Swimsuits optional at the German seaside


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Europe » Germany
July 20th 2013
Published: July 28th 2013
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Europe is now having a sustained period of fine, hot summer weather and we are lapping it up. When we look back over the nearly 4 months of travel on this journey we have avoided the rain and had mostly sunny (except for Eastern Poland), dry days. And today was going to be no different with an azure coloured sky and not a cloud to be seen in any direction. And so it stayed for the whole day.

Our drive for today took us southwest for most of the day and then for the last hour, directly south.

The R105 is marked as scenic on the atlas map and it was certainly very picturesque. The rural towns of Germany just have that smarter, orderly and quainter look over their Polish colleagues.

As the R105 doesn’t actually follow the coast south-westwards we turned off at Lobnitz and headed through Barth to a road that ran around an inland sea and would give us the opportunity to take in the beach when we decided to take a stop.

Although we could not see the beach from the car we could tell it was just through the trees as all along the road there were areas of parking which were full of cars. Along a stop bank or dyke cyclists by the dozens were taking the advantage of glorious weather to be out and about.

When we finally found a gap to park the car we joined the families crossing the road and the stop bank and walked through a path in the forest to the beach.

Up the sand hill with video camera in hand for 10 or 20 seconds filming of the beach...........and stop!

Before us were the beachgoers in both directions along the beach and a quick estimate had only half of them with any clothes on. There weren’t many in the sea itself, probably because of its coolness. Rather most were sunning themselves either on their beach towels or playing with their children. Like all communities they came in all shapes and sizes.

Now we are not prudes by any means and appreciate the naked form.......in the right place. But there were no signs that this was a nudist beach which seemed, we felt, would have been appropriate, for those not expecting what they would find.

Any way we accepted this as the European thing to do and let feel free with nature in the mixed groups of all ages. It didn’t seem right to take video of this beach and any way there was an older guy standing observing the beach like us except he had a look about him that suggested he wasn’t a tourist sightseer like us! We left him to whatever gave him pleasure.

Most of the buildings in the numerous small towns we passed through had thatched roofs giving them an Alice in Wonderland look.

We came back to the main road at Ribnitz-Damgarten and continued southwest through the countryside and avoiding the sizable city of Rostock.

With the very large city of Hamburg in our way to get back to the North Sea coast for our Sunday night stay we had booked a hotel on the Autobahn #24 near Gudow.

We decided that it was worth trundling through the Germany rural countryside and so by a complicated means of twists and turns we negotiated several back roads from just outside of Wismar down to Wittenburg on the Autobahn #24.It lengthened the journey in both kilometres and time but it was worth it on such a beautiful fine day.

We had to get our entry onto the Autobahn correct as there were only a very limited number of entries and exits and the hotel was in a lay by between two of them. Any mistake and we would have had to go off at the next available exit and retrace our steps.

Thankfully we got it right and pulled in to the lay by and a solid looking hotel with no reception but a note directing guests to the restaurant after the service station.

This done and with swipe codes in hand we headed back to the hotel hoping that the room would have air conditioning or decent windows that opened wide to catch whatever breeze there might be to get some respite from the heat of the late afternoon. No such luck with no a/c and windows that didn’t open wide presumably to keep the noise of cars whizzing by on the Autobahn down as much as possible.

With no internet available (the first time in ages) we had an early dinner and settled down to watch our DVD of Queen at the Bowl, and revved the sound up to drown out the motorway noise. Actually it wasn’t that bad but it was there if you listened for it.

With the DVD finishing and God Save the Queen performed again, as Queen did at the end of each of their concerts, we prepared for bed expecting to have to try and shut out the motorway noise to get to sleep.

As we checked the windows to ensure we were getting as much fresh air as possible we noticed a deathly quiet in the darkness that was the motorway.

What was going on? Had there been a pile up of cars and the Autobahn had been closed? There was nothing obvious in the direction we could see from the room so we headed for bed none the wiser why we would probably have a peaceful night’s sleep without road noise.

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