A windy visit to the Baltic
Laboe Travel Blog› entry 16 of 22 › view all entries
We woke up to a cold, rainy/snowy day. Michele and I wanted to go shopping, so after another wonderful breakfast we all drove to Kiel to the mall. We walked around a little and marvelled at the differences between German and American malls. Mostly in the stores - this mall had kiosks for meats, cheeses, fish, bakery, fruit, etc - all the specialty shops, even an herbal tea shop. Since it was the day before Easter, a lot of grown up Easter bunnies were buying candies and toys for little kids back home. The mall even had live bunnies for kids to pet. Since it was an icky day, it was pretty crowded, but we enjoyed it. I bought a little stuffed animal for my cousin and a game, but not much else.
After the mall we stopped at the dock to look at the big ship that goes between Oslo and Kiel. A little museum there was closed and it was sleeting so we just stayed for a few minutes watching crazy fisherman fish in the cold!
Next we drove out to Laboe where there is a beautiful nature preserve on the Baltic Sea and a Naval Memorial. It was really windy and really cold and the wind just whipped through our clothes. Brr! High water led to some flooding of the coastline up to the storm dunes. Even with the strong wind, the waves don't get very big on the Baltic Sea. However, high wind is quite popular with the kite surfers! We had fun watching them surf (on a surfboard with a parachute-like kite that pulls them along in the wind).
We got tickets to tour the Memorial and U-Boat and headed in out of the wind. The Naval Museum was originally to honor the fallen sea-men of WWI. It has since expanded to WWII and other wars and also for all fallen sea farers from all countries. It is amazing to see the number of fallen people etched into the wall. The top of the Memorial provides an incredible view over the area including the Kiel Fjord, Kiel and the Baltic Sea. Gorgeous! It started snowing while we were on top, so we went back inside and finished the museum.
Final stop was the U-Boat. You can walk through the entire submarine and see all the pipes and wheels and what-nots that are needed to operate the sub. You can get clausterphobic just looking at the narrow bunks and imagining all 27 people in this tiny confined space at one time! Even the bathroom was tiny. Some of the bunks even had torpedoes suspended over them - I would not want to sleep there!
One final stop on the way home was a big grocery store to look for sweets to take home. To my incredible shock I found Softis - a chewy candy I remembered from my youth and haven't seen in about 14 years! My middle school German teacher used to sell them to the students. This was my fourth trip to Germany and the first time I ever saw them in a store! Granted this was a bigger store, but I was so happy I bought two boxes. My friends back home were pretty surprised to get Softis as a souvineer! Yummy! I was so excited! My other weakness is the Pick Up bars - almost like S'mores, but without the marshmallow. Its a piece of chocolate between Leibnitz butter cookies. Yummy again! Like I joked with Michele - I won't make fun of her for buying souvineers if she doesn't make fun of me for all the sweets I would be bringing home!