Final day-trip out of Hamburg today, and it was definitely the longest too. We were heading to the town of Wismar, another of the important Hanseatic League cities along Germany's northern coast. This one was to the north-east, not really much further than Lubeck, but since it's a much small city the transport connections were slower and more difficult.
We left Hamburg around 9:30am on a train heading north-east, for about 90 minutes. Changed at a little place called Schwerin for the train north to Wismar, finally arriving at midday. Since we had to get back to Hamburg at some point, and it was going to take another 2.5 hours to get back, we didn't want to spend all that much time out here. Decided we'd get the 3:15pm train back, so that gave us just over three hours to see the city.
Walked down to the main square which was quite nice but definitely not the greatest main square we've seen. Probably not in the top 10! But the main attractions here are the huge brick Gothic cathedrals. There are three of them in town - one was largely untouched by the war, another survived until about three weeks before the ceasefire when it was hit by Allied bombs and rebuilt in the 1990s, and a third which was heavily damaged and eventually bulldozed by the Communist government in the 1960s, though the enormous clock tower still remains.
Was fascinating to look around the three churches and see the differences in approach and size. They're a real testament to how important the city was back in the day as well - not many cities could boast of three enormous brick cathedrals! With daylight waning, we had a look around the harbourfront where the "Schwedenkopfe" are located - literally Swedish heads. Carved wooden heads of Swedish people that guarded the harbour entrances, remembering that this area was part of Sweden for about 200 years and it's actually not very far away - just across the Baltic!
Made a hurried trot back to the station but made it in plenty of time, where we boarded the 45 minute train back to Schwerin, then waited about 30 minutes for the connecting train back to Hamburg. Another 2.5 hour journey in total, but it was worth it! And I got to listen to a whole bunch of podcasts! Neither of us felt inclined to go back out for dinner (even though the weather had been sunny today, first time in about two weeks), so we just grabbed a feed at the station. I had Burger King and Shandos had some fried rice.Read more