Usedom 27.7-10.8.91

Previous History

The famous German "Wende" and Wiedervereinigung (Reunion) has happened about one year ago. In consequence there are many new contacts and friendships between "hüben" and "drüben" (here and over there). But moreover we ourselves have many discussions about the "historical" events, as our chancellor uncle Helmut likes to talk. Of course he hopes to become a historical figure too. Once I talk to my collegue Rainer B. about this and that concerning eastern and western problems. And it turns out that he is friends since years with a fisherman's family at the island Usedom. His description of the localities promises paradise: "a wonderful place on earth" etc. One year ago we have been on the island  Ruegen and we know: the landscape is phantastic.

As usual we think about our holidays in spring. I have been at the Rennsteig already during May and spent some surplus energy. Now we argue about some recreation holidays with sun, sand and sea. So we think about Usedom - it is still obligatory to prefer the new parts of the united Germany for there are many unknown areas and landscapes. After some time we get a response from the fisherman's family and can even choose the date for our vacation. It will be during the last two weeks of the summer holidays.

Before we go out there is some trouble. Heidi argues that we will have calamities concerning cleanliess and food. "We will eat in a kiosk all the time". Our daughter Stefanie is not enthusiastic to go east one more time. Our two other daughters Verena and Annika will stay at home. So we got a guinea pig for maintanance from a friend. And this regrettably dies one evening before departure. We just got a new dog named Ajax and this runs on the nearby highway one evening. Fortunately nothing happens, but now we are "ripe for the island" (ready for the loony bin).

As we start the weather forecast is fine and the traffic news are bad: traffic jams everywhere. We will start early tomorrow morning, it is a Saturday.

Saturday 27.7.: Arrival

I have a bad sleep and arise at 3 am. Prepare the coffee, fortunately Heidi arise too and so we can complete to arrange the last pieces of baggage and stow them into the car. And we should not forget Stefanie who is still asleep. We go off at 4 pm. We prefer to ride on normal roads and avoid the Autobahn. The stations of the tour are: Wolfsburg, which we pass before sunrise, then Brome, Salzwedel with narrow and picturesque streets, Arendsee, Wittenberge and there we cross the river Elbe. Now we are in Mecklenburg. After some time we pass the largest lake, the Müritz, which is the largest lake of total Germany (the Lake of Constance belongs to 3 countries). In the morning haze we cannot see the opposite shore. Now and then Heidi and Stefanie have a nap, but I am fed by a coffee or a banana from time to time.

As we come to Anklam the sun shines. In Anklam there are impressive wall gates. And then we finally end in the traffic jam, the people stand on the road and get known to each other. The cause is the bridge across the Peene river, which will be closed when a ship passes by. After some time we can go on. After we have crossed the bridge we say to Stefanie that she should watch for the sign of the next village. And this is "Usedom". Are we there already? Sure we are, and we see the expected landscape, green meadows, blue lakes and a clear sky above all. A couple of storks stilts in the meadows. We cannot "see the sea" as we always shout if we come near the coast, the waters we see are the Achterwasser, a part of the mouth of the river Oder.We soon reach the B 111 and then Stubbenfelde and Koelpinsee, our destination.

After we have entered a post office to ask for the place where we have to go we finally rumble on an adventurous stony path and end in front of a nice house between Koelpinsee and cliff line. Behind the trees we hear the rush of the sea.


We are receipted by the son Andreas, but with his 5 years is not so much responsible. "Mama we got visitors" he shouts and the housewife comes up. We are heartily welcome and introduced to our room. There is another room and a couple from Bielefeld stays there. We have a common kitchen so that we can supply ourselves.

The weather is so fine outside that we soon have arranged our stuff and are ready for the beach. We are very curious and up above the cliff we see the Baltic Sea for the first time. The cliffline is about 50 m high and covered by a forest, which is 15 km long until the next town Bansin. A wooden staircase leads down to the beach and then we feel the soft sand beneath our feet. The sea is blue and to the right we can nearly see until the harbour of Swinemuende. On the other side we see the Streckelberg which is 60 m high and the highest hill of the island.

We look for a nice place and then explore the surroundings and find a kiosk where we can get foods or a coffee. As we come back we must decide, if we will assimilate to the common beach fashion. The most of the people only wear a wrist clock or some kind of strings. There are no problems, but I can tell it now that within the next days we tend to look like Baboons (Pavian), because not all parts of the body are the same immune against sunburn.

At another excursion into the other direction we detect something new. Some people search in the stranded tangle and collect tiny little yellow splints. For we are at the Baltic Sea this only can be amber. So we search too and after some time find some pieces as large or small like a pinhead. In the late afternoo we say hello to the couple of Bielefeld - we all are bare of any clothes - except Stefanie - and this seems to be somewhat curious. But we only are new - it is quite normal.

In the evening we are hungry. The beachtime ends about 5 pm when the sun disappears behind the trees of the cliffline. And it is better to enter a restaurant early enough before the crowds come in. Thus we sit about 18 o'clock in the hotel "Ostsee".  I order some Matjes to start with the first fish.  Heidi selects a rather inland meal with meat loaf and vegetables.  At fist however a "Soljanka" which is fashionable already.  My Matjes is fine, later on we will enjoy better fish meals.  But our fisherman will  run out  on the following day for the catch, so we must wait as long. 

Sonnenuntergang am Koelpinsee

We spend the warm summer evening on our cellar terrace together with Ulla and Roland, those are our fellow living in the apartment.  There is a wonderful view behind the birch trees from our seat towards the Koelpinsee.  And finally there is a spectacular sunset.  We have to share this all with some mosquitoes. Heidi gets the idea, to rub her feet with onions to avoid mosquito bites.  That generates a delicate mixture. 

Ulla and Roland are with daughter Ulrike, son-in-law Richie, that Englishmen, and the 2-years old grandson Danny.  They were here one week already and in addition they have been on Usedom for several times.  So we get good advices where to go shopping etc. Richie and Ulrike now must live  in a tent, because they had to vacate our room.  Danny sleeps in a cradle with his grandparents, after he has tried out all funny diversion strategies before going to bed.  In another tent reside some friends of the fisher family from Zwickau, those are Baerbel, Christian and daughter Annika.  The younger Bielefeld couple has fished ath the Achterwasser this day and has caught a good quantity of perch fish(Barsch). This  now will be roasted and offered to everyone who is interested.  I still am fed up by my Matjes but Heidi tries for a piece. Thus our fish experience gradually grows.

As it got dark we go down to the beach for a last time. There we meet the fisher couple and their friends from Zwickau as they have a vivid bonfire. And if you look around the scenery is breathtaking. There is no wind, the waves of the sea plash on the sand, the full moon hangs at the sky like a lampion. The cliff is in deep shadow in the background. The fire crackles and they all enjoy the "Appelkorn" (applejack). Bärbel and Christian speak a wonderful "Sächsisch" (Saxonian dialect). We soon retire because we are newcomers and do not want to be importunate. Such this day started at 4 am in the morning at our home and now ends at a paradise on Usedom.
Sunday 28.7.

Even on Sunday we can go shopping at the supermaket at Ückeritz. At the way back we neet a hen which is defending a slicely broken egg at the sice of the road. The weather is fine and we have a high pressure area (which are identified by a male name) from France until the Baltic countries. So we will not see much of this pretty island. Waves beach an sunshine instead, your heart will jubilate but your bum will turn to be red. Especially during the search of  amber the sun shines on the bare bent down backside. We use some one-way coffee cups from the kiosk to save the tiny amber splints. Sometimes even the bottom is covered. Stefanie will add those treasures into a bottle of "Küstennebel" (coast fog), which is a favourite evening schnapps. The greater splints are cleaned and polished by a soft kerchief and tooth paste.

In the afternoon the fisherman comes back from his catch retrieve.  Some amount of his crop is given to the  Fisher's Production Co-operative, the rest is sold to private customers. The fresh fish like zander or perch are cooked or fried. The eel and the plaice (Scholle) is cleaned and disembowelled, then salted and finally smoked by a beech wood fire in a weird former oil ton. Meanwhile the women sit at the table and chat, the male population however stands around the ton as if they were all experts. This or that schnapps now and then helps to shorten the procedure. After three hours the fish comes out golden colured. But it is too fresh yet to be consumed at once.


At the evening together with our friends from Bielefeld we go to the restaurant "Waterblick" at the Achterwasser. This is rather crowded and we are lucky to get a table at the panorama platform outside. There are huts with thatched roofs, thereafter a belt of reed and behind that the shining surface of the Achterwasser which is formed by a section of the mouth of the Oder stream. This view is as fine like a postcard. We purchase a Zander which is a new experience for us. We successfully come out of the heap of fishbones and are enthusiastic.

After we have finished our dinner we see the crowds down the outer stairs. They all wait for a free seat or table. So we soon leave the place so that the next followers can fight for the free seats. We later hear, that this day was the second-most busy day of the whole season. Down at the water there is a boat rental for sailing, paddling or pedal boats. Then we have a nice walk to the "Höft", this is a headland with a cliff. There is a nice view towards Ückeritz and to the sea. At the way back there is some trouble with the mosquitoes. Finally we end at the "Biergarten" on a meadow. There you can have Holsten beer or the best pommes frites all around. We also get known to the Küstennebel.

Back at our housing we all assemble on the lawn seats in front of the house. The folding table is nearly not big enough to carry all the bottles which are necessary for this procedure. As the full moon comes up we decide to start for a final walk to the beach. The waves plash and twinkle in the light of the moon and bare footed we reach the Streckelsberg. There is a stone wall in decay built as a shelter from the sea. There is a sign that any approach is perilous. So in spite of that we dare to explore some meters of this weird area. But then there is the silouette of a big shepherd dog. So we have enough motivation to retire and the way back is pretty speedy. The cry of a screech-owl and some scampering bats complete the spooky atmosphere.

Monday 29.7.

At Monday morning we finally can smack with our eel at breakfast. Aside at a acacia tree we can watch a nuthatch (Kleiber) as he runs up and down the trunk. Soon we enter the beach. There is actually some trouble, caused by some people who enjoyed their nudeness too salacious, e.g. put sweeties at various parts of their bodies... Christian has quite another hobby: he constructs complicated pyramids of rocks and stones. Those are usually to be rebuilt after the night. Once a rock has hit his toe and this was the first time since 30 years - he claims. Let us hope that not a little child comes near such unsteady construction.

Roland has another trouble and puts small pieces of wood between his toes. This looks very elegant. It is caused by the accident during a barbecue some days before, as a glowing splint of wood shot out of the fire and landed just among his toes. He then had a little dance and jumped into the water. But now things are cankerous and hurt especially in contact with sand and salty water.

So a day at the beach is a fine thing. We read the German "Cheese-paper" named BILD-Zeitung. During this week the main theme is "The pink giant", a ripper who has acted in the region around Treuenbrietzen. To read about this we camp among some rocks, one is the headrest while reading, another a good table for coffee in the afternoon.

We enjoy more eel at dinner in the evening. Finally we go for a last swim down to the beach. It is now somewhat stormy with a rough sea. These are a good conditions to find more pieces of amber tomorrow, so we prepare our alarm bell to be the first next morning.

Tuesday 30.7.

We really get up at 5 am. It is just dawning and the sunrise has not been yet. As we just rub our eyes there appears one after the other, Richie from the left and Bärbel and Christian from the right side. Are they all out for the amber? No, the don't: Richie wants to absolve his jogging program and Bärbel and Christian want to watch the sunrise. We will not see much of it because we plough in the sand with our noses. As we rise our heads the sun hangs at the sky like a red disc with a firelike red stream.   reflected on the sea. We will have a fine day again. But we don't find any amber at all. So we better return for a nap until breakfast time has come.

As usual we spend the day at the beach and nothing unusual happens. In the evening there is no discussion to do nothing else than enter the Biergarten and consume some pommes, hamburgers and a couple of beers. The chief of the Biergarten is Dagmar, her husband is assigned to draw the beer. Moreover Dagmar has a deal with felt clogs. As she presents her assortment we cannot deny to buy this or that pair of slippers. So does a funny fellow at the next table. "For my wife" he says. So we finally can celebrate this matter with some Küstennebel which are good for a clear foresight.

Wednesday 31.7.

The gold-rush resp. amber-rush is not over yet. Stefanie starts at 8.30 am for a next attempt. And this time she succeeds to find some considerable nuggets.

Meanwhile it is my turn to purchase the rolls at the baker's shop. There is a long queue in front of the shop, down the stairs and along the garden fence on the sidewalk at the railway station of Kölpinsee. So we can study the world around us without haste. At the front-door there is a shield: "Baker wanted". But the long queue is due to the high quality of the rolls. The fresh twin rolls from one baking procedure are soon sold, and then one has to wait 20 minutes for the next shift out of the oven. My waiting time is exactly one hour, so the breakfast table is ready when I return, and coffee and rolls taste so much the better.

The day at the beach is the same as yesterday. But in the evening Roland looks for a surprise. He got the key and the equipment for a rowboat from the neighbour Jürgen. We need some gear against the mosquitoes and choose some bottles of beer and then we start our cruise on the Kölpinsee. This is not so large however and after one hour we have finished our row-around. There are some other boats with anglers. The quality of the water is questionable, it looks green to grey. But we finally see a heron leaking out.

Later in the evening there is a thunderstorm so we have to retreat to the kitchen.

Tuesday 1.8.

The weather is grey today so we can start for a first island-untertaking. The target is the Polish border near Swinemünde. There is a big parking lot due to a cheap market on the other side of the frontier. It looks as if all people of Usedom had thought out the same for today, and that is to visit the Polish market. On the road b111 there is a traffic jam from Ückeritz to Ahlbeck and we need one hour for 15 km. At last we deposit the car aside the street and walk about 20 minutes for the last stretch. We wonder what attractions may draw such crowds to this place.

At the border we have to present identity card or passport and that's it and we enter the state of Poland. But there is some noman's land within fences, flattened thoroughly and nobody may enter this stripe. We know that this border is the European poverty line between poor and rich, so many people would like to change from poor to rich. In consequence no toll-officer is to be seen on the Polish side.

Near the border there are lots of taxicabs which transfer people to Swinemünde or to the market for DM 4.-. We ride to the market. The driver seems to be eager to prove his driving facilities on these 2-3 km. So after a minute we are glad to come out of thes Polski Fiat or something like that. The Polish market is an assembling of simple booths with clothes, music cassetes or tax-free cigarettes. As well there are vegetable and foods like bread, butter or honey. Of course we meet the obligate gipsy woman with a poor child on her arms and an stretched open hand. We watch our pockets for it is risky among all these crowds. Eventually we turn out to be good customers and buy a sweat suit for Stefanie, a shirt for me and a "top" or something like that for Heidi., some souvernirs for the children at home. At a special table there are jewels of amber, some large pieces cost only DM 5.-. We think that this may be artificial amber, named "Plastic" or "Plaste" in DDR-slang.


After we have strolled along all the booth-lanes we take another taxi to go back to the border. This time we get a stamp in our passports after we have asked for it. Unfortunately only a German one. For the weather has turned to be fine we hurry back home and to the beach.

In the evening we walk up above the cliff line. To the left of the path you have a wide view to the see and to the right there is a big forest. At this side of the coast-line the sea gulps upt to two meters of the land per year. So you see the trees which have fallen down now and then. At last Roland turn apruptly right along a bumpy path. By the way we learn, that there are many wild pigs in this wood which sometimes visit the Biergarten in hope to find something eatable. So it happens to us: we end just there and find some drinkable.

Friday, 2.8.

It is my turn again to buy the rolls. To think to be more clever than at the last time I get up at 7.10 am and what will we see? The queue is just as long as recently. After 5 minutes someone falls out of the bakery with terrified eyes: "There are no more rolls, there is no electricity!". And really, I had no light when I got up. So no lamentations will help to overcome the bad news and everyone has to return to his breakfast table without rolls. I can only buy the BILD-Zeitung instead. But just before breakfast the electricity is back again and we can drink our hot coffee.

The sky is overcast and the air is cool. So we stay at home and write some postcards, read and write this and that. In the afternoon we visit a local soccer match which will not be of greater interest to the world. We spend the evening in front of the house. Achim, the fisherman, goes to bed early because he must go out at night. So as we just are in our most excellent form he reappears, has breakfast and starts his preparations. So we decide to celebrate a big good bye at the beach. The fisherboat is drawn into the water by an old fashioned tractor. Richie enters the boat, he will share the voyage. As they go out we wave and twinkle with our torches until they disappear in the dark. They will go out about 20 km but have no security equipment like radio communication or life boat. "We have life vests, that's it" Achim says.

Die Fischereiflotte Kölpinsee

Saturday, 3.8.

As we get up the fishermen are back again. No big catch today, they had not enough lure-fishes lure. And Richie returns green-faced, so for the future I know what to do: stay at land. We go shopping and thereafter to the beach. Bärbel and Christian must leave today. So we say farewell in the morning ("in the case we will not meet us during the day"), we say farewell to Christian at the beach ("we will organize our packing"), we say farewell  to Bärbel ("this is our adress, come to visit us sometime") and at dinner time we say the last farewell ("sure, we did it already"). (later we will get a postcard from the Böhmerwald, the past-holidays.

We have perch (Zander) today which is concocted by Anke concording to Pomeranian recipe. So the women tend to change their experiences concerning recipe-matters,  meanwhile the male listeners look stupid. There was another hint of Christian to collect the blossoms of the motherwort plant (Beifuss), this must be dried and will be a good food ingredient. The only problem are the countless crumbs in room and car. Finally the perch is excellent though I cannot say if it was ennobled by motherwort.

We all end in the Biergarten.

Sunday, 4.8.

Not so sunny today. I try to find out the spirits until I have articulated my plan to make a bicycle expedition. But no one is delighted about that, so I can go alone and will be totally independent. I start along the cliff line on bumpy  roller coaster paths. After a while there is a busy place in the wood and this is the entrance of the campsite of Ückeritz. They say this is the biggest campground in Europe because it's length along the coastlineof the Baltic Sea is more than 5 km. When the inhabitants of the mobile housings stumble out they nearly fall on the beach. It is to be read in the BILD-Zeitung that there are wild parties at night with much alcohol and jubilation.

At the end of the campsite I ride on a tarmac road, but this is not the way to Bansin. We end at the main road B111 and then reach Bansin. This is a real seaside resort meanwhile with elegant white houses. The beach is wide and white with beach chairs. We will prefer our natural beach as a paradise.

The three sea-resorts Bansin, Heringsdorf and Ahlbeck are like one single place. We can use the promenade at the beach and must endeavour to  be cautious with the numerous walkers. The most elegant site is Ahlbeck, there is just a concert of the spa orchestra.The outdoor cafes are crowded. The attraction of Ahlbeck is the  Seebrücke,  a building that  is to be seen in any picture book of the Baltic Sea. So we hear the known click click all around and add an own click as well.

Die Seebrücke in Ahlbeck

At first Ahlbeck should be the endpoint of this tour but it is still time enough to approach the Polish border. When the promenade ends a sandy path leads to the check point. In a moment I am on the other side. So I can expand my international experience and can add a visit to Poland by bike. Let's go to Swinemünde which is now called Swinoujscie, don't ask me how to articulate. We reach the marketplace with a mixture of a church and an apartment house. The responsible priest stands around and jokes with the pedestrians. At the wall there is a poster of "Woijtila", the acting pope Johannes Paul. Surely they are proud of their prominent compatriot. At the water side ahead we end at the harbour. There are some war-ships in the background, in spite of that I take a photo. And I hear a voice from the left side: "Is it allowed to take a photo here?" and I am terified. But it is another tour cyclist coming from Travemünde. He has met some girls from Berlin at the campsite at Ückeritz which have made more than 2000 km of Poland and up to Masuren and all the way back.

On the way back I get a portion of taxfree cigarettes from the Polish market. On the B111 I then have a headwind and after one hour I have absolved the 20 km back home. If someone asks where I have been I only say "Just to take some cigarettes".


My fellows are at the beach as usual and I can only say "You should know that this is the best place of all" - and this is true compared to the coast lines of Bansin to Ahlbeck.

In the evening w have another visit of the restaurant Achterwasser. We do hard to get free places and at last find it too expensive altogether. On the way back we end in the Biergarten.

Monday, 5.8.

In the morning we awake early: The bricklayers are on the stage. The build up a scaffold to daub (putzen) the upper part of the house. The workers have much to talk and have a rest now and then so they will be at work for the rest of our attendance. Their chief is named Heini and was the main helper within the two years when the house was built. But the wife of Heini has run away because he was at work all the time.

Today the younger part of the Bielefeld gang will leave. We get more and more lazy. I start to read the second book. Heidi prepares a lecture about the Wartburg for her "Mütterkreis" (mother's circle) at home. I say that I am neglected since she does her doctorate. Stefanie has bought an air mattress and  rides upon the waves.

In the evening we have our pommes at the Biergarten again but by know feel to be fed up with the pommes. We then look for a path around the Kölpinsee and find one along the dam of the railway ending at the railway station which was to be expected.

Tuesday, 6.8.

Shopping in Zinnowitz, Bank, Post and a phonecall at home. We then look at the beach of Zinnowitz and for another time like our "own" beach much more. A view into a book shop: Konsalik and Simmel but no old DDR-literature. Finally a fish shop and we get three perches (Barsch) which shall be thoroughly prepared for the fry pan. The shop maid is willing to do this work and I sit on a chair to wait for it. Heidi and Stefanie go off to the next supermarket meanwhile. The shop girl snips and brushes with the first perch and because she is a nice woman I enjoy to watch her. After 10 minutes the first perch is ready to sell. Now you can figure out how long I may enjoy watching for three perches. And what will we have to pay after all? I can tell you: DM 5.40.

The visit in the supermarket is not so enjoyable because it is crowded. So we have to wait another (boring this time) 30 minutes at the check desk.

Together with the sun we arrive at our beach. What shall I tell you about it yet? Sure, we stay to read the BILD-Zeitung and the tales about the "Rosa Riese" (see above). Though the trial is over the BILD-Zeitung must prolongate the horrible circumstances by a "Roter Riese Report" in several continuations. The other pages of the paper are filled with reports about soccer in spite of the fact, that there is no recent match at all. And there are nice pictures of some nearly naked mates. If we look around at the beach it is impossible to observe coequal material.

And what will we have for dinner? Yeah, three perches.

Wednesday, 7.8.

The sun shines as usual and today Roland and I march to the Streckelsberg with the highest cliff line of the island. Roland has his trunks not whre they belong to but caries them in his hand. I am more decent at first and have my trunks where they shall be and in addition wear my photo camera. But we walk along the former FKK-beach, so it doesn't matter at all. We climb along the old concrete rocks of the coast fortification and then arrive at the beach of Koserow. It is time to put the trunks on again. We will climb up to the cliff, and this should happen legally, that means on authorized stairs. If someone climbs the cliff anywhere he would destroy a little part of the slopes, and if everyone would do this, the cliff would be seriously damaged.

Am Streckelsberg

Up there there is a wonderful path 60 m above the beach and the sea. So we have very nice views. On the highest point of the hill there are the rests of a former bunker, which was built to prevent the enemy to break into the country. After the war they have tried to blast this block of concrete, but this has only made a jump and now stands leaning above the cliff. You should know that at the northern headland of Usedom there once was the mystic birthplace of the V-1 and V-2 rockets during the WW2 (Peenemünde Rocket Research Center). Nowadays they have established a museum there, but we are so busy at the beach that we cannot afford a visit there within these short two weeks.

Anyway we success to undertake a cycle tour in the afternoon. We ride to Ückeritz through the woods and back on sandy paths. As usual we hit on the waste deposit where garbage and the content of shithouses are disposed. So we breeth deeply as we reach the Biergarten again.

In the evening we have some discussions about "Schalck-Kosolowski", the difference of thermometer and manometer or some peculiar impressions of FKK (nudism) at the Adria.

Thursday, 8.8.

During the night at about 5.30 there is mighty thunderclap. We awake and think fearfully of Achim who wanted to go out this night. They really had to turn back caused by the thunderstorm. So the weather is not so fine at the morning and we go shopping. We buy some meat and sausages for a barbecue in the evening. Thereafter we go to the beach.

Yeesterday we have mat a couple from Berlin, the man is angler. He had hired a boat and rowed at the sea to catch fish. But he got seasick then and did not catch any fish. So he prefers to fish among the rocks at the beach today with two angling rods. "If we catch any fish we must find a consumer because we do not like fish ourselves" he says. We wonder about this fact why one is eager to catch fish though h e doesn't like it. But of course we know a consumer already. "Let us see" he says.

After some time it gets cold and we start to leave. Then I realize that one of the angling rods has disappeared. The owner is just snoozing in the sand so we must disrupt him. He jumps to the water and grabs the rod that had fallen down because somewhat is pulling at it. At first he is happy thet he got his rod before it had disappeared in the deeper waters, then he is even more happy as a fish at the end of the line comes out of the water.

Der Bleifisch

It is a "Bleifisch", and the man expertly gets his knife while we look aside. As we have announced to be a customer the fish is now our own. We put the fish between the sheets of the BILD-Zeitung and put a towel around it. Then we finish this sussessful day at the beach. Anke and Achim can tell us more about this kind of fish. They prefer to catch this fish in the winter because it is a cold-water-fish. But we can eat it by now as well. Achim prepares it, cuts off head and tail and finally there is not so much left of the fish becaus it ha so many fishbones. We put it in the refrigerator because we will have the barbecue soon.

After three week of fine weather we now have rain in the evening. Nonetheless w have our barbecue, some cower beneath an umbrellar, others sit at the wall of the house like chicken on a roost.

Friday, 9.8.

It is the last day and we finally visit Koserow. There is the old brickstone church with an exhibition "Vineta, the legendary lost town". But the church is not open. Another place of interest is the studio of the painter "Niemeier Holstein" at the road to Zinnowitz. They have closed too. A view to the beach: once again ours wins the Palm. The last place are the "Salzhütten" (salt-huts). Those are small cottages which they used to conserve the fish by salt in former times. Now there are training courses for arts-and-craft. There is a fish-restaurant and we see some guests consuming fish sticks.

At our way back Stefanie gets a puncture with her bike, so I must hurry home and get the car. We then eat the Bleifish and enjoy the story linked to this matter. It tastes very fine with potatoes and butter.

At our last evening we inspect the neighbourhood. There are various properties with small houses. Sometime no one knows the real owner, who may have gone away during the DDR-era. The next neighbour is named Jürgen. He has the biggest satellite antenna we ever saw. Usually we call it "Salad-Bowl" but this time we have to call it a "Bath-Tub". It was necessary to build a special bear construction to assure that house and antenna overcome the heavy storms of the Baltic Sea.

Later we sit with Anke and Achim in their living room and listen to tales of Usedom. So there is the story of the amber. The best time for it is the winter when the storms come up and make a rough sea. This churns up the sands and thereafter one can find lots of amber sometimes. They are usually near the& appearance of ancient charcoal, so one should watch black parts of sand or black ledges of the cliff. At such spots it is possible to enhance the amount of luck by high-pressure-flushing. This was seriously forbidden at the DDR-era. Moreover no one should have known, that the amber was used as currency to buy building materials. So some houses are "amber-houses" somehow. Today this would not work because the amber from Poland's surface mining is so cheap. At last we go to the cellar and have a look to some big bags full of amber pieces. Stefanie is allowed to have grasp into it.


Saturday, 10.8.

We must say farewell. We put some eels acouple of zander and plaices (Scholle) into our luggage. All pieces of our belongings are thrown out of the souterrain (basement) window and then packed into the car. After we have promised to come back one day (you can read about this) we wave and get off. As we take part in a pretty traffic jam at Anklam we really feel to be normal human beings again. We ride along the Autobahn Stettin - Berlin and then decide to cross the center of Berlin. Thus we pass Pankow, the television tower named Alex at the Alexander Platz, Rotes Rathaus, Palast der Republik, The Dome. At "Unter den Linden" we aproach the Brandenburger Tor, but this cannot be passed by car. Finally Reichstag and Siegessäule, but we cannot stop because there is no free parking place due to a big flee market.

At home the rest of our children and the dog have prepared a welcome meal as filled paprica. We must frustrate them because the zander in our luggage must be consumed urgently.

Usedom at Winter Time
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