North of Germany and sweltering heat

It is HOT, VERY HOT here….35° at 11.30am!! So I am staying indoors and write this.. stay out of the sun at all cost.

Germany is a big country – many countries are – so I figured I do some more traveling to see more of it – though admittedly I have been to some of these area’s before – could say I spent most of my summer holidays as a kid there – I am talking about the North Eastern State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and in particular the area around the capital of Schwerin and the towns of Hagenow and the village of Kuhstorf – where my mum was born.

Kuhstorf Village Hall
Kuhstorf Village Hall

However – due to the fact that Germany used to be divided for most of my childhood years I have never really had a chance to travel further west up there –  I have been to Hamburg before but only to the city center – so this time around I thought I make the most of my many relatives up there and spend a night at each place to check them all out..

Boizenburg old town moat
Boizenburg old town moat

So first my travels took me from – Dresden via Berlin to Kuhstorf and I spend the night there with my 93 year old grandfather and my other relatives. Checking out the village with muscle power in the afternoon – as in took a push bike around rather than the car or walk… spotted a few changes but given that the village is 650 years old this year – it’s pretty much the same as it always was (as far as I remember).

Boizenburg old town wall - now a walkway
Boizenburg old town wall – now a walkway

The next day more relatives to visit – first the state capital of Schwerin – then onto the small village of Zahrensdorf – near the medieval town of Boizenburg. The architecture up there in the North is so much different to our area in Saxony – so I wandered around the old town for a bit to take some photos. This is where the world of a GDR citizen used to end – that was it – no further access…

Lauenburg on the River Elbe
Lauenburg on the River Elbe

Now of course the old border is hardly to be seen and before you know it you are in the former “West” – with the next very old town of Lauenburg (Elbe). I did not get a chance to have a closer look but put that on my “to do next time” list.

My destination on that day was Hamburg and a visit to the Beach of Hamburg – Blankenese on the River Elbe.

Blankenese Beach with large ship
Blankenese Beach with large ship

Great little inner city sanctuary – where kids can play and one can sunbathe or swim (did not look that inviting). The River Elbe who also flows through my hometown of Dresden is very wide here and eventually flows into the North Sea not to far from Hamburg.

The Ports of Hamburg are very well known and rather large – and gave the town it’s wealth – both in the past and present. So it was no surprise that large tankers, container ships and all sorts of other craft went past our nice little beach spot…

Blankenese Beach
Blankenese Beach

Lastly I went to the town of Papenburg which today is criss crossed by canals (due to the fen nature of the area)  and home to the Meyer Werft – Shipyard one of the biggest employers in that small town.

Papenburg Meyer Werft
Papenburg Meyer Werft

However – as much as I would have liked to stay a little longer – in particular in Hamburg and Papenburg – the weather over here in Germany made it not easy for me.

Papenburg city center
Papenburg city center

With temperatures in the high 30’s being outdoors – even in the shade is not easy and driving in that kind of heat has it’s dangers to – as some recent accidents on autobahns (due to the tarmac lifting in the heat) proves.

Papenburg canal
Papenburg canal

So I did not stay as long as I had planned but headed “home” back to Dresden via Hanover – a drive that took a good 6.5hrs.

The weather forecast here is now for 38 degrees Celsius today and hopefully some thunderstorms on the way…

I have only added some of the photos I took on this little trip here – the others can be found here 🙂

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