December might be an unusual time to plan a weekend-Ausflug, but certainly one of the best – the early days of winter are especially hard to bear and are easier to stand when in beautiful nature – we chose, once again, the Baltic Sea. Within merely 3 hours by car you’ll visit one of the most lovely landscapes Germany has to offer.
This time we went a little more West, closer to Hamburg, to the area between Heiligendamm and Wismar, where the beautiful Salzhaff, the peninsula Wustrow and island of Poel are located. We stayed in an old estate in the small village Roggow just at the Eastern end of the Salzhaff.
I found this place through a random Google search where I discovered this site: Gutshaeuser.de, where you can find even more beautiful estates. Von Oertzen’s Roggow estate dates back over 800 years and has been in the family’s possession until 1945. After the wall came down the family bought it back and is now slowly restoring it. The website is hiding all the beauty of this place behind 1995’s design – don’t let the pictures fool you, it’s a beautiful place to stay with very well furnished apartments (none of the Ferienwohnungs-deco-terror one’s used to).
And then there is Heiligendamm to visit – this weird, out-of-time sea-side resort, founded as the first of its kind in 1793 by Friedrich Franz I. Its history is as rough as the sea on the day of our visit – while it was a resort for rich aristocrats with its beautiful white classicist mansions by the sea in the first decades, it faced numerous debts and bankruptcies since then, the latest being just one year ago in December of 2012. There’s a plan to restore the villas in the picture above, but as usual, the funding is questionable. Admittedly, the decaying houses turn Heiligendamm into a much more appealing visual pleasure than were it just villas restored in bright-white.
Just one downside to this very trip – I can’t recommend a place to eat. Sadly, we didn’t find a decent restaurant with a nice atmosphere and delicious dishes. Bin Luchtmaker in Rerik serves fresh and good food, but not necessarily in an atmosphere you want to spend hours in. So if you have something to suggest, I’m more than happy about your comments, because I’d love to go back.