town centre we can exchange some reading material.

This machine factory is nothing like what you would expect in that industry. That's because it has been converted into apartments.

Close to the town centre, Itzehoe has a giant free motorhome parking. You can buy electricity from a coin-operated machine.

Mr and Mrs Duck taste a lump of dog food.

Due East to ...

... Bad Schwartau, where we have arranged to meet our friends Wolfgang and Anja with their self-designed camping unit. They are on their honeymoon to Norway.

Next stop are the castle grounds of Krassow castle. A perfectly quiet place. Water, electricity, waste disposal and sewerage are included in the (moderate) overnight fee. Toilet and shower are available against payment, for those who are not self-sufficient.

The weather calls for the use of the safari chef.

In the morning Sylvia has the usual shower in our van, washes her hair and has just finished rinsing it, when the water supply stops. An easy diagnosis: submersible pump deceased after six years, can happen.

Fortunately, the castle's receptionist knows of a caravan and motorhome shop just five minutes from the castle. With a pair of pliers and a screwdriver, the repair is completed in five minutes.

We follow the A20, further East. No traffic jams for miles and miles, until...

... Wolgast, where we have to cross the river Peene.

Since 1990, when the GDR became part of the FRG, much has been invested in repairing backlogged roads. But not (yet) adequately everywhere.

Peenemünde, the final destination of our round trip, is quite touristy. It also has a giant motor home park.

Here, too, you can borrow a book, exchange it, leave it behind or take it with you.

In the meantime, it has become quite warm. The harbour bar is doing good business.

This East German missile corvette is one of the exhibits in the harbour.

The Peenemünde Historical Technical Museum is located in the huge former power station. In addition to the history of the power plant, the development of flying bombs is also covered. The foundations for the development of space travel in the USA, the USSR, Great Britain and France were laid here.

The V1 flying bomb on its launching facility.

The V2, the world's first long-range guided ballistic missile.

In the military rocket industry voluntary labourers, but especially many forced labourers, were employed. Tens of thousands of them died. For the sake of appearances, the Nazis produced information booklets in various languages.

This submarine, the Russian U-461 is the largest diesel-powered submarine in history. A visit should be the highlight of our Peenemünde trip.

Unfortunately... due to a stupid power cut, the ship is not accessible today. So, we have to come back another time.

While Ernst spent most of the day at the museum, Sylvia explored the other side of the peninsula with Motek. Apart from the sailing boats, there is no sign of mass tourism here.

On the way back, we cross the bridge at Wolgast again and drive a short while to Greifswald. It is so touristy that in the area close to the harbour the price per square metre must be high. Therefore there's not much space per motorhome on this camper site.

The historic harbour seems to be the main attraction. Some of the old ships are of Dutch origin.

Greifswald is also known as one of the centres of the brick gothic style.
Downtown we meet fellow motorhome owners Andrea and Joachim, who have moved from central Germany to Greifswald. An absurdly unexpected meeting!

In this house, from the late 1880s until the 1930s, the Jewish community had its residential synagogue.

Not all traffic on the B109 has problems with the 100 km/h speed limit.

On the way back, we stay again at the castle garden (Krassow) that we liked so much last week.

A trolleybus on the motorway...? We were intrigued. Afterwards, we found that there are a number of test tracks in Germany, where electric freight lorries can recharge their batteries while driving. Is this the future?

Crossing the Hamburg area from east to west is a complete drama.
Not in the last place because of the numerous road works ...

... and the traffic volume.

We cross several branches of the Elbe ...

... and see, among other things, this ultramodern railway station.

The next stage is Rosengarten, not so far from Hamburg.  It is a luxury motorhome site, actually more of a campsite (but without tents). The price per night is the highest of all the places during our trip (€ 24). That's not so bad, because everything is perfectly organised. Only... one has to check out before 10 AM. That means: set your alarm clock and work hard to have everything lashed for take-off. Not exactly what we are going on holiday for. So: not recommended (except for extreme morning persons).

On the next day of travel, we plan a visit to the Cohn-Scheune (Cohn Barn) in Rotenburg (Wümme). This is a small Jewish museum, dedicated to the memory of the local Cohn couple, who perished in Auschwitz.
There are ties between the Jewish community of Oldenburg and the Cohn-Scheune, so Ernst already knew the Scheune. Sylvia had met some officials, but had never been to the museum.

Prof. Dr. Michael Amthor gives, especially for Sylvia, a guided tour through the museum and tells a lot about the Cohn family.

Upstairs, a miniature shul has been recreated. Here, many schoolchildren from the region receive an introduction to Judaism. The idea is that more knowledge helps to prevent antisemitism, which often stems from ignorance.

Next night we spend next to the station of the amateur railway in  Bruchhausen-Vilsen.  It is the first railway museum in Germany.
The locomotive is already pressurised. Unfortunately, the railway cafe is still closed. The first ride of the amateur railway is also only in the afternoon (I love trains). Next time then!

In our previous home town, Großenkneten, we met up with our dear neighbours. Because we are a bit early, we spend an hour or so at the municipal motorhome site. Strange, having lived here for eight years, sometimes having had a chat with visiting motor home owners, but never been here with our own motorhome. Now we are foreign visitors ourselves. Very alienating.

After a few pleasant hours (and delicious home-baked cake) with our former neighbours, we unfortunately have to move on. Tomorrow we have another appointment.

The last night of our tour we sleep in Uplengen/Remels, just like the first.

Because it is on our route back home, we have planned to visit the exhibition Jewish Life in the Border Area in the former Jewish school in Leer (Lower Saxony).
Here we meet up with the 1st chair of the Jewish community of Oldenburg, my board colleague of four years, and her husband.

And well before dark we are back in our hometown. It feels like we have been away much longer than 12 days! A real holiday!

And here is a summary of our daily stages. Truly a relaxed itinerary!

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