Date: August 27th 2006
The major East-West track from misses out both Wismar and Lubeck, but we were determined to visit the centre of Hanseatic Germany.
We picked a bad day. You have a to sail pretty well due north out of Wismar for about 10 miles before you can head back south towards Travemunde and Lübeck. The minute we turned south, the wind headed us and increased and we had a very wet and bouncy beat all the way in. Then to add to the discomfort a major storm cell dumped on us just as we reached Travemunde approaches. Visibility went to almost nil, and we fumbled our way into one of the busiest ports in Baltic Germany!
Lübeck is close to the border between what was East and West Germany. It may be accidental but its very noticeable that the western shore (what was West Germany) is considerably more built up than the eastern shore (in what was East Germany). The western shore has a number of resorts with very large marinas, and the whole area is one of the most popular for yachting.
Its possible to travel the eight or so miles all the way up to Lübeck, but the majority of the yachting facilities are just by the mouth of the river in Travemunde - a typical German baltic resort.
Unlike the east, we found the marinas have been around for some time and are mostly full. We had a little difficulty finding a suitable berth for a few days but did eventually find one in Böbs Werft, just above the town.
The day we arrived there was a sort of medieval fayre taking place on along the seafront. One of the main attractions was a singer entertaining the crowds from a tent about 4 feet square. If he'd been more than three foot tall, his head would have been out the top. He made up in volume what he lacked in height, but his musical prowess left something to be desired.
Being in West Germany, the prices were on the rise, however the quality of both food and service were definitely better.
If you don't fancy taking the boat all the way up river, there is a regular bus service from Travemunde to Lübeck, which is what we did on a rainy dull day (as they all were by now...)
Lübeck was something of a surprise. It used to be the centre of the Hanseatic League, a medieval trading network. Some reports said that it had been destroyed, others that it had been 'done up like a chocolate factory'. In the event, neither was really true. It retains a lot of its original character without being a museum.
One big attraction is the Neideregger marzipan shop opposite the town hall. Here you can buy marzipan in just about every form imaginable. (There's also a branch in Travemunde).
We waited a few days for some favourable winds to take us back north, and only just got them. This took us to Bergstaken on the holiday island of Fehman. From there we had another boisterous crossing to Bagenkop in Denmark. By the time we got there a fair old sea was running and we creamed into the small harbour to get the sails down. We were going so fast we only just stopped...
The following day the winds blew themselves out and the last leg to Sonderborg was a quiet trip.