I’m Shouting from the Rooftop Baby…
…come pick me up! The city centre, the port, Warnemünde. Boom. There you have it. The three super sweet, super beautiful and super hip spots in Rostock. And yes. They are super clichéd. In fact, every time I tell people about them, I find myself wanting to tell them less about them. Not because these spots aren’t amazing, don’t get me wrong – but man, it’s not unlike many would have you believe this is all Rostock has to offer. So in order to provide you with a bit of an extra-experience, I combed through my memory of all the epic things I’ve done here (good night-outs mostly excluded. I don’t remember much of those, really, that’s how good they were.), and I stumbled upon a discovery regarding my flat.
I call a lovely two-room-apartment my home (which I share with my bestie), in an area near the city centre. Our house is mostly inhabited by very lively and outgoing students, who sometimes even give you their leftover-pizza, and I can only stress here that there is usually heaps of gratitude expressed as a result. However, a couple of months ago I heard four or five of them in the hallway, stomping up the stairs, and I wondered what on earth they could be doing there, at 11pm, given the fact that there was only a slightly creepy attic waiting for them. So, being the highly skilled and discreet Sherlock Holmes-type that I like to think of myself as, I followed them into the hallway and asked, super discreetly, “What the hell are you guys up to?” into the darkness. What followed was footsteps, light, and finally one of my neighbours:
He: “The roof.”
I: “The roof?”
He: “The roof.”
Okay. The roof. Seemed legit. What goes up must find a roof after all. And then it hit me – THE ROOF! Jesus Christ. I had spent nearly three years in this place without ever considering to see what was at the end of that conspicuous ladder on which I tended to bump my head against whenever I did my laundry. No sense of adventure whatsoever. I swear, as a kid, I was way more badass.
Anyhow, I was so shocked by my not having been up there because in fact, I had already experienced how magnificent it is to sit on a rooftop and watch all the people hustling through the streets while you just somewhat hover above their heads, look down from a different world, and are just blown away. Sometimes even literally because you should seriously consider the weather before you go up there (disclaimer: approaching lows are NOT your friends! Nasty little buggers they are, and they can be super pushy sometimes!).
I still remember my first encounter with a rooftop very vividly. We got up there at 2am in the morning by using a scaffold because the house was being renovated (most houses have a proper access route to the roof though, and this way is far safer and the one you should obviously look for. However, if you want or have to do it the risky way: really watch your steps, and you’d better make sure you are gone by 5am because that’s when the builders normally arrive. And trust me. They don’t like it when someone other than them uses their scaffold. But seriously, if you can, stick to proper staircases and ladders. Better safe than sorry, folks!). We had carried backpacks filled with snacks, pillows, blankets and sleeping bags, and, when we were all settled, took a moment to appreciate the epicness of the moment. What struck me most was the peacefulness up there: You could hear things that can only be heard when the city is asleep; the hoot-hoot of the night owls, being carried back to their nests by a very tired bus, a couple giggling intimately on their way home from the BARFUSSbar, some very early birds discussing bird matters of the apparent utmost importance, and the wind howling over and through the city, making it sound as if she was sighing at ease in her sleep. We chatted and laughed our way into the wee hours of the morning, which was when we finally shooed our way back down. It was a pretty special thing to do, and I think that you should experience a rooftop adventure as well!
If you haven’t got a clue how to conquer a roof that is not yours, then by all means, let me spread a little knowledge on how to get there. First and most importantly: don’t be shy. Approach people. Best of all, students. Students are friendly (most of the time), and super outgoing and welcoming. Get to know them for example here, here or here, share a beer, find out whether they have been to a rooftop (preferably their own. Who knows what they might have done on other people’s rooftops, for heaven’s sake!), and if the answer is “yes”, kindly ask if you could tag along sometime. In 89% of all cases, they will likely happily invite you in, and if you happen to be carrying a full beer crate of M&O with you, that will increase your chances by a 1000% (but please be careful: don’t drink and dive. Rooftop-diving is known for even lower health benefits than drink-and-driving – for obvious reasons.)
In case you are not the most outgoing, people-approaching type, don’t worry – there’s a plan B for you as well! Unfortunately, it’s not exactly the actual roof and it involves a bit of money spending, but hey – it’s close enough, and you’ve gotta treat yourself sometimes, right?! And the cherry on top: this spot can be found in Warnemünde, so you get two amazing experiences at the very same time. In order to enjoy what is most likely one of the best views in all of Rostock, take the elevator in the Neptun Hotel to the 24th floor (or, if you are a very sporty person, take the stairs. Burn some calories. Earn your experience!), which is also known as the “Sky-Bar”. Being 64 meters over ground, this bar is the highest and probably most astonishing one in MV, and if you don’t mind paying a little more for your coffee (and “only” being under the roof), then that is going to be your rooftop-candy experience, as the view is as magnificent, beautiful and breath-taking during the daytime as it is at night time, and all of Rostock is at your feet.
No matter which one you choose – the fancy Sky-Bar or the less posh but definitely just as amazing plebeian rooftop package – I can guarantee you a non-mainstream experience with good people, good laughs and good vibes. But always remember: don’t drink and dive, that only works in the Matrix…