A Day Trip to Schwerin Palace

Spectacular Schwerin – Palace, Town and See…

Mecklenburg Vorpommern – The North East of Germany

When all the fellow Baltic cruisers are making their 9 hour round trip from Warnemünde to Berlin, why not spend a day in the beautiful surroundings of Schwerin Palace.

The large external was added to the 16th century interior in the 1850, during the time of the Eastern Prussian Empire. It is so imposing alongside one of the largest lakes in Germany, and is featured on the Schweriner See.

The town of Schwerin

Not quite UNESCO – due to a fire in the early 1800s. It was rebuilt in a similar fashion but the roads were widened by meters – therefore it did not meet the strict requirements. Still, the old romantic lanes, with wooden beams make it special.

Inside the Palace and Gardens

Grand enough to rival any of the large castles and palaces of Europe, Schwerin Palace offers parquet floors, wooden inlays, baroque furniture and spectacular paintings.  The internal courtyard displays the original 16th century beginnings of the palace, mirroring the wooden beams and carved eaves of the old town.

Schwerin Palace is situated on a mini island. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens, willows, swans and an orangery. There is also a grotto, which is always fun!!!!

How to get to Schwerin???

If your on a Baltic Cruise, there is more than likely a tour to the Palace. It usually starts with a boat tour on the lake, and a tour of the town. Finally a guided tour of the palace and time to spend in the gardens.

If you want to do it yourself you can catch a train from the Warnemünde docks to the town of Schwerin. There is usually a change, however the travel time is usually similar to that of the coach. Check at the docks if there are other tour operators working independent of the ship. You could save some money. But- like any independent day journeys – make sure you get back to the ship on time!!!

Strasbourg

Summer Weekend in Strasbourg

If someone asked us where I though the heart of Europe was we would say, without pausing: Strasbourg. It is, to us it is the epitome of old world charm, atmosphere and character.

The Alsace region is just so special – no wonder the Germans and French fought over it for hundreds of years. Strasbourg is like the gateway city across the Rhine showcasing the best of French wines and German Beer. Not to mention the food! -but more on that later.

Things to see in Strasbourg

Strasbourg is an amazing weekender destination, with enough to pack a weekend! In the summer time there is an amazing light show on the cathedral walls, with music, artistically portraying the history of the Strasbourg cathedral. It was the tallest in Christendom for a long time. The Crypts and astrological clock are somethings to marvel at inside the Dom.

There are riverboat cruises travelling constantly around the Isle of the city. The boat cruise takes you all the way up to the European Court of Human Rights. It gives you some nice narrated history and you really get to experience all of the areas of Strasbourg.

The most famous area of Strasbourg is the Petite France. Why is it called little France? Well apparently it was where all the dirty and diseased people lived – I think it was occupied by Germany when this area was named!

There are vast amounts of museums to keep you amused, from music to culture, to art.

The Christmas markets are said to be amazing – It’s on our wishlist!

Food in Strasbourg

Flammkuchen is the traditional lunchtime snack in Strasbourg. It comes from the traditional leftovers from the day: the leftover bread dough to make the base (like a pizza); the leftover creme fraiche from the mornings’ making butter; leftover pork and spring onion. Combine together it makes a wonderful fresh but creamy deliciousness!

Pork Knuckle – A Germanic staple, with lashings of Dauphinoise potatoes giving it that french touch.

Guwurztraminer – a light white wine, from the Alsace region with the hintest of sparkle.

Beer – There is a selection of largers (Kronenbourg) and some heavier brown beers as well. We found one called Fishers that was very nice and smooth!

We ate two nights at Le Tire-bouchon – a typical Alsacian restaruant. I can also recommend Le Gruber. It has great atomsphere.

Hotel

We splashed out a bit on this trip. We stayed in one of the nicest hotels in the city called Cour du Corbeau Strasbourg. It was formally the stables of the Polish King, who sent his daughter to marry one of the French princes.

It was renovated recently and turned into a small boutique hotel.

 

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Wanna get a creepy feeling like you are stuck in a time warp? Berlin is a bit trippy! It’s a place where you can stand in the footsteps of recent history; See the scars of war pot-marked in the marble. If only the buildings could talk! But, as the Siege of Berlin was’t a terribly long time ago, and the Berlin Wall torn down just 30 years past, it is scary to think that this is all still within a lifetime.

01661ea43755f4a736e8265f2053cc1d76208f1481Sean and I started our time in Berlin with  a Segway tour. We had never been on one before, only seen tourists whiz by.

This was an amazing way to see the sights of Berlin! I highly recommend it!

Tye tour took us from Alexanderplatz to the Brandenburg Gate via the university (burning of the books), concert halls, Checkpoint Charlie, SS Headquaters, Hitler’s Bunker and The Reichstag.

We enjoyed it so much that we did another segway tour on one of our next holidays!

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There is such an eclectic mix of history in Berlin. You can see the Berlin Dom with kings and queens in the crypts. Museum Island, housing the great discoveries of the 1800’s, including Nefertiti’s Bust. The various buildings of the Third Reich, including ‘Hitler’s Playground’ and the SS Headquaters. East Berlin and the Berlin Wall including Checkpoint Charlie. Our tour guide told us some amazing stories of dates gone wrong ending up being stuck in East Germany for 3 years!

934870_10153230216695130_7002682685944482756_nBerlin afforded me some really great photographic opportunities. There is a certain light that captures the buildings particularly well. There are textures and colours that allow interesting subject matter, as well as thought provocation.

This picture I took of my husband, Sean, was a large crack in the Berlin Wall near the SS Headquarters. If you knew my husband he hates having his photo taken, and cannot abide posing and positioning. A photo, according to Sean, is where you point and shoot. Yes, true..but… his photos are mostly average (don’t tell him I said that!).

01362837563d4f72a9eec9d90552af81089ebcb3a8So, if it’s history, art, museums, culture, food or shopping all can be easily satisfied in Berlin.

This city really has an educational charm to it, as well as a youthful presents in it’s now recovering status.