The Baltic Bummel

22-24/7/16. “Bummel” is a German word for a leisurely and aimless walk or journey (as in Three Men on a Bummel by Jerome K Jerome, an even funnier sequel to Three Men in a Boat).

We are loving our time here on this very pretty coast. The weather is wonderful – mid to high 20s without being too humid-  and the scenery is lovely. The campsites are plentiful, reasonably priced and generally beautiful located on the water’s edge. Stephen has been for an early morning swim at all three sites we have stayed at. There are some nice towns with interesting buildings. However, they are not generally as chocolate box pretty as in Bavaria, for example. (Mind you, we didn’t think that much of Ulm, for example, when we were there last year.)

Because we didn’t have far to go to our Warmshowers stay on Friday and our host was not going to be back from work until 7.30/8.00 we had a leisurely start to the day which gave Stephen the chance to change the oil in the gears on the bikes. They ran more easily afterwards.

We headed back towards Peenemunde but taking a flatter and more direct route beside the road rather than the unmade track through the woods for the first few km. After lunch Christine noticed that her little solar panel recharger wasn’t in its usual place in the map flap on top of her handlebar bag.

As she looked so doleful Stephen volunteered to ride the 5 km back to our lunchspot where she last remembered seeing it. There was no sign of it so he rode back and on the agreed meeting point on the edge of Wolgast where Christine was looking very sheepish! She had found the charger inside the bag!

After catching up on some podcast downloading at McDonalds we made our way to Jonas’ flat and arrived at almost the same time as him. He was another very pleasant host and we had a most enjoyable evening chatting and eating.

The next morning, Jonas accompanied us for the first 15 km or so as he was cycling to meet his parents who are on a music related trip relatively near by. He left us at an old nuclear plant from the GDR era which is being decommissioned. He was able to tell us lots about it as he has taken his physics classes to visit (he is a teacher).

We continued parallel to the coast catching glimpses of the sea until we reached a campsite on the edge of the old Hanseatic city of Greifswald. Although it was rather early to stop it looked to another lovely situation and we thought the city might be an interesting place to visit on the pill/rest day.

So it proved. Christine walked the 5 km into town the next morning to go to the service in a very large church in which the congregation of about 25 looked rather lost. She thinks it is probably popular with students from the local, large university so it is much fuller in term time. Stephen cycled in later and we wandered round the old town which escaped destruction by the Russians at the end of the war by surrendering without a fight. Probably very sensible.

We ate sandwiches by the harbour on the river and then walked along the banks which was much more pleasant than the road we had taken into town. There were some seriously expensive boats using the river and some very nice houses and apartments being built beside it. It is very definitely an up and coming place. We have sensed that many places in the former GDR are improving but this is where it is the most noticeable.

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