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!!!
Day 11 of ‘Central European Alps by Train’
Our journey today took us from Milan through the mountainsides of Switzerland to Luzern, but not without some complications! Out Trenitalia train malfunctioned and terminated its journey at the Lake Lagurno. We were forced to change several times in the mountains to reach our final destination. However, as the scenery was so stunning we where not too fussed!
Luzern was very warm! If there is one recommendation I can make for accommodation in Switzerland in the summer- make sure you have air conditioning!
We spent the day wandering the old town, crossing the Chapel Bridge and watching the majestic white swan. The flowers on the Chapel Bridge were in full bloom, making the river so picturesque.
In the evening we found a brilliant local restaurant that specialised in cheese fondue and chicken. Unicum Luzern had super friendly staff who introduced us to the art of eating fondue! It was delicious!
Day 9 of the ‘Central European Alps by Train’
Lake Como has been one of the highlights of our tour and is a must see day trip from Milano.
Situated an hour from Milano, I can recommend visiting as a group tour. Currently Como Train Station is a refugee camp for migrants – and Como itself isn’t the main attraction.
Our group tour took us on a short journey through Como, and gave us an hour to explore the streets of Como ourselves. Como is the old centre for silk production so there is plenty of markets and silk shops. It also has a spectacular Cathederal and great coffee.
We then caugh the scenic cruise that zigzagged its way up one of the branches of the lake, stopping at small towns and passing stunning villas such as Versace, Clooney and others that have features in Hollywood movies.
After a surprising delicious salmon trout meal on the boat, we arrived at the Jewel of the crown of Lake Como: Bellagio. This cruise took 2 hours and it was breathtaking.
Bellagio is famous for its picturesque streets, spaghetti parmigiano, silver and the best gelato in the world at Hotel Splendid.
After two hours of wandering the streets the group met up and caught the small ferry across the lake to meet our bus. We wound through the lakeside streets back to Como and returned to Milano by 1830. A spectacular outing and really not to be missed!
Lake Ohrid | Macedonia
Lake Ohrid is a very special lake- it is a tectonic lake, one of only around 6 in the world! (Baikal, Titicaca to name a few)
Lake Ohrid is half in Macedonia and half in Albania. It is surrounded by monstrous mountains of over 2500m. It is one of the cleanest lakes we have seen, with underwater springs feeding from the surrounding mountains and even from the Gulf of Mexico…… No! I have not got my geography wrong! Look it up! It is crystal clear for up to 21m deep. There are unique fish swimming and have been known to use the underground springs to travel.
Travel Tips for Lake Ohrid
The summer season at Lake Ohrid consists of local Macedonian weekenders and charter flights mainly from Russia, Holland and occasionally England. The airport is not far out of Ohrid itself. There are hotels that I would rate from 1 to 3 stars, but are quite basic. There are lots of Air B&B’s and they are very well situated if you chose one on the water front. The only challenge would be luggage as the old streets are very small and some areas by the water have only foot access. I have seen Wizz Air flying from London to Ohrid, but it is very seasonal. Coach transfers are available from Skopje, but there are some ‘interesting’ locals I saw on the bus. We travelled as an organised tour of the Balkans.