While my traveling companions elected to take the SPB Tours bus to Berlin (a 12-hour round trip), I decided to take in the sights of the two nearby local towns . . . Warnemunde, a beach town just a short walk from where the Eurodam docked; and Rostock, a larger city a short train ride from Warnemunde.
Warnemünde is a coastal town on the Baltic Sea in northern Germany, and has a population of 8,400 people. It was not until the 19th century that Warnemünde began to develop into an important seaside resort. Once completely dependent on the fishing industry, Warnemünde’s economy has shifted significantly over the years. Besides the ship yards, the economy largely depends on tourism today. The construction of a modern cruise line centre in 2005 has contributed crucially to Warnemünde’s establishment as the most important harbour for cruise line ships in Germany.
City Highlights and Observations
The town on Warnemunde is a great place to wander around, with churches, public parks, and neighborhood shops scattered throughout the small downtown area, along narrow streets and alleyways.
As I walked over the bridge that connects the train station with the main part of the town, I came across an esplanade heading to the sea, with waterfront on one side where small fishing and excursion boats dock, and along the other side two-story structures, most probably residences in the past, but now converted to restaurants, coffee and ice cream parlors, and souvenir shops. This tree-lined and landscaped walkway provides for a very pleasant stroll to the beachfront.
The northern tip of the beach is anchored by the 100 foot high Warnemunde Lighthouse or leuchtturm, built in 1897/8 from white glazed bricks. Nearby is the Teapott Restaurant, a round building with a curved roofline that was built in 1968, with a souvenir shop and outdoor decks that take advantage of the sea views.
From here, I strolled along the beachfront’s linear public pedestrian way, with contemporary sculptures and benches; the beach and Baltic Sea was on one side, and hotels, small resorts, and other smaller tourist businesses were located on the city side. But after a short distance, this concrete walkway narrowed, becoming a more natural unpaved pathway that took me into the wooded area. This part of Warnemunde is a popular place for biking, dog walking, and evening strolls along the beach and it seemed to be in constant use by the local residents and families out to take advantage of the sunshine and mild weather. At many points along the way, breaks in the dunes allowed access down to the water. Community parking lots were located not far from the woods to allow for convenient access along its length.