Warnemünde was the port of call today. Azura was berthed by 8 o’clock and we were stepping ashore just after 9. Just astern of us was Royal Princess. Our plan was to go into Rostock on our own and do Rostock in the morning, have lunch somewhere, and then return to Warnemünde for the afternoon. It was already warm when we went ashore – somewhere above 20 degrees.
We got into Rostock easily. Horizons for today had included information on how to get to the train station in Warnemünde, which trains to get, where to get off in Rostock, and how to get from Rostock Hauptbahnhof to the town centre. We bought two return tickets for the train for a total of €9.40, followed the directions, and everything went well – the tickets covered the tram as well. The tickets needed to be validated in a machine on the platform. There was a very helpful lady explaining this over and over again to all these foreign visitors, and she was very patient.
For some reason we didn’t really enjoy Rostock – there were attractive things there but somehow they didn’t seem to grab us.
Also Val especially was surprised at how big Rostock was – I think we had been expecting a town with a compact old centre, whereas in fact even the old things are well spread out. In any case a lot of the town is restored, rebuilt or just plain new. The RAF paid the town several visits during WWII with predictably destructive results (it was a centre of maritime armaments manufacture and maintenance e.g. U-boats), and then since the reunification of Germany in the early 90s there has been a surge of investment. So while there may be some old buildings in the streets, they’re mostly restored facades for new shopping arcades.
We visited the Marienkirche which was certainly impressively big, and later we visited a cultural and historical museum, but that didn’t really do anything for us. So in the end we just found a cafe, had a coffee, and decided to take the tram back to the station and go back to Warnemünde. All this time it had been getting quite hot.
When we got back to the station we ran into a problem – all the trains to Warnemünde were cancelled, one after another. We slowly pieced together the story – there had been an accident involving a train on the line to Warnemünde and some people had been hurt. Until this was all sorted out, there were no trains. So we exited the station and found a taxi, and we took that back to the ship. It cost us €25 (€23.40 on the meter so we just gave the driver €25). That was expensive, but at least the taxi was air-conditioned. While we were driving I saw that the taxi’s exterior thermometer was reading 30.5 degrees, so it was definitely hot by then.
More issues arose on reboarding the ship. First the boarding process was proceeding very slowly, and when we reached the security check we discovered the reason: the cruise-card scanners weren’t working so the security staff were having to write down all the returning passengers’ names and cabin numbers on sheets if paper. Then when we got onboard everything seemed rather warm; we subsequently discovered that some unplanned essential maintenance was being done on the air conditioning system which had necessitated it being turned off. Unfortunately we had left our cabin curtains open and we were on the sunny side of the ship.
So we had a quick lunch and then went back shore at about 2 o’clock, to just walk around Warnemünde. This turned out to be the best part of the day. We enjoyed the walk along the riverside promenade, and strolled out as far as the beach. We had a ice cream on the way out, and stopped for a beer on the way back. It was still very sunny, but there was a still easterly breeze blowing and it felt cool in the breeze. (Out of the breeze it was roasting.) At the start of the walk we saw trains running in and out of Warnemünde station, so whatever the hold up was it had been sorted not long after we’d given up waiting for a train. Ah well….
Tonight we’re eating in Sindhu again – it should be a different menu, however – and tomorrow we’re in Copenhagen, where the weather is forecast to be hot again with temperatures somewhere in the mid-20s.