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Warnemunde may not be the most fast-paced port, but no cruiser can deny the beauty of its quaint charms Best known as a gateway to Berlin, Warnemunde sits at the mouth of the majestic river Warnow, a seaside resort which is abundant with undulating dunes and stretches of sand that circle the entrance of the river. Heading into town, you will find historic, tranquil squares, timber framed houses that date back centuries and even modern hotels containing pools and spas lining the shore of the dreamy, winding river. Along with pastel coloured houses that brighten the walkways of Warnemunde, at the centre of neighbouring Rostock, verdant forests shelter plenty of attractive architecture, such as red brick and pastel-hued buildings which date as far back as the 14th and 15th Century Hanseatic Era. With Warnemunde acting as the tranquil seaside resort to Rostock's vibrant University town, there is a wealth to discover when you take a stroll through the remarkable cobbled streets that weave their way through historic churches and houses.
A delightful surprise for cruisers is that in the unlikely surroundings of the North Sea, Warnemunde has one of the finest, not to mention largest beaches on the German Baltic Sea coast, stretching across nearly two miles. The wide, pure white expanse of the beach is the pride and joy of Warnemunde, with its cleanliness revered in Europe. Long hours of sunshine and romantic sunsets mean that the beach is popular with both the natives and visitors, but its massive size means you will never be a stuck for a great spot to unwind and work on your tan. At the beginning of July, top class sailors and surfers are arrayed up and down the sublime coastline in competition for titles during Warnemunde week, with plenty of entertainment revolving around the postcard perfect whitewashed 19th century lighthouse that provides the backdrop to this serene coastline.
The Marienkirche or St. Mary's Church, in the centre of Rostock, is a wonder of religious architecture mere miles away from Warnemunde. Built in the 13th century, it was enlarged and renovated in the 14th century into a rapturous Christian basilica, the details of which are still prominent today. The brick Gothic exterior is adorned with a stunning baroque lantern, which even from the opposite bank of the Warnow River can be seen amongst the beautiful panorama of Rostock's landscape. In the main atrium, which features the gothic staples of imposing archways and detailed stone masonry, the main altar lies underneath a 12 metre high astrological clock, the only functioning one of its kind in the world. Designed and built by Hans Duringer in 1472, despite the repeated bombings which damaged the church throughout World War 2, the clock has survived with every single one of its original parts intact. At noon and midnight each day, a series of small doors on top of the clock open and mechanical statuettes of six of the twelve disciples parade around Jesus in tandem. Zodiac symbols and moon phases adorn the centre of the clock, etched into time immemorial.
For a unique product at a rare price, head to the House of Amber for some fantastic jewellery pieces. Baltic amber is processed in store to create amazing silver, gold and pearl accessories with exceptional craftsmanship. For clothing, Sarazul offers the finest Mongolian cashmere fashion items which are timeless, lovingly designed, and luxuriously tailored.
The atmosphere of the Ratskeller is one of rustic beauty, as descending the steps into the 1200 year old town hall restaurant leads to duskily lit, cross-vaulted dining rooms which provide an antiquated backdrop that will give a gorgeous backdrop to your meal of delicious German staples like sauerkraut and pork. For more creative fare, head to Amberg 13 for dishes such as polenta and capsicum, rabbit with chanterelle mushrooms and knuckle of veal.
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