Rügen & Stralsund

It was a quick stop here at the Wulflamufer at the other side of the Frankenteich here in Stralsund before we would head further to the island of Rügen via the Rügenbrücke. It was the first summer of the pandemic and thus for us, with my wife, the mother of our children in the highriskgroup for Covid-19, we were very careful. We avoided campsites and went to shops the least as possible.

View on the Marienkirche in Stralsund, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 1924. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.

View on the Marienkirche in Stralsund, 28th of July 2020. Photo: Casper Molenaar 

A little wider view on Stralsund

In Stralsund it was such a short stop, we even left the kids in the van and avoided the city center, which would have been a shame in times when there would not have been a pandemic as I learned later from photos. So, unfortunately, I can not tell you that much about Stralsund, but the Marienkirche was impressive even from a distance. I had to stand on a litterbin in the park to avoid the greenery and find a littlebit of water on the photo at the same time. The angle is almost perfect in comparison with Kurt Hielscher's photo from almost 100 years ago, so I am happy with this result.

Photo of the statue of Lambert Steinwich that I passed when I walked from the van through the park. Steinwich was the Mayor of Stralsund in between 1616-1629. A plaquette near the statue notes that he was the defender of Stralsund against Albrecht Wallenstein during the Thirty Years' War 1618-1648. And we also know Wallenstein as Valdštejn; there's a connection with my post with the photo of Valdštejnska Ulica in Prague). 

The making of

From Stralsund it is easy to reach the island of Rügen only by crossing the bridge. 


Our hike in the Jasmund National Park became a highlight of our summer holidays, but also an anticlimax at the same time. From the parking lot Hagen, where we spent two nights in the campervan, we had been on our way through the forest for some time. Suddenly we saw the blue sky through the trees and before we knew it we were at the edge of the forest with the depth in front of us at the top of the cliffs and a truly breathtaking view.

We were right between the Wissower Klinken which is situated 3 kilometers to the south and some 2km's to the Königsstuhl to the north, the places where Kurt Hielscher had taken his photos here almost 100 years ago. We chose to head north to visit the Königstuhl and find a way down to the sea for lunch. That way we let the Wissower Klinken pass, but in the back of my mind I kept the possibility to visit it in a few days via Sassnitz in the south, but that turned out other than expected.

Wissower Klinken, 1924. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.

View towards the Wissower Klinken, 29th of July 2020. Photo: Casper Molenaar.

We did find a steep path surrounded by the chalk cliffs towards the sea. We made our sandwiches on a beautiful lunch spot. This was where we came for! The boys took off their hiking boots to play among the rocks. Kim and I found the happiness here where we have been looking for. For only a few minutes though, because suddenly a scream from our youngest son Siebe pulled us out of our fairytale. While he grabbed his foot, I saw quite an amount of blood flowing down his toes on the rocks. I walked over to him, lift him up, and put him down some more comfortably and with his foot up by the rock where we were having our lunch a few moments before. I stared into a deep cut. It did not look like his foot was cut by a rock but more like it was ripped. I cleaned the wound with some water. Suddenly a downpour surprised us on top of this. I quickly gathered our shoes, clothes, bags and everything we scattered around the place and made sure that everything stayed dry enough under the three umbrellas that I had grabbed in a split second that morning. Fortunately, the shower was short-lived and I was able to move Siebe on cues from passers-by to a tree trunk where he could stay dry under the shelter of a tree. Someone offered disinfection spray, which I sprayed amply into the wound. Siebe stayed strong. After about 15 minutes the bleeding stopped and I managed to fixate his foot with tape. I also used Compeed, a kind of a second skin. It was probably not enough to stop a possible new bleeding, but hopefully enough to put on his sock and hiking boot before the bleeding would start again. Miraculously, it worked. The idea of walking back to civilization along the coast line turned out not to be feasible. The nearest village of Lohme was simply too far away. We had to go back the same way we came meaning up the cliffs and I was quite dreaded about that, but Siebe was holding on wonderfully well. I pushed him up the cliffs a few hundred meters. Once at the top, he every now and then seemed to have forgotten his injury. But still, it took us another two and a half hours to get back to our campervan. On our way back we even stopped at the Königsstuhl, and after queuing up, I could make the second photo from Kurt Hielscher. I never got any closer to the Wissower Klinken, because walking was not an option for Siebe anymore the next days, so we switched to stand-up paddling (Siebe could sit-down in front of the sup) in the Ostsee instead of hiking.

The boys playing barefoot just before the accident during lunch on a fairytale like place at the stunning coastline of Rügen.

After the accident, we managed to get his boot on and stroll back in two and a half hours to the van. 

Queuing up for the Königsstuhl. Because of the pandemic I felt not that comfortable, even ashamed to Kim that I did it.

With this result. Was it worth the risk? I am not sure.

Königsstuhl, 1924. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.

Königsstuhl, 29th of July 2020. Photo: Casper Molenaar. 

An impression of Nationalpark Jasmund 

Up to the Pharmacy to get bondages, soda and other things for Siebes recovery for the days after the accident.

Since then, we had to carry the boy.

Watching the kitesurfers and surfers.

And other recreational activities on Rügen.

And finally we went to Prora. From 1936, during the Nazi era, a gigantic bath hotel was built here. The order for the construction was given in 1935 by Adolf Hitler himself. Twenty thousand working-class holidaymakers were supposed to be able to relax here: the Kraft durch Freude project. It consists of four large building blocks, each 550 meters long, in total 4.5 km long. The ten thousand double rooms, all facing east with a sea view, were modest regarding their size: only 5x2.5meters. Next to that two wave pools, a theater, a cinema and a banquet hall designed with 25,000 seats were planned and cruise ships and even submarines could moor at a quay. The complex was to be put into use in the summer of 1940, but when the Second World War broke out in September 1939 however, the construction was stopped. During the war, part of the complex was temporarily made habitable for the temporary housing of civilians who had fled the bombing of Hamburg. In May 1945, the complex was taken over by the Red Army. Attempts were made to tear it down, but it was so solidly built that it was decided to leave it and starting 1948 Russian soldiers were housed in the impressive buildings and later the National Volks Armee. Only since 1992 the army left the buildings. Today it is either under construction or opened as hotels or private accomodations.

And back to the main land up to new adventures. Snapshot from the van while driving, 3 of August 2020. Photo: Casper Molenaar.

In the footsteps of  Kurt Hielscher