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Published: January 10th 2019
... on the beach of Travemünde.
My friend Hetty and I have known each other for 15 years, and we wanted to celebrate this with a weekend together. 3rd of October is our National Holiday in Germany and since it was on a Tuesday, we thought we could turn this into a long weekend, Hetty could come up from Munich and we could spend the weekend by the sea. We decided to go to Travemünde since it is just 1.5 hours by train from Hamburg. I had really been looking forward to the weekend, but things turned out differently than expected: Hetty broke her toe and needed surgery just before our weekend, and so she had to cancel the weekend. I considered cancelling the booking, but then felt that I needed some time outside the city and decided to go anyway, and to go and visit Hetty in Munich later in October.
I caught a train to Travemünde on Saturday morning and got there around lunchtime. I checked into my beautiful hotel: Villa Wellenrausch
, a house from the early 20th century in ancient seaside resort style, just a few hundred metres from the beach. Then I walked into the city centre for some lunch. Along the beach
My hotel, a villa from the early 20th century.
I could see a lot of kites in the air and found out that there was a kite festival going on. It was amazing to see all these creative kites: there were bears, octopuses, pigs, fish, dragons, and many more, all of them very colourful. It was fun to watch them move with the wind.
I had lunch in town. Travemünde is part of the city of Lübeck, located on the Baltic Sea. Its name comes from the river Trave that enters (“münden”) the Baltic Sea there. Most of the town’s houses are on the west side of the river, but some of them also on the other one, and there is a peninsula, Priwall, that has some small cottages and a few resorts on it as well. In the early 19th century the town received the official title of “sea resort” and became a very popular place for health cures. This was also when a lot of the hotels were built in sea resort style. As pretty as the city and its location is, it is also a very touristy place. Because of the kite festival there were a lot of food stalls and places selling other stuff
The main pedestrian area in the centre of the town.
built close to the beach, and the promenade was packed with people. I wanted to escape the crowd and walked a beautiful coastal trail to the next town, which is about an 8 km walk. The coastline here mostly consists of coastal cliffs, and since the trail runs in a crescent along the bay one has a great view of both the town of Travemünde to the east and the town of Timmendorf to the northwest. When I got back it was already getting dark, so I had a nice dinner at a restaurant called “Lieblingsplatz” (“favourite spot”) located on the beach promenade of Travemünde, and then went back to my hotel to spend the evening reading.
The next morning I took the ferry to the other side of the river Trave. There are two ferries, one car ferry that departs from a jetty close to the city centre, and a passenger ferry that departs not too far from the beach. I caught the passenger ferry to Priwall and walked northeast, first on the peninsula, and then further on along the beach. I took it slowly, stopped every now and then, enjoyed the view, and then went on. When
Brick architecture, very common in this region of Germany.
it was lunchtime I walked inland a bit to the village of Rosenhagen, where I had lunch at “Café Strandgut” (“stranded goods”), a little café with a pretty and quiet terrace. The village altogether is very remote and quiet, as it turned out when I walked around a bit after lunch. I walked back to Priwall through the coastal forest and caught the ferry back to the western part of Travemünde. I had dinner at a pizza place before again retreating to my hotel for an evening with my book.
The first two days had been beautiful, windy but sunny, but on my third day it was wet and stormy. But I have to say that I like this kind of weather when I am by the sea, so I caught the ferry to Priwall once more to walk the trail that takes you around the peninsula. The southern part of the peninsula is a nature reserve. From its western part one has a good view of the port of Travemünde, whereas from the eastern side one gets a good view of the coast on the other side. The landscape is wild, with lots of reeds, bushes, and trees.
Between Travemünde and Niendorf I
View along the cliffs back towards Travemünde.
I had lunch on the peninsula before exploring the other part of it, the one with houses and cottages on it, and catching the ferry back.
On my last day, I wanted to walk inland to Hemmelsdorfer See, a lake. I walked from Travemünde to Schloss Warnsdorf, a former palace that is now a private hospital, hoping that I would be able to walk to Niendorf along the shore of the lake – at least on Google Maps it looked as if there was a trail along the lake. However, it turned out that I could walk down to the lake from the castle, but there was no trail through the dense forest. So I had to go back to the main road for a bit, walk along it, and then turn back towards the lake at a later crossing. I passed Burg Gosevelde, also called “Räuberkuhle” (“robbers’ pit”). There are not walls or bricks left, one can just see the hill on which the tower used to be, and the pit. The castle used to be small, only about 12 to 14 metres in diameter, and was most likely built in the 13th century.
From the remains
Between Travemünde and Niendorf II
View towards Niendorf, with the coastline of Timmendorf in the background.
of the castle I continued to Hermann-Löns-Punkt on the shore of the lake, a viewpoint on a wooden tower from which one has a good view of the lake. It was raining heavily when I got there, and it was extremely windy, but it was amazing to see the storm-beaten waters of the lake, and the trees and the reeds swaying in the wind. I did not stay for long, though, because I was starving, and was happy to make it into Niendorf for a late lunch. From there I took the coastal path back to Travemünde. And my short holiday was over, I caught a train back to Hamburg, all refreshed and happy through a few days by the sea.
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