Usedom at September 2003

Is there anywhere a place on earth where we can relax, do nothing and take a dog with us? And have a swim in the sea and consume fish as much as we want? Of course there is one and we know it well. At first some more members of our family wanted to come with us, but finally we are three: Heidi, Otto and I.

At first let us introduce Otto:

"My name is Otto and I am a Beagle. Beagles tend to be difficult to be educated so I will try to behave as well. In spite of that I like to have holidays either. Surely I will meet lots of other dogs. I like them if they are female but at male dogs I mostly get excited. At our destination there is a male dog, a mixture from Chow-Chow and Spitz. His name is Paul. Moreover he is black. So I see black as well."

So we three sit in our car on Saturday morning and start at 8.30 am, two bicycles on the roof and Otto behind the back seat. We reach Berlin without problems and then go north with many construction sites at the Autobahn. As it is absolutely impossible to stop with the car Otto undertakes an expedition towards the driver and I hardly can avoid that he keeps the lordship of the steering-wheel. At last I feel a hot breath behind my neck until we can stop at the next rest place. It would be better to install a solid grid at the backseat similar to those of the vehicles of prisons.

After we got lost on side roads for a while and mastered a traffic jam at the uncompleted bridge in Anklam we reach the island Usedom as usual at the village Usedom and traditionally stop at this place for a walk. The attractions of this village are a big brickstone church, a city gate (Anklamer Tor), the market place and the narrow lanes and houses, finally the harbour. It is to be read that they have big plans to build up a "Marina". This is a support center for sailors with restaurant, shops, toilettes and lavatories.

So we enjoy the (still) scenic atmosphere and then let us pull back to the car by Otto. Now it is only a short distance to Stubbenfelde and Koelpinsee where we leave the main road at the campground which is alive again. We have made the 500 km in about 6 hours. At the Teufelsberg we get out of the car and Otto can use the next birch tree to lift up his leg.

There is a saga about the Teufelsberg:

A clubfooted shoemaker once was federated with the devil and lived near the beach. At night he strolled around to meet his companions. Nobody knew what they did there, only some noise was to be heard. At one night there were strange flashes and loud thunderbolts. Since then the shoemaker and all his belongings have disappeared. Only the Teufelsberg and the Teufelskuhle are reminiscences of these activities.

May be there were similar phenomenons in the skies some time ago - but we think this was at Peenemünde...

Now we must ring the bell to meet Anke who is somewhat sleepy because her work starts at 4 am in the night at the campground of Ückeritz. So we all stand on a good cup of coffee. Achim soon comes back from some soccer activities. So after seven years we are happy to meet again and convince each other that he just look like at that time. Meanwhile Otto sits in the garden until we hear noisy fight sounds. The dog Paul has detected the stranger in his garden and now things must be rearranged. All the other dogs in the neighbourhood seem to applaude by barking so we must interrupt this festival as fast as we can. Let us  tell you in advance: we will keep a security distance of at least 20 m between the dogs in the future.

We then settle in our apartment with refrigerator, cooking facilities, toilet and showers - all built in during the last 7 years. So we feel quite comfortable. But then we must go out immediately and look for the beach. As a protection for the shores they have splashed some dunes and planted certain grass on them. The once somewhat breezy house looks solid again.

In the village of Kölpinsee one can see that money has come over it. There are a lot of new houses, restaurants and shops. The most accommodations are still booked. The old baker's shop still exists (that is for tomorrow). We have our dinner in the Stranddistel and I start with Matjes, let us see what fish-meals will await us. Heidi starts with a bacon and potato ommelette.

At last I have a nice evening walk with Otto above the cliff, which is about 40-50 m high. The highest cliff with 60 m is at the nearby Streckelsberg. Otto doesn't suffer from acrophobia. But at the airy stairs with transparent grids which lead just down to the dog's beach he is not willing to overcome. So we will have to climb down the cliff in the future.


Now let us introduce the early-morning duties: get the rolls from the baker (later campground) and go out with Otto for his morning-bush-activity. Thereafter we have breakfast. Today we go to the beach because the weather is fine. As I have told we have to climb down the cliff and the stairs are not convenient. It is strongly forbidden to climb at other areas of the cliff because they would be damaged contrary to any coast protection. We look for a nice sink in the sand where there is not so much wind, aside a trunk to fix the dog-lead. This is necessary because Otto vituperates (stänkert) towards every dog passing by.

So it is recommended to take a longer walk. This ends at the next stairs at the Reha Klinik "Ostseeblick" near Ückeritz. Then there are too many dogs ahead and we better go back. After one hour we are back at our beach nest and are somewhat more even.tempered now. We twinkle in the sun and find the beginning of our holidays just as we have imagined to be. There is one disadvantage of this section of the beach under the cliff: the sun disappears about 2 pm. behind the trees above, and then it gets cool. We go back and eat some meatballs with potatoes and vegetables. Otto goes asleep and we look for a still sunny spot on the beach. This is to be found between the beach-baskets. For the evening we buy a portion of Butterfish at the smokehouse.

Back in the garden Otto is allowed by the host to stroll around at the land surrounded by a fence. "He cannot escape here" he says. One minute later we hear a woman yelling at the street. "What's about this dog?" she cries and we are running to the fence. And we just see the high lifted white tail of Otto disappearing around the next corner. Immediately I run behind him and soon catch him. May be he has crawled out to the world of freedom under the garden-gate. The evening-walk is cancelled today. In the TV there is a Pilcher film (as usual unclear heritage, untrue lovers, broken engagements, at last misunderstandings but two of the actors find their love to each other - sniff).


Since now we get the rolls from the shop at the campground because it is nearer. The rolls should be ordered one day before. A woman in front of me orders: "Two double rolls and two rolls with mixed corn". "OK, two twins two corns" the grocer cuts short. As it is my turn I say "Two twins two corns" and so feel like an old stager  (alter Hase). We go back across the
campground where the nomads commute between the shop, toilets and their mobile home, carrying the toilet box in one hand and the bag with rolls in the other.

We go to the beach as yesterday, have a walk and the lie lazy in the sun. After some time a big black dog comes along and Otto is very excited. And just a hard jerk and the dog-lead breaks. Now Otto runs as fast as he can towards this black  beast. I have never jumped into my bathing suit as rapid (this is usually not necessary hereabout). As I arrive at the cockpit things have completely settled. Otto immediately has recognized his limits and now stands by the sea. If he could he surely inconspicously would whistle a melody. As we go back the risen heads of the neighbours sink down again - we soon will be well known around here - we think.

Fortunately we have a spare-lead  and from now on have peace except as the ice-car arrives, which seems to be a strange appearance too. We leave with the sun and in the afternoon cower among the beach-baskets. We get some sprats from the fish-shop and chewing we observe a group of kids uniformed by equal bathing caps. A big man gives the Bay-Watcher with a megaphone. "Do not approach the groynes (Buhnen)" he shouts. At last they all must come out because they have blue lips or the jitters (Tatterich).

As we come home we find out that Otto prefers as his favourite place the red sofa and we will have some work to remove the hair of his fur. In the evening we continue our exploration along the cliff and succeed to reach the campground Ückeritz. There we can go to the beach and return at the seaside. At last - it is nearly dark - we climb up the cliff and as we jump up the edge there stands like a phantom a huge boarhound (Dogge). And what is Otto's turn? He looks aside and inconspicously looks for some interesting smells in the bushes.


The weather stays to be fine. Before we start for the beach we have to admire Achim's yielded catch of fish. There is a big eel, 99 cm long they say. Moreover a very big Zander - bigger than ever. So the obligatory hunter's photographs are shot. We order two smoked eels and a flounder which will wait at the evening for us.

At the beach there is not so much new. We get known to a small dog named Sally. This is so kind to anyone and barks and waggs its tail in highest delight. The couple belonging to Sally live at the campground and soon we involuntarily hear this and that about diseases and surgeries. The man doesn't care to jump around without clothes in spite of various cannulas and bags sticked on his skin. Let us be thankful that we don't have such problems.

In the afternoon  Otto and I start an attempt to explore the mysterious path around the Kölpinsee. This begins at a meadow and then is paved by rotten planks and a fence. We better return as we observe two deers and group of ladies from Saxony, which is to be heard by their slang. So it was somehow exciting again for Otto and me.

In the evening we enjoy the eel and the flounder - with toast and butter, so finally we cannot do anything more, esp. eating some more eel.


Today we have rain. This would be fine for our garden at home but during your holidays you think in a different way of it. As we come back with the rolls Otto and I are completely soaked and have to be dried with a towel. After breakfast we ride to Wolgast by car. We have three things to do: a new necklace for Otto, money from the bankomat and one-way-shavers. After some traffic jams we arrive at the bridge over the Peene at 12.37 am. From a signpost is to be read that the bridge will be closed at 12.40.  Then the carriage way will be pulled up to let some ships pass. Some people under umbrellas wait already for this spectaculum. We just succeed to slip through before the traffic light turns to be red.

The cost-free parking place is a t the Fischmarkt. The old town of Anklam with its narrow streets is not so romantic if it is raining. We ask for a pet shop and then buy a steel necklace for Otto to ensure, that at future bungee-attempts no accident occurs. The old necklace would soon break - we think.

The bankomat does not work - the Server is down. We must ask for a difficult route to another bank office. In the afternoon we go to the Achterwasser once again and take some photos of the pedal boats disguised as plastic swans. In the evening the sun shines for a while and we even observe a sunset at the Kölpinsee.


Some rain yet so will go to the Polenmarkt at Swinemünde resp Swinoujscie. Now we cannot find the identity card of Heidi. Perhaps we can pass the border with a provisional permit? As usual there is a traffic jam until we reach the parkingsite at the border. Then we enter the passport control. "My wife has no identity card with her" I say anxiously. The answer is short and lapidary: "Then you cannot pass". "So you cannot pass" I say to Heidi. In consequence of this fact she resigns and enters the imbiss restaurant nearby, toilets 50 cents. I myself cross the border to get some cigarettes. And now all people look at the other side of the street - so do I. There is just a couple clothed in hunter's costume and with the beard of the chamois at their hats coming back from Poland. The man carries a bulky bag on his shoulder and something black looks out of the bag. Did they shot any game or something like that? Really, it is the head of a tusker (Keiler) - but, be careful, it is made of plastic and it's destination may be the front garden of those people. So everyone around has his fun.

The Polish market is not far from the border. I have a quick look to the products like textiles, sport suits, jackets, shoes, CDs or goods and drinks. At the side of the street someone just buys the complete amount of marone mushrooms. This could have been a deal for me but I am too late. 20 minutes later I am back with the cigarettes where Heidi with horror stares to the chicken meal opposite of her table in the imbiss restaurant. We soon are out of this etablissement and ride back to Ahlbeck. Here they have built and rebuilt lots of elegant estates. We look for some typical names of hotels, pensions or restaurants and find some which would be difficult to find out with a constricted phantasy: Sea-Terrace, Hotel Baltic Sea, Hotel starfish (Seestern), Sea-View, Sea-Castle, Villa Aquamarina. The best of all is : "House by the Sea".

Back home we have no beach weather today. So we all make the expedition around the Kölpinsee on the
planked path. We succeed to come through without broken ankles or feet. As we return Anke has given a surprise to us. She comes along with Bärbel who has come for a visit from Berlin. "We won't see us otherwise" she says. So at last we have to go shopping to ensure a festive evening. And we have it and are so happy to meet again after those years.


After we had breakfast all together we start for a cycle tour to Heringsdorf. You should know, that the long distance cycle path "Ostsee" is just at the front door. Let us estimate that now past the main season there are about 100 cyclists per hour which would be about 1000 cyclists the day. Many of those are one-day-tourers but here are many with baggage as well, others stay over night at the campground.

If you ride towards Ückeritz you soon will be astonished to find a 18% uphill section here. "Cyclists dismount" is to be read and the most of them do so, some even the way downhill. But it is a challenge to climb up there riding in the saddle and to run down without use of the brakes. The last matter is only possible if there are no other passers-by around.

So there are some ups and downs until we reach Heringsdorf. We ride along the promenade with some "lakes" due to the rain last night. It is recommended to be on good terms with the other promenaders to avoid to educate them to cycle-haters. We end at the Seebrücke (pier) Heringsdorf which is said to be the longest of the European continent (so you can argue that there is a longer one in Great Britain). During the next days there will be the Russian sailing ship MIR (so this is not only a space station). You can purchase a round trip then and even climb up to the riggings (Takelage). "Stilettoes are not appropiate" is to be read so this is a valuable information for the visitors.

Some time later we meet the couple with the dog Sally. Soon we find out that they live 30 km from our home. "The world is small" is the usual saying. We then ride back and Heidi detects that the slopes are not so steep as before. In the afternoon we have a walk to the Streckelsberg. Later someone told us that there should be the boletus mushroom (Steinpilz). But just now we do not know anything about this fact so do not suffer under the "mushroom-view". In the evening we meet Bärbel who has seen "thousands of champignons" at the Achterwasser. Bärbel will leave tomorrow and we hope to see her before.


We get up at 8 am but the bird has flown away already. We find a love letter at the wardrobe: she was awake at 6.30 am - best wishes.

Does anyone assume wher we will go today? Yes, you are right: we go to the Achterwasser to look for the thousands of champignons. The first attempt ends at a dirt track under the cliff of the Höft - the final end of the headland. There is a nice view but no mushroom at all. We go back and try our luck at the higher meadows. And here we are right, soon the basket is full with puff-balls( Bovist), blushers (Perlpilz) and other white mushrooms with scaly (schuppig) heads which look like champignons but do not smell like them. Meanwhile several walkers have assembled at the fence and watch out what we are doing there. Back home we consult some locals from the neighbourhood. They are somewhat unsecure concerning the champignons and Anke is sceptically too though she knows all mushrooms of the region. So we better put those champignons away and content ourself with the puff-balls (you can eat the very young, the older will blow dust on you) and blushers for the supper.

We then ride to Ückeritz, there is a "Potatoe Festival" today. There are various hot-dog stalls and booths with other stuff, a music band  of country & western style and many people clapping hands and swinging (schunkeln). It is difficult to detect any potatoe. But finally we see some guys as they sit at a fire with long sticks and a potatoe above the glow. Though the most visitors look very happy we soon find our way back and once again we can fly down the 18% slope.

Achim has come back from another fishing tour. After the mass of fish is handled there is much work to untangle the fishing lines. These are rolled out from the boat and one day later they are hauled in again. This time they had another good catch and the camera is in action. We order a Zander for our next meal, and then have a coffee sitting very comfortable altogether. We would like to help with the entanglement but this is a difficult work and for experts only. It would be fatal if the lines get tangled up on sea.


It is dull this morning but the weather will be better. What's about a tour with the car, Mellenthien and Lieper Winkel perhaps? Otto can come with us. At Pudagla there is a wooden windmill, in German Bockwindmühle. At Neppermin is a golf course at the Balmer See which is a bay of the Achterwasser. More interesting for us is the moated castle at Mellenthin. We leave the car and have a look in the inner courtyard resp. let us drag there by Otto. The castle is not open because the owners live in it. At a signpost one can read, that there are no financial supports for restauration activities because there are so many objects which need a sudden restauration more urgently. In front of the courrtyard we find two tables where one can buy  agricultural products. We buy a package of bacon, a sausage and a glas wit honey from the buckwheat (Buchweizen) - something special.

Once a woman asks "Is that a Beagle?" "Yes we think so, difficult to educate" we say and in confirmation Otto jerks in all directions of the windrose. He has to absolve his morning business yet and so we retire to external grassland until the business is done. Soon we have surrounded the estate and at last find a so called "Streitberg". It is to be read that former defense-fighters used to retreat on a hill with the advantage to fight against the opponents from above. It is not said what they did when the conquerors ignored them on their hill and preferred to maraud their estates.

We bring Otto back to the car and have a view to the restaurated farm building and hotel. Then into the church, where we get a flyer "Welcome to the churches of Usedom". So we can read about all we ought to know like cross vaults and frescoes. Outside the woman, known from before, asks "And where is your cart horse?" But it was not his turn to enter the church.

The next village is Morgenitz. There is nice bell tower but the church from 1318 is closed. But all around there are Slavic mill stones, an unique collection. Our next stop is the harbour of Rankwitz at the Peene. There you can meet all who are on tour today. This is caused by the restaurant. But the region is not so scenic for they have paved paths and lawn surfaces. As the next bus comes around the corner we escape from here.

The last destination is the village Liepe which gave it's name to this headland called "Lieper Winkel". They say that this is one of the most beautiful regions of the island. If you go by car this is not so obvious. At Liepe there is the oldest church (1216) of Usedom. There are some frescoes inside but our flyer says that they are from the 18 th century. Our last approach towards the Achterwasser and the fisher's village Warthe ends without success at a construction site.

In the evening we have our Zander with potatoes and horseradish (Meerrettich). Thereafter we need some motion and use our bicycles for a short trip. At the village Kölpinsee a woman cries to her children as we approach: "Be careful there comes a car". And then "I could bang at your ears all over the day". And if you look at the bitch you would not wish to be one of her children.


Beachtime again, today our place is occupied by another lady. Because there a kilometers of beach available it is no problem to find another spot. We do our walk until the signpost "No dog's beach" and then we return. Once we see a black dog at the sea line without someone attending him. Later we learn, that this was our friend Paul on one of his bigger excursions. He will return hours later and as usual tell to nobody where he has been all the time.

Achim comes back from the sea for another time and this time we order a Hornfish because this new to us. In the evening we visit an information presentation in the restaurant of the campground. Impressions of the island by Laptop and Beamer. Many attractions are known to us meanwhile. There are certain contrasts between the good old "Kaiserzeit" about 1910 and modern activities (Kempinski's Suite Hotel). Before and after the socialism era they always looked for attractive representation to get a good income on this island. And since the "Wende" (1990) lots of matters have been settled. Many of the old villas are restaurated and now look as pretty as during their zenith period.

We then have our Hornfish whose characteristic are the green fishbones. At the last walk at the beach we see lots of bats which come as near as an arm's length. Don't be anxious of vampires!


There is another cycletour to be done and this is the other direction via Koserow and Zempin to Zinnowitz. At first we have to climb some steps, then along a forest path and finally on the dike. Here is the smallest tongue of the island between the sea and a bay of the Achterwasser. The road and the railway have just enough room, and so the name of this place is "Lütten Ort" (small place). Moreover here is the estate of the local artist and painter Niemeyer-Holstein. Visitors shall leave their car at Koserow, is to be read.

We reach the promenade at Zinnowitz. There are beautiful villas, Victorian or Art Nouveau (Jugendstil) or something like that. At the end of the promenade is the Baltic Center which is not built in any classic style. It has it's origins during the DDR-era and then they used to build with ugly concrete panels (Platten). Now they have prettyfied the building by glas-facades. Inside is bath and swim paradise and the parking place is full. Then there is the Seebrücke (pier) and the roundabout. Nearby is our favourite fish shop, but this time there is no need to buy any fish. We only need some tea from the supermarket aside.

On the way back we stop at the "Salzhütten" (salt huts) at Koserow. We read: "...where they salted the fish in former times you can eat it today..." We argue if this is still enjoyable. In Koserow we look for the bankomat. As I have given my secret number ordered the amount of money a glass panel comes up and nothing more happens. Fortunately the cheque card comes out. A view to the church and then as fast as we can back home and to the beach.

As usual in the afternoon we settle among the beach baskets. But today the legal leaser of the basket where we sit comes up. "May be one could hire a basket as well" they say and we look stupid. We think about it and ask for the price. It is 5.- € the day and 4.50 € the half day. We must think about it.

In the evening we are invited for an eel meal by Anke and Achim. This is "eel in green" as they say and potatoes. We are nearly ashamed as they always say "Take some more" and we cannot resist to do so. In addition we have a delicious red vine and about 7 pm a beautiful sunset at the Kölpinsee. Achim tells us about their ice hockey activities. Their name is "The Kölpinsee Bulls" and they are very prod about various reports in the newspapers. There are about 8 players from Achim's relationship, he and his sons are 4 of them. They even won this or that game or have faught against a famous team from Rostock or so. But then they did not win...

But we have won a wonderful day of our holidays. And the day after tomorrow we shall meet again for another fish-bacchanal. We will tell about it...


We have thought about the beach basket. Today we will purchase one of those. This is Heidi's part and as cute as she is she gets a basket for two days for 6.- €. Of course there were some contacts to the neighbours who had their fingers in the pie.

In spite of all I just grease the chain of my bike because I will go out once again to "get cigarettes". While Heidi toddles to the beach I climb up the 18% hill and other slopes. After one hour I am at the border. I ride to the harbour of Svinemünde but there is not so much too be seen. A photo of a house with 12 balconies. Back at the border a panoramaphoto - but I don't know if this is allowed here. But nobody intervenes, and moreover I could have smuggled a rucksack full of cigarettes - but we better do not risk it.

The way back shall lead on side roads to unknown villages and regions. So I go left at Ahlbeck and soon reach the Wolgastsee amidst of forests. A 180º panorama composed from 8 photos. Then through woods and fields to Garz. There are cycle or hike paths and good signposts. At Garz one can continue to Kamminke but this is a dead end. Or you have a look at the Golm (61 m), the highest hill of the island. There is an ancient rest of a fortification wall and a war memorial - not as ancient.

But I head towards Zirchow with another interesting church. On the bike path there is an undercrossing of a former railway. Moreover there exist relicts of the rail bridge in the Haff near Karnin and this is a cultural heritage meanwhile. The church (St. Jakobus) of Zirchow is closed and surrounded by trees - so difficult to  take a picture. We continue on small roads to Benz. This time the church is open and there is a fine cassette ceiling to be seen. From here the sandy path is somewhat more strenuous but traffic free through the woods to Sellin at the eastern shore of the Schmollensee. From there we reach the main road and our good old campground and after 70 km from 9.30 am to 2.30 pm we are back home again.

Now the beach basket is very enjoyable. Once Achim and his brother come along with their fire-red fisherboat and the names KÖL 2 and La Paloma. We must help them to dock at the beach and this is: Heidi poses for a photo and I have to hide the anchor in the shoal (seicht) water. Other beach guests come along to take photos. Of course you can admire the boat of Achim on postcards at the souvernir shops.


We have to go to Koserow to make a new attempt to get money. And another view to the church. And this time "the world is small" for we meet the couple S. from our village at home (Recently I saw some people embracing each other at the campground. They were from Bielefeld and had to travel to this island to meet by accident). Concerning the couple S. of our village it is to be said that it is more likely to meet them at any church. In consequence they have organized the key and we can go inside. It is to be read what is to be seen: winged altar, Vineta cross and so on. The model of a vessel hangs from the ceiling. The couple S. resides at a pension near the promenade of Ahlbeck. Their small dog once was ill and had a obstruction of the bowels (Darmverschluss). We did not have such trouble with Otto.

We ride back on the bumpy dam along the Achterwasser to Loddin. Later we will tell you about the evening, but now we enter the supermarket to get some vine for today. The rest of the day we spend at the beach. We succeed to lure Otto into the water as we throw some sticks. But finally he is happy to have solid sand under his paws - and so is Heidi. Now and then I swim out to the end of the groynes (Buhnen). The water is 18º warm or cold - this is relative. And on the groynes there sometimes sit the cormorants - and in the case they had just dived for fish they open their wings wide to get dry. In the afternoon we go to our beach basket again. And if you ask what Otto does when he stays at home I can tell you, that the fine red sofa is the best thing on earth. Mostly he is unwilling to be disturbed when we come back. But a grip to the dog-lead makes things clear again.

In the afternoon we have met another Beagle and a couple dragged behind. A short exchange of experiences. Their beagle is eight years old and all but got wise. Special interests: escape-excursions, drag with the lead, disturbing other dogs. Sounds all well known to us.

And now what was to tell about the evening? Of course: the fish-bacchanal as the farewell meal on the terrace with fine weather and the sunset. Befor anyone fingers at the arranged dinner I must get the camera and take a photo like for a cookery book. As there are: fried eel, zander, flounder, perch. And from now on you will not hear so much of us. Only "take some more" - some times. So we can affirm: there arnot only experienced fishing activities but moreover excellent culinary arts by the fisher's wife.

So let us better go out tonight. At the path along the lake we meet a lively group of older ladies. They sing a jaunty song and I do not trust to my ears: the song of the Rennsteig (this is a mountain path at Thüringen). So let us say at last: "the world is small".


The last day. May be someone has read all the stuff until now? But he will understand that we are somewhat sad to leave. Heidi even says "This was our best holiday" but I know that this statement is usual at the end of any fine holiday. The last "two twins, two corns" rolls. After breakfast Achim continues to entangle his strings and once again we discuss how this work could be done more effective. But with "they all do it the same way" the discussion ends and we cannot dare to act up as an expert. And it is so comfortable to sit together with a cup fo coffee and crackers, the smoking oven in the background - like they did at former times. And the pigeons curr (gurren) There are about 70 of them attended by the boys. They take part in fly competitions and even have been in Braunschweig already. The pigeons even found their way back to Usedom, and may be we do as well - but unfortunately we cannot fly.

We have a final day at the beach and can say that we had much luck with the weather in the middle of September. At last we have to pack the baggage and to clean the apartment inclusive the fine red sofa. How man hairs does a dog have? May be millions!

The last meal at the Hotel Ostsee. And today no fish but beefsteak and cutlet. Then a gentleman comes along with a big paperbag. What's in there - yes: lots of boletus mushrooms. "You may have a glance for a moment, but not more" he says. "Where did you find them?" - the most unpopular question to successful mushroom seekers. So a secret smile is the answer. But we found it out anyway and will not whisper about it - be sure.

The last walk with Otto in the evening. Then we hear "Why is a Beagle named Beagle? Because he bends (biegt) his tail all the time" (This is a German wordplay and not to translate). The words come from an older couple from Eberswalde. And at once we have a nice conversation. They have a private flock of sheep at home. Now after the rain and growing grass they can dare to make their first holidays this year. We go back together and finally part while Otto lifts his leg and we human beings shake hands.

On Saturday we ride home again. On the last stretch to the west we see about 10 sunsets and as many sunrises at the hills behind Helmstedt.

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