Christmas in July, bitches!
Hannes tried to be like, "That's not a thing," but I was like, no seriously, it is a thing.
There are still a couple of posts left from the holidays, and this one is about the quaint little not-quite-day trips we repeated from the first time we stayed in Hannes' hometown.
The last time we drove out to Rövershagen for an afternoon at a kerzenscheune, or candle barn, because yes that is a thing, we listened to Amon Amarth along the way, and ended up giving the candles we made under the bitter and scornful gaze of the librarian-esque woman running the place to our respective moms.
Also outside the city itself in that bucolic agrarian suburb is a strawberry farm that became a sort of tourist attraction over time, though it's nothing as big or extravagant as Knott's Berry Farm, for example; they have events and a little ice rink but no rides or anything.
It's called Karl's Erlebnis-Dorf and it's mostly a huge barn-themed indoor shopping and snacking center that revolves around delicious strawberry products and kitchen goods. Kitschy, yes, but very fitting. The whole area is so quiet and picturesque, with cute pointy-roofed brick houses and the occasional grazing deer dotting the flat and very green rolling landscape. Everyone pauses at some sleepy point in the afternoon for coffee and cake.
What I'm saying is that it sounds lame but totally works. Even if the sight and smell of large quantities of strawberry preserves and chocolates being made and available for sampling didn't get you, I guarantee the giant glass bulbs of herb and fruit liquors would. It's charming as fuck and gets charmier and fuckier the more delicious shots you toss back in exchange for almost nothing, because they just leave a coin box there and expect it to work on the honour system, which is very funny.
The tall entryway - you might remember from that last post a couple years back or see from that post if you click the link or that you're just going to see anyway now regardless because here are the pics again - is lined with the largest collection of ceramic coffee pots in Europe. Because why the hell not.
They also have a very charming (clearly a key word here) café that we stopped at again, because these people drink a shitload of coffee and I really wanted the strawberry latte.
The main reason we took a little family trip out there this time, though, was to see Karl's Eiswelt (Ice World): it's a big, walk-through ice sculpture installation with a Moby Dick theme. The centerpiece was a giant ice whale with a slide carved into it. I think it was 30 metres long in total? Anyway, it was pretty rad.
One of my favourite pictures of my mom ever - she looks so tiny and cute!
Look at her little excited hands! Haha.
I'm not in any of these first pictures because I got what can only be described as food poisoning right after getting to Germany and full-on passed out again after being woken up and asked if I was okay to go to this (which was definitely a "no"), but Hannes, Anke, and my mom were more than happy to go a second time so I could see it too.
It's basically a giant freezer inside so there are these super dorky parka things you can wear.
So drama. Much detail.
Oh shit, he's overturning the survivors' rowboat! Ahhh!
lol check out that foot
Ice shot glasses!
Did I mention that one of the best things about the strawberry place is the liquor?
Oh and the octopi.
But they're just a limited time thing, whereas the liquor is a fixture, or even the centerpiece, if you will.
Lars and Solvig also joined us for the second outing
because they had both come into town to hang out.
Oh hey, an ice carousel!
Obviously I had to hop on that seahorse.
The ice was amazingly dry to the touch, also.
And finally, the ice slide! Solvig looks like
a cute little old lady in that giant parka poncho, lol.
Lars and I were the only ones who opted out, so everybody else was
warm and practical but looked like adorable goons.
My mom got this tiny clip on her phone and I figured it was worth uploading.
Wow weird, the Christmas trees get blurry or something after half a dozen shots
and repeatedly spinning down the giant freezer slide like a little kid.
Did I mention that they also sell liquor and liqueur in addition to leaving it lying around unattended? That creamy one on the right is delicious (I sent a mini bottle to my mom while we were staying there the first time) but mostly I liked the pretty name and label of that spirit in the centre.
And now, the foodening!
They have a huge buffet-style cafeteria in a barn full of charming lighting fixtures and real live nesting rafter birds where you pay by weight and are seriously tempted by the massive pastries and wedges of cake. Which I'm sure is exactly and entirely the point.
Salad veggies and feta, potatoes, mushrooms in cream sauce, and a strawberry soda.
And a fluffy sheep. It was 1 Euro, I actually bought it. And I'm not sorry.
Up next on the tour is Bad Doberan - and I know if you've read this far you're someone who loves me, but you're all dilettantes with lives and shit to do and I know you're not going to click the hyperlinks to re-read my previous posts about these places - so as I said to Hannes the first time, couldn't we have gone to Good Doberan instead?!
We had no intention of visiting the speck of a resort town on the Baltic shore called Heiligendamm and/or riding the antique Molli train on its astonishingly narrow little tracks again, but we did want to show my mom the minster, das Doberaner Münster. It's a huge brick gothic Lutheran church and former abbey, the first to have been built in the area.
This was before the new camera and for some reason I got a little fixated on
getting a nice picture of these shooting star-shaped Christmas decorations in the park.
And here it is! Boxy and imposing as Baltic architecture tends to be, and incredibly old as
just about everything in and around Rostock that survived the British air raids tends to be, this
behemoth was established in 1171 and was for whatever reason narrowly passed up as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Quite a lot of the massive paintings, carved stone tablets, and religious items within the church are also, like, you know, casually 800+ years old. Nbd
I had to turn the saturation and contrast on these up pretty high because
it's so dark in there, but that just makes these look even more black metal, right?
We are fine nothing is creepy or spoopy we are normal and sleeping normally
"Is that a.. Is that like, a fucking sarcophagus?"
Nothing creepy or spoopy here we said shhh
This is the prayer room in the back of the minster. If you can't tell, I'm actually very fond of these old churches because they inherently double as art museums in addition to being architecturally fascinating. Also, most of this was closed the first time we visited; we just got to sort of come in the big front doors and walk around the entryway.
I even took a video while my mom was lighting a candle.
"Look at its stupid little feet!"
This is a museum next door that's tiny and too pricey to be worth it, so we haven't gone in either time we've walked by it and just elected to take pictures of the exterior instead.
Behold, a Hitler-shaped stencil so bafflingly badly-made
that it remains a mystery to this very day
And a nice mural of the minster in another alleyway
Oh - well, it's not quite a manhole cover, is it? Close enough.
The town square, again oversaturated but this time because of overcast grey-brightness
We had coffee at a place full of old people but replete with the aesthetic I was born into: late 80's - early 90's mauve and white. It felt pleasantly nostalgic and homey.
And look! Anke jumped up, ran outside, and got a picture of Molli as it went by! That was just what she'd been hoping for when she chose a cafe along the tracks.
That's my mom!
She's the actual best.
The last stop on our little holiday tour is Warnemünde, which is where the river that cuts Rostock in half empties into the Baltic. It's a quaint little touristy resort area that reminds me of Seaport Village in San Diego. Hannes' parents had made reservations for a nice dinner there, but we had some time to kill by wandering around first.
This is us being thrilled about getting our picture taken yet again
The main church in Warnemünde isn't as old as a lot of the other churches in the area,
but its altar and pulpit date from the Renaissance and it's obviously maritime-gothic af.
And of course they had their own mini Weihnachtsmarkt just outside,
because around the holidays they're just everywhere, which is pretty great.
We walked around the harbour and saw an organised gang of enormous seagulls pull some Westside Story shit on an unsuspecting man with half a fish sandwich. They attacked him and grabbed it, and then when he and his friends were like, hey, what the hell, the seagulls just stood there in formation and stared them down, and the lead one threateningly came toward them with its wings out like "come at me, bro", so they ran. Well, jogged. The hustled in the other direction. Apparently it's worse in summer, which is terrifying.
Look at these cute little seats! They protect you from the constant strong wind.
Dinner was a course menu at the Hotel Hübner, and mine was both gluten-free and vegan.
These veggies don't look very exciting, but
you'll just have to believe me when I tell you they were pretty tasty.
Dessert was a lovely cheese platter with fresh fruit and citrus sherbet.
We stayed until we were pretty far past tired because Marco insisted on another bottle of wine,
but all in all it was one of the nicest dinners I've had.
Aaaaand this was waiting outside for us o_o
We also walked down to the beach, just because it was right there
and looked cool in the dark with these black lights.