🇩🇪 Bare Essentials I – Rostock, Warnemünde & Ghost Trees


Our first stay again in Germany was in the rural north in the lovely countryside near Rostock. We quickly were alerted to the fact that we were going to be playing many games of charades as this part of Germany speaks little or no English. Our sweet German Airbnb host only had a few English words that translated into something we understood. There was lots of smiling, nodding and patient meaning making from what we assumed she was talking about. Just like children become meaning makers using their prior knowledge to learn to decode text and the world around them we were left decoding our way through a beautiful part of Germany once again like llamas full of curiosity off the beaten Australian tourist track, but we were not looking for the ordinary cloned tour guided tourist experiences. We are more interested in seeing how people here really work, play and relax!

Well yes some driving at hair raising speeds that shakes our car sideways as they speed past us on the autobahn. Drinking a bottle of beer whilst taking a walk down the street is an acceptable past time. There is a strong beer drinking culture and why wouldn’t there be when the petrol stations and supermarkets are fully stocked with good brews. Here in Germany they are great with recycling and some seem to enjoy letting their hair down to loud heavy metal music, but what else have we learned.

Well our rural stay in Rostock with the cuckoo bird singing in the garden gave us a real feel for the good old fashioned family life here in the North on a spacious family property. Our spacious well thought out accommodation was a loft full of timber beams, skylights and panoramic garden views out of the large gabled windows. It had real ‘hygge’ as the Danish would say – a real relaxing vibe.


Our hosts duplex dwelling is divided into 4 separate homes. One for themselves, our loft accommodation, their daughter’s family’s dwelling and a cute cozy cabin in the backyard for her husband’s parents which means grand daughter, daughter, parents, and great grandparents live together on one family plot with room for veggies to grow. Now that’s a close family circle!!

We have also throughout our shopping trips learned that these areas in Germany have a good range of bio veg at their fingertips as well as create loads of high sugar fizzy drinks, beer and lots of sausages. We were lucky here to be able to purchase wild Atlantic salmon which is very red and has a lower fat content than farmed fed salmon available in Australia so you have to be careful not to over cook it or it becomes a little dry. Our super find here was soft potato buns.

On our first day out we explored the old town of Rostock.


We were excited to explore St. Mary’s Kirche meaning Church in German. It is a gothic style church that survived the war. It was built in 1723.


The interior of the church was full of many eye catching historical artefacts.

The Church organ sat high in the heavens of the church. It was built in 1770 and consists of more than 5700 pipes. We were lucky enough to be standing near the organ when it played its heavenly tunes which floated through the air like a fresh blanket being shaken out over a newly made bed.


The 26 metre stained glass window that towers over us was a truly beautiful piece of art that is the largest single stained glass window in Europe. It depicts judgement day!


The star for us was the 15th century astronomical clock which was built in 1472 and restored in 2017. It is the only medieval clock of its time in the world that still works with its original fittings. Now that is impressive!!!


The Baptismal Font made in 1290 was another eye catching carved work of art.


A 16th century tapestry depicting Mary’s life was also eye catching.


We learnt that most of this area was heavily bombed in the war so the old town was rebuilt. The main square called Neuer Markt is lined with quaint cobbled stone streets. It is full of pretty pastel coloured buildings which is like a Disneyland version of this once old town.


People were out in droves enjoying the exciting warm weather and a rural expo promoting great places to explore along these treasured coastal and agricultural regions. We were happy to explore the many tourist stands but sadly nothing stood out in English!!! The visual photos on display confirmed the areas and things we wanted to see over the next 4 days. A highlight at the expo was seeing a stunning owl from one of the local bird parks. I was surprised how tame this beautiful owl was when a young child stuck his face on its beak!!!


We also watched live on stage an older couple sing, ‘We will rock you’, loudly on stage in Germany. Some songs and tunes are just easily transported across cultural languages.

Things we learned whilst searching for a toilet was – my fellow Australians don’t ever take for granted the abundant supply of free toilet at your fingertips. Just like in Italy it cost us $1-00 each to go. Free parking is another thing Aussies should be greatful for. I think it took us half an hour to sort out how to use the meter as it wouldn’t accept our travel credit cards, so note to selves …… always have some spare coins tucked away for parking.



After exploring the town of Rostock we drove on to the north coast to the beach area of Warnemünde. It is said to be one of Germany’s most spectacular coastlines. The resort marina area is a popular German summer vacation area. It has a big port for European cruise ships with many cruise ships docked with their cargo enjoying the nearby historic fishing houses which are nicely converted into shops and cafes on the water.


The 1898 Warnemünde Lighthouse is a prominent feature along the fun beachside promenade. We stopped for a refreshing ice cream break and sat with the lighthouse staring down on us.

The beach was very enticing filled with iconic double seated wicker beach shade lounges to hire.

An extremely popular beach for playing beach volleyball.


We opted for a long stroll along the beach. This was an eye opener as without warning we had strolled into the very relaxed FKK which stands for free body culture! The first textile free beach was set up in Germany in 1920. Going naked is associated with nature here in Germany. This was a breath of fresh air for a couple who are used to going to a beach where it’s more about which trendy expensive designer cossie you are wearing. I cringe at the outrageous price tags I pay for swim wear that leaves me with sun tan marks after an hour in the sun. To wear or not to wear is totally your choice. The movement here is all about healthy body image and healthy living so nuts and cherries are roasting on the shore. Nudity is also enjoyed with many sporting activities. Nobody seems fazed by people playing soccer, throwing frisbees, running, striding down for a swim or just general chatting whilst in your birthday suit along the shore’s edge.




Ghost Trees

We ended our day taking another walk along the coastline in a forest lined with ghost trees in Gespensterwald Forest. The beech trees have been shaped by the salty wind from the Baltic Sea to have a ghost like appearance. The branches grow only on one side due to the high winds and they have twisted snake like branches.



During our stay we really appreciated our chats with Heidemarie. We really appreciated the fact that Heidemarie had to work so hard to try and communicate with us. The beautiful thing that we enjoyed was that the cultural and language barrier didn’t stop us from trying hard to chat and have what we hope were a few common laughs together. We loved the wonderful homely space that Heidemarie had created in a house that had once been owned by her great great grandfather over a hundred years ago. Surely this would call for a heart of the nation story on the history past down through the generations.




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