Back to the HomePage
Chapter 2: From Elbe to Oder
Pictures of this Chapter

Chapter 3 Pyritz and Inselhopping

Wednesday 14.8. Schwedt - Pyritz 55 km

The great day has come: we will go to Pyritz today, not the town of my fathers but of the ancestors of my mother. The sky is cloudless.

We roll to the Oder and the bridge at the crossing point to Poland. The morning mists hang around in the meadows. At the border a queue of cars is waiting already. A cyclist is faster, he only needs his identity card and then can pass. As we enter the bridge I shout out: "Let us walk". It is better to have a slow experience and feel the goosebumps while we enter the "new" land. At the opposite shore of the Oder a small hamlet is ducked to a pine wooded hill.

The ducked hamlet proves to be an eldorado for exchange offices and cheap shops and the markets for drinking stuff and cigarettes. We do not enter the first or second but the third exchange office to change 50 DM. At a display is shown: 90 Zloties. I don't care about it and put the banknotes into the purse. But haven't been there some more zeros with the amounts of money some years ago?

While we start our tour I continue to argue about the matter. And again look at the money: really 90 Zl. But the landscape is nice, some hills and no traffic. We come to "Nipperwiese", which is called  "Ognica" today. We cannot find any relationship between the names. Our destination Pyritz is called "Pyrzyce" now and those names sound similar. We have a rest at the shore of the Oder. There is a wonderful view, the blue haze, the wideness of the meadows.

We cannot stop to discuss about the money affair. Heidi suggests to return and to complain the matter at the exchange office. "They will not remember us" I say. We decide to test it at the next "Sklep" as they call the small general shops in the villages. We turn to go east and let the Oder behind. And now the first sign to Pyrzyce comes up for a photo. My mother and grandmother did never see such a sign in their life again since they had to leave their home town. This is the sentimental part.

At the next village, may be it was Krzywin (Kehrberg) we enter a Sklep. The streets look beautiful with lots of flowers like mauves, larkspur or dahlias and nice front gardens. At this nice Sklep we say "a package of cigarettes, please" and we put 10 Zl. on the table. No problem, we get the cigarettes (Papierosy) and some coins change. And the puzzle is solved, all the articles are signed by two prices, one is called "nowy" and the other "stare". This is "old" and has four zeros more. So we still own well funded 50 DM in Zloties.

The way on is wonderful and the senses are strained. The storks have their nests on the roofs and towers of the churches. "I would like to make a bike tour at Poland once again" I say but let us talk about it later. At the top of every hill we look out for the silhouette of that mysterious Pyritz. At the last village Bahn (Banie) we have a rest on a bench and observe the Polish way of life. Main actors are various dogs which control the matters of life. Some are so excited that one ear is raised to check the winds.

The last stretch leads along an old alley and eventually the roof of a church appears above a group of trees. We pass a new built settlement, a graveyard, a chimney with the nest of a stork. At a park they have left a Russian tank to preserve the memories to the victorious day of conquest. And there is the city wall, and there is a gate, the "Bahner Tor", I only know this from pictures at the wall. Of course the upper part of the tower has gone.

We enter the city and see nothing than new built blocks in their typical socialist style. Some low stalls with shops. We pass the church and the town hall. And suddenly we are at the other side, the "Stettiner Tor" and that was all? At first we want to look for a hotel. At the opposite there is an elegant building but this turns out to be a bank. We try to ask some people, they do not understand and we do not understand but they swing their arms around and point out various directions. We stroll around, do not find any hotel and finally are back at the Stettiner Tor again.

So I enter the bank and find an uniformed doorman who speaks some English. We shall go to the Kosciuszki road near by and soon we detect the desired sign "Hotel". It is a usual residential house with a dental's office and lots of children and individuals streaming in and out of the entrance. I enter the house and find a strapper woman behind a kind of counter, this shall be the reception. I don't argue about it, it is so important to get any accommodation, may be it is for one night only in the case we can find something better later on. I fill out the register sheet, pay DM 25 and this seems to be cheap. But then we see the room and this is shabby. The bath and toilet is not clean and it would be impossible to walk around bare footed. We put the bikes into a closed cellar.

We feel somewhat curious but now are free to inspect this town. We start at the city wall. This is well restaurated, but the inner city is bare of any old buildings. We come to the church which is new built as well. I think I am christened in this church respectively its predecessor. Besides the church there is the central place named Plac Ratuszowy. And the town hall is the Urzad Miasta. There is a sign post with a city map but no tourist information. May be we should just go inside the town hall to meet someone for a conversation but we feel like "real aliens". We enter another bank and change money. In the inner city ablsolutely nothing else is to be seen, there is no other hotel and we even fail to find a restaurant for a meal.

We now look for the "Stargarder Strasse" where the number 35 once was our home. They have told me that my baby carriage usually stood under a nut tree. So we look for the street numbers and a nut tree. The "Stargardzka" is a large and noisy building site. The street numbers are even on one side. We cannot say if the numbers correspond to those 50 years ago. We can find number 34. At the opposite side there is a new built but not completed factory building, some distance away a nut tree, but this is no significant sign. Nearby there should have been the slaughter house and there we find a red painted factory building.

That's all. We go back and behind a smudging and rumouring steamroller we find a snackbar offering Schaschlik (shish kebab) or chicken (rozen).

Now what to do all over the afternoon at this town? We try the path at the city wall. Between the wall and the the former moat there are cultivated gardens. The city wall is nearly completely preserved. Sometimes we see circular holes in the wall as if a cannonball was blown through. We end at the Bahner Tor again and use a small path towards the cemetery. But this is a new one, graves of ancestors will not be found. The oldest graves are from the fifties. At the far end of the graveyard they have restaurated a castell.

On the way back we find a cafe stall behind the Bahner Tor. And at a smart new built house we read "Pensionacia". But we will not change for we can definitely say: we will not stay one day more. We dream of the sea and the sun and to have some holidays at last.

At a supermarket we buy some cans of beer for the lonesome evening. By the side we find a brochure and a city map. And we can prove it: we have not overseen anything. At the Stettiner Tor we sit down in front of a Sklep. And this works well: you buy a beer at the Sklep, sit on a folding chair, empty your beer, buy the next one at the Sklep, sit on the... and so on. Meanwhile you can observe the busy and noisy ado around. Once a bus comes by, "Barlinek" is the destination. This is the place where I was born, and if someone will ask, how my mother once did get there, I will answer: "By Bus!".

Next to us there sit some youngsters, three at first, then five, then seven. The distance gradually gets smaller as they play a strange game. An empty can is folded and broken, then thy put something inside and lighten it. Then they inhale something from the oval hole at the top of the can and finally burst out coughing. So this is enough amusement for us and we carry our rucksack with those some cans of beer back to our "hotel". We prefer not to go out in the evening.

I look in my documents and find a note about Pyrzyce: 12000 inhabitants, 1000 year old history, 80% destroyed at 1945, later  restaurated and rebuilt. Mostly prevented walls, one of the mightiest in Pommern. The church was rebuilt 1958-60. Slavonian fortress, the graveyard today, etc. We feel curious about this town, because we have expected so much but only found an ancient citywall surrounding socialistic functional buildings.

At last we gesticulate at the "reception" that we get our bikes at 7 am out of the cellar the next morning.

Chapter 3: Inselhopping

Thursday, 15.8. Pyritz - Stettin 63 km

We enter the reception with our baggage at 7.30 am. No one to be seen. To ring the bell seems useless. After some vigorous knockings an overslept man comes down the stairs. He has the right key and we can receipt our bicycles. But now we must wipe our eyes as we read at a hand written paper shield at one of the cellar doors: "Cultural Association of the German Minority, Meetings Wednesday 17-19 o clock" This was just the time we spent aside the kiffing youngsters at the Sklep. May be we had met someone and our visit had turned to a quite other direction? But we must resign, and while this association resides in such a hole of a cellar - what may be the background? For us it all was a spontaneous action - the impressions were realistic and not "painted pink". May be we will return at some time later in our life.

To give the right mood to the farewell it soon starts raining heavily. We ride on a side road under our rain coats. When the rain eventually stops at least we enjoy the western wind today and this means headwind. And the landscape is grey, not to be compared to the beauty of yesterday. We get to know to various bus cabins when we need shelter from the rain. Once we obvserve a cow in the rain during it's apathetic rumination (Wiederkäuen).

In the villages festive clothed people head towards the churches. The Skleps are closed. There must be a celebration day and after some time we get the idea: Assumption Day (Mariä Himmelfahrt). At noon we reach the Oder again and come to the town Gryfino (Greifenhagen). The people here, in particular the male part, have other ideas. They run around with jingling plastic bags and the Skleps are open. We also enter a Sklep but do not buy something jingling but some bananas and a lemonade. Outside at a ledge we sit down. Nearby sits a man somewhat demolished. His wife comes up and without speaking strikes him into his face. The man offers no resistance but we soon find our way on.

The road towards Stettin leads along the Oder but this is mostly hidden behind the meadows. Near Stettin we are sucked by one of the four lane roads and risk our life among those speedy madmen as they exist everywhere in the world. There is no other way to cross the Oder, the lane circumvents the city on a big ramp. We have some difficulties to climb down from this ramp to the solid fundament of life.

We just stroll along a smaller street as Heidi jubilates: "There is an Orbis Hotel". This means civilized circumstances and a higher price level. After a rainy day you will not discuss too long and after some time we have a room, shower bath and bath tub.

We absolve the walk between two showers. Just above our hotel "Arkona" there is the castle, which was restaurated in a representative manner. Well known is the big clock which shows the time in digits, an early digital clock. Behind the castle there is the city of Stettin. This is not picturesque, here and there there are some relicts of older buildings or monuments, but the streets are wide and vast and not romantic. The church Marienkirche is closed.

We look for a restaurant. There are two Mc Donalds and an additional fast food shed. But we find a Balkan Restaurant where a devoted waiter leads us to two places in the totally empty dining hall. He speaks German and so we can discuss the menu which is written in Polish. The interior of the restaurant looks very old but we cannot judge if it is real or dummy. Then a German tourist group comes in. There are Karl-Heinz and Erwin and some ladies behind. Finally everyone gets its place. As they see the Polish menu they decide better to go to Mc Donald's. And then they discuss about various Mc Doof-institutions spread all over Europe.

We cannot keep up with this and while the rain rushes outside we finally enjoy our bath tub.

Friday, 16.8. Stettin - Kölpinsee Bahnfahrt + 30 km

The rain keeps falling. We are in no hurry at breakfast. Heidi doesn't want to cycle, so am I. We had planned to surround the Stettiner Haff at the south and ride via Uckermünde towards the island of Usedom. Heidi muters something of "Railway" and I get in alarm "Back home?". "Don't we want to go to Usedom?" she says. So I enter the reception to look for a connection. We have 9.45 am. And there is a poster with the trains from the railway station, and there is one leaving 10.10 to Swinemünde. That means check out immediately, fix the baggage, enter the bikes and head for the railway station, let's find out where this could be.

As usual I am the leader and try to ride into the right direction. And in fact, we hit the station without detour or getting lost. But it is no time to purchase the tickets. We have some minutes at the platform, and we use this to get into doubts if we are at the right platform. But as the train arrives, things are clear and we stuff all our equipment into the front compartment, which is blocked for a while. The train leaves off and the conductor smiles at us and keeps cool. This is unusual for us as we know the manners of the Deutsche Bahn staff. We finally get an arrangement, the panniers are stowed away and the bikes tied to a hook.

We sit down and relax. Again a section of our tour, which we did not imagine one hour before. Now we sit without a ticket in the train to Swinemünde (Swinoujscie), but we hope no one will throw us into a prison or something like that. After sometime the conductor comes up to control the tickets. I take hold of my purse as a signal that we have to purchase the tickets yet. The conductor orders me behind the next door and writes a lot of numbers on to a sheet of paper. The sum is 36.75 Zl. I pull out 40 of them but the conductor tells a long story in Polish and I don't understand a single word. But I try to smile all the time until I am allowed to return to my seat. The money still in my hands.

The story will be solved. Next to us there sits a girl whose boyfriend is a German. And she tells us: if you purchase your ticket subsequently in the train you have to pay an additional amount of about 3 DM for any piece of luggage. The other way is to pay in cash without a bill. But this is only possible short before the destination in the case, a control supervisor comes up. Then the conductor will have no problems because he can state that the passenger just has come in at the last station. We need some time to get this into our mind.

So short before we reach Swinemünde the conductor appears with winking eyes. I must go behind the next door again, I wink with my eyes myself and turn over the 40 Zl. He answers whith one of those words which will be understood all over the world: "OK". As we leave the train, the conductor overturns to help us to unload bikes and luggage and waves farewell. We feel to have learnt a very recreating lesson.

Welcome in Swinemünde is a strong shower of rain again. We enter the cost free ferry boat from the island of Wollin to the island of Usedom. We then enter the bikes, pass the church and on a quiet road head straight on to the west. After 4 km someone asks us for the city of Swinemünde. We in turn ask for the border and this shall be 1 km ahead. As we arrive we realize: this is not the cross point and we cannot climb a fence. This means: 5 km return. Of course on the right way to the checkpoint and the Polish market there is much more activity. At the road we see the figure of blonde Polish girl with an accordion. We saw her in the last January during our winter holiday already. We have a last coffee and something to eat, then we leave Poland.

Back in Germany we enter the next telephone cabin and phone up Anke and Achim, our fishermen friends at Koelpinsee. If their holiday home would be free? "No, but come along!" May be there is a free room nearby in the neighbourhood. We pass Ahlbeck and then stay to the main road, though meanwhile they have established a net of nice bike paths at Usedom. We feel unstable today and are afraid to get lost again. This ride is no pleasure but eventually we arrive at Koelpinsee.

There we are, the great welcome and soon we sit around the coffee table. Some time later we are informed, that Anke and Achim have cleared their own beds for us. For Achim will go out for fish during the night, so it doesn't matter. But we feel somewhat ashamed of this great hospitality. So we invite them for dinner at the restaurant "Waterblick" at the Achterwasser. We have a fine meal, and finally we can admire a box of living lobsters which have come from Turkey by flight. There is a group of odd persons who once in the year perform a "lobster day".

Saturday, 17.8. Koelpinsee

This is a rest day and there is not so much to tell. We ride to Koserow, get some money and ask for a boat connection from Usedom to Rügen. There is one from Peenemünde to Binz.

Then we are optimists and rent a beach chair. Chilly we serve for some time. Nearby at the coast a new steep slope was generated during the last storm. Meanwhile hundreds of sea swallows have built their nests there. At the late afternoon we get aware of some sunshine.

In the evening we dine at the restaurant "Ostsee". Achime goes out at 11 pm to fish.

Sunday, 18.8. Koelpinsee - Mukran 30 + 20 km

We start early to get the boat at 9.30 am at Peenemünde. We use the cycle path in the pine forests via Zinnowitz with its new restaurated mansion houses. We reach Peenemünde 45 minutes before departure. At the pier we detect the fisherboat of Achim, named "Koe 2". It is a small red nut shell and we wonder, that this boat can stand the open sea. The view to the mouth of the Peene is nice in the morning haze. After we have gone more and more mist comes up. We pass the island of Ruden between strange round signs for lighting fires. A towboat comes along, this trails a big part of the new Peene bridge to Wolgast.

To the left we realize the vast areas of the former nuclear power station Lubmin. Nowadays after this was closed we feel better. Soon we see the coast of Rügen. And there is the building like a box, a hotel that played a special roll during the DDR-era. We cannot remember the name. I enter the inner rooms and find an information brochure. A short scroll, and then happily return to my wife. "I got the name meanwhile" she says. And so we can both declare: "Cliff Hotel". In this hotel there is a special elevator down to the beach and the former DDR prominent persons were the predominant guests. For our accommodation we will find something else.

The boat stops at Göhren, the beach is deserted caused by the mist. The speaker promises, that within 30 minutes we will have a bright sunshine. And this proves to be true. Round a peninsula named Granitz we reach our destination Binz with a new built "Sea Bridge" which did not exist in 1990, our first visit to Rügen. The best known building of Binz is the famous Kurhaus, in bright sunshine meanwhile. At the beach a volleyball tournament takes place. As we walk on the planks of the sea bridge a rumbling noise comes up. But that does not come from some breaking columns or an earthquake but from a couple of roller blades rolling along on the wooden planks.

We would like to spend the rest of the day at Binz. At the tenement agancy we learn about the changes sinc 1990. Restaurants and cafes have been established, many houses restaurated (not all...). The main change seems to be the price level. They offer an accommodation for DM 200, no private rooms available, everything is booked. We only can resign. We are forced to make an ad hoc plan. There is a boat from the north of Ruegen to Hiddensee, so we can head toward that direction. After some time the lady at the bureau has realized our plan and phones up the hotel "Mukraner Hof". So we are sure to have our roof for the night and can continue in relieve. "5 km to go" the lady says.

We stroll along the promenade, may be cycling is not allowed but we are very considerate. The former DDR recreation homes have turned to be modern pension houses. Binz now or soon seems to be the leading spa town at the eastern Baltic Sea. The promenade finally ends at the dunes. We turn left and look at the old military buildings of the former NVA (Nationale Volks Armee). Moreover there is the largest building of Germany or even Europe, named the "Koloss of Prora". This is 4,5 km long and was built during the war by the Nazis as a recreation home for the KdF (Kraft durch Freude). The building never was completed, for the recreation activities during the war soon got another taste. Today this Koloss is deserted and nearly impossible to be sponsored by any investor.

We use the main road to Prora along the "Schmale Heide", a narrow stripe of sandy land between the Kleinen Jasmunder Bodden and the Prorer Wiek. There are the cars of the bathers everywhere who have found their place at the endless beach. We do not really enjoy this ride, we cycle straight ahead and this is somewhat boring. Instead of the announced 5 km we have to master 15 km before we reach the Mukraner Hof. This again is the relict of the DDR-era, prosaic blocks and a central building with the restaurant.

After we have got our chamber we cycle back to the sea. At first we inspect the big ferry terminal but end on a big parking area in front of a wired fence. Some time later we find the way to the beach, but it is not so romantic here. We settle in the sand and try to feel well. We observe the fast hydrofoil coming from Swinemünde. Then a big ferryboat from Scandinavia spits out an endless caravan of trucks, busses, travel vans and trailers and other vehicles. Finally a cargo ship comes by and then we decide to have seen enough and enter the beach restaurant.

Monday, 19. 8. Mukrane Neuendorf 25 + 15 km

Early in the morning at 6.30 am we go to the rich buffet breakfast. The lady at the reception declares the way to Sagard at a side road. My road map is a DDR-exemplar from 1988 and possible not up-to-date. The road is a little bit hilly but then we have a nice view sometimes. We pass the village Glowe and then ride along the "Schaabe", another narrow headland. The last section to the sleepy village Breege with the harbour. Many people have entered the ship already. We purchase the tickets and our bikes vanish inside the ship. We just get two seats at the upper deck. As we glide through the Breetzer Bodden we watch some black birds and have no problems to identify: cormorants.

At the Wittower Fähre there is a new pier and a much bigger ferry boat. The old one seems to remain as a historic industrial monument. The wind becomes so strong that we go inside. We then arrive Vitte at Hiddensee. As usual we think of nothing else than to get an accomodation. There are too many tourists rushing around. We want to stay two days. At the tourist bureau we get the last apartement for 3 days at Neuendorf.

Now if you take care of your ears you feel something new: there is a silence around. Motorized vehicles are not allowed at this island except some emergency cars. The main transport vehicle is the bicycle or the coach drawn by a horse. The path from Vitte to Neuendorf leads along the nature reservat Dünenheide. At a nice pool a young lady shoots a photo, so I stop and do so myself. As I turn around the next photographers are wainting. We ask at the Neuendorf information for an accommodation just to know what's running. Everthing is booked. So we are very happy to find our home at Mrs. Thürke at the Plogshagen. It is characteristical that the houses are built amidst the meadows without an own garden and fence around. "Unfortunately they tend to build more and more fences" Mrs. Thürke tells us.

We find our nice little apartement, very comfortable with refrigerator and kitchen but no television, and this is the best. We then go shopping for dinner and breakfast, and now the holidays may start. And this is the beach. A special fashion for swim suits des not exist, it is pure skin everywhere. One can have a nice bath in the 15 degree water, but nothing else happens in this afternoon.

In the evening we go to a near by restaurant and sit to a couple from Wuppertal. They recommend to rent a beach chair at Vitte.

Tuesday, Wednesday: Hiddensee

At breakfast we sit in the sunshine outside. But Heidi is obliged to find something against her cough for otherwise she dares to disturb the superb silence around. At Vitte is a medical doctor, a phamacy does not exist. We go to the medical station, two are waiting already on a bench in the sun. And today the waiting room has changed to be the courtyard. Meanwhile I go for a beach seat and make an inspection at the harbour. There is the medical emergency service in action. As Heidi returns from the doctor she tells of an emergency situation: a transfer to hospital or something like that. Heidi got a medicine against her cough.

Finally at the beach we meet our couple who are properly dressed. At our beach seat we hang out all clothes we have with us. The temperature of the water is 13 degree as is to be read. Now let us peer in the one direction of the beach and then into the other. And so on. But then a cormorant comes up, dives in the waters and then sits on to a pole and opens his wings into the wind. Unfortunately a naked strapper woman is too curious and drives our friend away.

In the early afternoon I feel the urgency to start some action. I sit on my bike and ride to Kloster at the northern end. Soon I am one of those silly fools who fight their way up to the light house. But there is the famous view to the south, one of the most painted spots of the island.

Downhill the bike must jump over wide gutters and it's like a jack hammer. And at the harbour now a helicopter comes down.

After we returned to Neuendorf we enter another restaurant this evening. And soon our couple from Wuppertal appears too and we sit together again.

At the next morning I can convince Heidi to come with me to Kloster and up to the light house. Now at the early morning it is not so crowded and busy. We see the villa of the famous poet Gerhart Hauptmann and enter the church. And there is a sound like the Gregorian Chants, presented by a group of young gentlemen. The text is somewhat curious and sounds: "Rammele Rommele  Rammele Rommele...." and so on and so on. Finally the tone pitch lower down to the deepest level of bass. We leave the room and shake our heads. We observe the grave of the poet. They have missed to sign the dates of the year of birth and death, may be they think this is known anyhow. But the gravestone of his wife is filled out completely.

Now we lock our bikes and climb up to the light house hill. An interesting view is to the east, where the various Bodden of the island of Rügen generate different intersecting stripes of water and land. Soon we are back at the beach to get as much sun as possible. We watch a young man passing by known as an actor in the TV. We watch a professor-like gentleman clothed by his rucksack only, followed by a young Thai-girl, naked as well. We watch some workers (properly clothed this time), as they survey the stonewalls which are built as a shelter from the sea.

As we come back to our locked bikes we recognize, that someone has stolen the quick release skewers (Schnellspanner) of Heidis saddle. We had thought that nothing could be stolen on this paradise island. So Heidi must cycle like a child on a very low saddle level. But at Neuendorf we soon have repaired the matter. Mrs. Thürke tells us, that we can stay for another day, before the apartement is used for the next guests. That's not too bad. In the evening we enter the restaurant "Stranddistel" and - guess - at once meet our couple. This time they recommend to go to the lonesome south beach.

Thursday: An additional Adventure

It is definitely the last day, cloudless. We go shopping and meet - guess - our couple. This time we arrange to meet at a certain restaurant in the evening. Then we walk down to the south beach. It will turn out that I make a big mistake not to take my camera with me. We inspect some deserted "Strandburgen". These are small pits in the beach with a wall of sand around as a shelter from the wind. People use to sign their places by the date when they will part. In most cases 22.8. and that is today.

After half an hour we find a nice Strandburg without a sign, as we think and we settle down. Some time later I inspect the dunes nearby. And the catastrope comes near. A lady and a younger gentleman march just upon our nice little place and declare to be the owner of this estate. We look stupid. "There was a sign and willfully you have put your clothes on it" the lady snuffles. We do not want a discussion and like the animals driven away by the stronger of it's own species we drop our stuff and march on to the south.

Finally we find a new Burg, better to say the ruin of a Burg. We put away some rests of ashes and rebuild the walls (if you see Germans at a beach anywhere in the world you will observe them at this activity). But this place is an interisting one as we will see. At the waterside there is blue cutter with its bow blocked within the stones and pricks in a strange way. Some naked figures come up and stand around the cutter. An old man with a full beard and a German Shepherd dog come out. They talk something but we cannot understand. Soon the paradise society retires to their own boats. The old man vanishes in his cabin, the dog keeps as guard and we blink to the sun. We try to invent a story in our phantasy of such kind like "The Old Man and the Sea".

As it gets boring we march to the south end of the beach where the nature reservat begins. The name of it is "Gellen" and is grown by heather and salty meadows. We are just back as the story finds its continuation. We have sit down at our sand-estate and prepare for a little nap as Heidi shouts: "Now it seems to get interesting". And really, a rubber dinghy of the water guard just has belaid along the blocked cutter. Three officials enter the boat and thoroughly take care of the Shepherd dog. But this is very friendly and is amused to be a pet. We don't dare to imagine what had happened if this dog would be a biter. Now the officials inspect this and that on the boat and shake their heads. Seems to be a lot not quite in order. The old man seems to be completely bewildered.

The policemen phone with their cruiser which is anchored some hundred meters at the sea. We can understand some phrases as "crazy" and "haul off" or "tow off". Meanwhile a new paradise party has come up to watch this spectaculum. We sit in the sand and besides us there stands a muscular guy all over tan skinned. As we speak to him we find out that he is a local from Stralsund and owner of a boat nearby. And he tells us: The old man has arrived yesterday and did not fix his cutter correctly so the boat was blocked by the poles. Meanwhile the boat has sunk more and more into the sands and in addition the reverse gear of the motor does not work. So some people have given alarm to the coast guard 5 hours ago. The old man wanted to sail to Stralsund and now he does not know where he is. And he was fallen into the water so that some helpers had to dive for his eye glasses. The name of the boat is "Milli" and the port of registry is "Lexfähr, Eider".

For now the actual actions are finished and the officials return to their cruiser to sit in the sun and have a coffee. "A nice job" we think. We continue to enjoy the sun as well and finally are happy to observe the end of the affair. At the horizon a fast rescue cruiser appears and this is the first time that we can watch such a vehicle in real action. Soon they arrive at the general avarage and three weather beaten men in fire red overalls come up and fix some ropes or cables at the blocked boat. The old man roams around as if he does not know what happens and the dog likes everything.

The first attempt to haul the blocked boat free fails. The rescue cruiser mobilizes all of his power but there is no chance. But they know another trick. They come nearer, shorten the cables and then flush the sand by the mighty screws. And the cutter starts to move, slants and slowly glides along.

After we had to wait for hours for this final end its now over within minutes. The cruiser does not stop and soon vanishes behind the horizon towards the harbour of Stralsund. We will never know the prehistory and aftermath of this episode. But we are somewhat unhappy for this was the end of freedom for a boat, a dog and an old man at the sea.

And we have to go home the other day and so this is the end of our freedom and the journey.

Back to the HomePage