Spring is here! Trees are getting green again, flowers are forcing their way through the ground, and you can smell the fresh sea breeze. It’s time to put on your walking boots and get out there.
Todays trip starts in the chic seaside city of Kühlungsborn. You can get there easily by bus or train. After having breakfast in one of the numerous cafés or eating a packed one right next to the rolling waves sitting at the beach, start your tour walking the promenade east either at the beach or on top of the steep coast in the shadows of the hundreds of years-old trees that hold the coast together against the spring floods of autumns storms.
A cool forrest to your right, a sunny beach and the blue sea to your left, the seagulls above, and a fresh breeze around your nose – this will be your company for your next 24 km to todays destination: Warnemünde. You can take a bath if you dare: The water temperature varies from 3°C to 12°C depending of the time of spring. You will see the first crazy people taking a bath. But be careful and don’t swim too far: It is damn cold and you can get cramps and numb legs and possibly drown! But if you are trained and like ice hole swimming in the winter, as many natives here do (We even have a club dedicated to swimming in the winter!), the temperature won’t matter for you. My personal record for the Baltic Sea is 6°C in late March: freezingly cold! But it is alway nice to cool down your feet after a few kilometres. In the summer time, you’ll definetely want to take a refreshing bath and cool down in the enjoyable 22°C warm Baltic Sea. But make sure you pay the one or two Euros „Kurtaxe“ if you stay at a Seebad formore than one day, ticketmachines are at the beaches or at the tourist information. It’s a small fee guests have to pay to keep the beaches maintained, clean and lifeguards payed.
After a few kilometers you will encounter Heiligendamm’s white luxury villas next to the beach promenade. This „Bäderarchitecture“ is a very unique style of architecture typical for the Baltic Sea coast line. Sit down and take a break and you can almost feel the aristoratic 19th century scenery. After the break head on along the coast line through forests, fields and some more stony and some more sandy beaches.
You will pass the small village of Börgerende and, shortly after, Nienhagen. Having walked through a very special ‘Gespensterwald’, the ‘Ghost Forrest’, you can congratulate yourself, you would have walked half your way already. It’s called Gespensterwald because the trees have curly, creepy looking branches. The forest reaches directly to the cliffs where numerous benches on top of the steep coast, offering an astonishing view. It’s one of my favourite places to think, relax or showing the contrasting beauty of the wild Gespensterwald tamed by benches as markers of civilization to friends. It is also a popular fotoshooting spot for Professionals and amateurs, especially at sunset.
Benches next to an ice cream parlour in Nienhagen invite you to take a break again and enjoy the magnificent view from the steep coast, watch vessels, ferrys, and sailing boats, sit in the sun or just take a bath. If you opt to enjoy this tour in winter, replace your ice cream with a warming mulled wine or a local specialty hot seabuckthorn juice with some Rum or Amaretto. I always go for the healty and tasty seabuckthorn with Amaretto. The berrys grow directly at the beach dunes and there might not be any more coastle drink than sea water.
The second part of your journey is not that much different from your first part. Slowly but steadily you will come closer to Warnemünde, Rostock’s very own seaside resort. I urge you to climb the stairs to the top of the lighthouse and reward yourself after your last bath in the Baltic Sea for today (you can’t take too many baths in the Baltic Sea even in one day) followed by a delicious „Fischbrötchen“ from one of the many traditional fishing boats. But hold on tight to your meal and be aware of the greedy seagulls!
If you can still walk, just roam the streets of this picturesque fishing village turned seaside resort. You can chose between the busy street at the harbour or the lovely, quiet back streets A train that departs every 15 minutes will take you to the city center.
If you actually have followed this route: Congratulations, you just walked one of the most beautiful parts of the german coastway.