Volvo, Mark Knopfler, and East German adventures… part five

Tuesday was to be our shortest day driving.  We planned to drive to Gedser, Denmark, where we would pick up our second ferry.  Unlike the first ferry ride, which only lasted about twenty minutes, this one would be almost two hours.  It would also cost about three times as much.  We left the city bright and early, at about 8:30am.  I got some pictures of Copenhagen’s rush hour, which seemed to include as many bikes as cars.  I thought the Dutch were bike happy.  They’ve got nothing on the Danes!

I wish we’d had a day to explore Copenhagen.  Maybe we’ll have another chance to do a proper visit.  Last time we were in Copenhagen, it was during a cruise.  I got some good photos, but no real feel for the culture.

The drive from Copenhagen to Gedser was very pretty.  I was thinking I’d like to explore Denmark’s countryside more.  I even noticed what appeared to be a “treewalk” in the distance as we drove on the highway.  These “tree walks” are opening up all over the place and they’re really fun and cool.  I see the one in Denmark doesn’t have a slide, like the one near Stuttgart has.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to stop for a visit, since we needed to catch the 11:00am ferry.  It was delayed, and the next ferry, at 3:00pm, was cancelled.

Pretty Danish countryside…

Danish “tree walk”.

Pretty impressive Danish engineering.

Once you drive your car onto the ferry, you have to go to the upper decks for safety reasons.  There, you can eat, surf the Internet, or hang out on the sundeck, where the wind will try to blow you off the boat.  I got a few photos from the trip.

Driving up to the toll plaza.


Into the ass of the boat…

When you buy your tickets, they give you vouchers to buy duty free tobacco.  Apparently, you’re supposed to smoke it all on the ferry…  Good thing I don’t smoke.

We saw one guy breaking the rules, hanging out with the vehicles.

A Lamborghini was next to us.

It was hard to stay topside, due to the high winds.

But you could have a buffet lunch, schnitzel, fish & chips, or sandwiches.


I had a schnitzel, which was surprisingly good, even if it was served with cocktail sauce instead of ketchup.

We landed in Rostock in the mid afternoon.  It’s a very pleasant East German city with kind of a dark past.


Part of the reason I wanted to go to Rostock is because there’s a very cool museum there.  Rostock is where many East Germans who were arrested for political crimes awaited trial.  There’s a prison there that was used until 1989.  I read about it in a book last year and somehow learned about the prison museum in Rostock.  There is also one in Berlin.  I was really hoping to visit it during this trip, but they are currently doing renovations and the museum is closed until next year.  Maybe we’ll get back there.  I did get some pictures of the outside of the prison, which I’ll share in the next post.

“Lovely” East German architecture.  It looked like it might have been refurbished.

Aside from East German horrors, Rostock is also a very charming port city with beautiful architecture, decent restaurants, and plenty of talented buskers on the streets, which are crammed with good shopping.  We chose to stay at the Radisson Blu.  Given another opportunity to visit Rostock, I don’t think I’d stay there again.  Right from the beginning, things got off on a perilous foot when Bill missed the turn for the parking garage.  He wound up driving into a “walking area”, earning a lot of dirty looks from locals, as well as the shame of embarrassment.

The hotel was undergoing some renovations during our visit, which I hope will include an updating of the rooms.  Our room was very large and had a nice view, but the decor was truly nightmarish.  It looked like the set designers of The Lion King threw up all over the interior, with loud colors, safari-ish accents, and stuff that was cool in the early 1990s.  Service was decent at this hotel, but our room had at least one dead outlet and the bed was extremely firm and uncomfortable.  Also, I’m not absolutely certain, but it’s possible that we might have picked up bedbugs there.  If we didn’t get them there, there’s a chance we got them in the next hotel, which is where we actually found a bug, as well as bites on one of my legs.  More on that in a future post.

Here are some pictures of the room.

Bill was excited about the trouser press in the closet.

That print on the wall gave me nightmares.

I didn’t think to take a picture of it, but our room had both a shower/tub and a stand up shower.

After we checked in, and Bill mentally recovered from the error he made in driving through the walkplatz, we took a walk around town.  I got more pictures.

Cool fountain near Rostock’s University, 600 years old this year.

A university building.

This busker was playing a song for the little kid, bravely approaching him.  It was super cute!  The weather was cool, so people were bundled up.  I wished I’d brought a jacket.

The Rathaus…

I didn’t get pictures of inside of the Marienkirche, because it appeared that they weren’t allowed.  However, it really is a beautiful church and is well worth a visit.  It even has an astrological clock.

The tower at the Marienkirche.


We were looking for dinner, but most places either didn’t have what we wanted or were heavily populated.  So we ate dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, L’Osteria.  It wasn’t bad, mainly because we were the only ones there until we were almost finished eating.

Bill had beef strips and shrimp with tagliatelle and spicy sauce.


I had salmon with creamy mashed potatoes and a cucumber salad with dill and a bit of vinegar.  It was surprisingly good, although the salmon was just a little overcooked.

For dessert, I had an apricot tart with salted butterscotch ice cream.

Bill had affogato– espresso with vanilla ice cream.

Probably my favorite part of the meal, though, was the focaccia bread, which was served warm with olive oil and some kind of black currant vinegar.  It was delicious!  They only had wines by the glass.  I think it was because of the renovations.  The bar area was totally dismantled, so it appeared that they had diminished ability to serve drinks.

“La Fontana” is one of the restaurants we encountered before we decided to eat at the hotel.  I didn’t want to go in there because the signs had typos.  Here’s a PSA for all of you readers.  There is no reason to use an apostrophe for simple plural words.  Apostrophes are mainly used to show possession.  I know it makes me sound like a freak, but I had a visceral reaction to this sign.  It also sparked a very interesting Facebook thread.

Sunset… I think it was at about 10:00pm.


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