Germany
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

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  • Day14

    Day 11 - Lake and Volcanoes

    January 9 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 2 °C

    Up early for continental breakfast then line up for tender tickets as we docked in Puerto Montt. The port does not have a bearth long enough for the Eclipse, so to go ashore, we take the tenders, lifeboats acting as water taxis. We were invited to jump the queue because we were ready to go immediately. The tenders hold about 120 people each and the ship deployed four to ferry us to the dock. The ride was smooth and quick (10 minutes).

    At the Celebrity dock, the shore staff guided us out into the Chilean port. Our tour guide was to meet us outside the port gate and she was waiting as a brief shower passed over. We were early so sat in the lobby of the port building to wait. Right on time, we loaded the 30-passenger bus with the rest of our tour group and took off. Darla, our guide, kept up a running commentary of what we saw as we passed through Puerto Montt and on the rest of our trip.

    Puerto Montt is the gateway to Patagonia, the southern Andes highlands, shared with Argentina. It is a large, fairly modern city and a big port. The Great Chilean Earthquake of 1960, created a tsunami that wiped out most of the town. The people have rebuilt and it seemed a thriving city as we drove through it. We headed out of the city, climbing past a colorful folk art painted wall.

    Along the whole drive from around the area, the land is heavily and productively farmed using up-to-date methods. There are grain fields, vegetable farms, fruit orchards, cattle ranches, and other crops. The area was settled by German Lutherans fleeing persecution and economic hardship in the 1840s onwards. The architecture is very German. The drive throughout the day was sometimes in rain. Short showers came and went, usually lasting only five to ten minutes. At one point, hail spattered the bus and ground for 15 seconds.

    The hills and mountains rose up as we went inland to Lake Llanquihue, a huge glacial lake. Puerto Varas is on the shore of the lake, a short 30 minutes away from Pto. Montt. We continued through Pto. Varas to Rosales National Park . The 15 minute drive along the lake was beautiful. The towering Osorno Volcano rose up, snow-topped, its peak hidden by clouds ahead to the left, on the lakeside. Rising up on the inland side was the Calbuco Volcano.

    The Petrohue Falls are between the two volcanoes. This is a falls on the glacial fed Petrohue River. A short walk over well marked and crowded paths opens onto to the rushing, intensely aqua river crashing and swishing over and through the old volcanic basalt. The river drains a glacial lake high up between volcanoes.

    We went back along Lake Llanquihue the way we'd come to Pto. Varas. We stopped in town for a half hour look around then to a parking lot on the lakeside where our guide and driver served us homemade empanadas and Chilean wine. Best empanadas we've had and a great wine.

    The tour took us to the small town of Fruitilla while Darla continued to explain the German heritage of th he area. Another of the German settlments along the Llanquihue, Fruitilla is only two long streets on the lakeside but it is known for its kuchen and struddle and theater. We carried out a blueberry kuchen and tea and coffee from a packed, tiny bakery and ate under the eves of the theater-on-the-lake while another shower passed. The theater is a modern building that produces many shows and holds classes.

    The bus took us back to Pto. Montt and left us at the passenger terminal where we got the tender back to the Eclipse.

    In the evening, we took in the show before dinner. The stage hosted Teacake, the "Duchess of Soul." She did a tribute set to Areatha Franklin and Whitney Houston. She was great! We lingered over dinner with our table mates, talking about our common but coincidental professions (3 engineers and 3 educators) and our German ancestry.

    Tomorrow and the next are days at sea.
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  • Day179

    Home sweet Home

    March 28 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 8 °C

    Also gut, da sind wir wieder. Zurück in Deutschland. Noch im Flieger erhalte ich eine liebe Willkommens-SMS von Ines und Reinhold. Der Start gefällt mir und ich muss grinsen. 😊

    Der Himmel über Berlin ist grau und es regnet leicht, am Gepäckband in Tegel stapeln sich die Leute und ich erhalte mit als Letzte meinen Rucksack. Befreie ihn von dem Sicherheitsnetz, verstaue alles ordentlich und werfe noch einen Blick auf die App der Bahn bevor ich mich in das Gewusel da draußen stürme. Und da ist sie, die deutsche, Berliner Freundlichkeit! “Entschuldigung, was machen Sie da bitte?” Schallt es vorwurfsvoll und leicht gereizt zu mir herüber. Wirklich? Bin ich gemeint? Ich schaue die Frau an und erkläre, das ich nur kurz die Bahnverbindung checke, da ich gerade mein Gepäck erhalten habe. Ich gebe zu, mit einem ihr adäquaten Unterton. Ich müsse hier weg, kommt es unfreundlich zurück. Der nächste Flieger kommt und sie müsse hier jetzt saubermachen. Kurzer Rundum-Blick von mir, alles sauber. Ah ja... Alles klar...
    Etwas gereizt, nach 2h Schlaf und so einer Begrüßung kann ich nur bedingt freundlich sein, erkläre ich kurz, dass ich gerade erst mein Gepäck erhalten und lediglich kurz auf mein Telefon geschaut habe. Aber ich bin ja schon weg. *grummel*
    Dabei sollte es aber nicht bleiben. Die Busfahrerin des Shuttlebusses schimpft über die Autofahrer als wir 20min an der Abfahrt des Flughafens im Stau stehen. Steigt jemand hinzu heißt es “Hinter die gelbe Linie, sonst fahr‘ ick nich los!”. Eine Frau mit Kopftuch fühlt sich im überfüllten Bus von einer anderen Frau geschubst und es kommt zu einem Wortgefecht, das in Geschrei an der Haltestelle Turmstraße gipfelt, als beide aussteigen. Oh man, ohne Worte! Zu allem Überfluss hat meine Bahn auch noch 90min Verspätung und ich hänge am kalten, zugigen Berliner Hauptbahnhof fest. Zumindest treffe ich mal auf eine nette Bahnbeamte, die mir einen 4€ Verzehrgutschein in die Hand drückt. Super, dafür gibts einen leckeren Fruchtquark am Frucht- und Obsttresen. Später noch einen Kaffee und irgendwann ist auch der ICE endlich da und ich sitze im Warmen.

    Um 18:00 Uhr mit nur noch 45min Verspätung erreiche ich das Endziel meiner Reise. Ich steige die Treppe vom Bahnsteig zur Bahnhofsvorhalle hinauf und sehe tatsächlich ein rotes Paket mit weißen Punkten in den Händen von Yvonne, die mich breit angrinst. Gott, ist das lieb und ich freue mich unglaublich sie zu sehen. Sie sei mein Abholservice, erklärt sie mir und von wem sie mich alles grüßen soll. Das Paket hingegen sichert mit selbstgemachtem Kartoffelsalat und einem Paket Wiener Würstchen, einem Piccolo Prosecco und Ferrero Küsschen mein heutiges Überleben. 🤗 Zusammen mit Brot und Käse, für die meine Mutter gesorgt hat, kann ich ganz in Ruhe ankommen.

    Naja, fast... Es liegt ja wieder an mir, dass ich sofort beginne den Rucksack auszupacken, die Wäsche in Stapeln aufzuteilen und die erste Waschladung anwerfe. Mein weißes Maschinchen gibt die ersten Töne von sich und verrichtet die nächsten 90min einen super Job! Ich liebe sie! 😍 Um 22:00 Uhr falle ich dann nach erfolgreich eingerichtetem Chaos in Küche und Arbeitszimmer nur noch wie ein Stein ins Bett.

    Tja, und damit enden tatsächlich 6 Monate meiner kleinen bzw halben Weltreise. Alles ist gut gegangen. Ich bin gesund und munter - na gut, an munter arbeite ich noch - wieder zurück, habe tolle Menschen kennengelernt, unglaublich schöne Erlebnisse und Eindrücke gesammelt, die mit Sicherheit noch lange nachhallen werden.

    Ich hoffe, Ihr, die mir auf dieser Reise gefolgt seit, hattet Spaß mich bei dem ein oder anderen Abenteuer zu begleiten. Ich bedanke mich für eure lieben Kommentare und unterstützenden Nachrichten hier im Portal, per WhatsApp oder per E-Mail. Habt eine tolle Zeit und wer mag, darf sich gern auf Juli freuen, wenn es für mich für 3 Wochen nach Südkorea geht!

    Alles Liebe!
    Manu 🤗
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  • Day81

    Tollensesee

    September 15, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Will had put in a few hours researching lakeside spots on his Maps.Me app and found several around Tollensesee, a large lake south west of Neubrandenburg. The first access point was in a residential area and had parking close enough for Poppy (who can't walk very far) to get to the small beach. Vicky thought she'd love to splash in the water but she didn't seem impressed and needed encouragement to come and join us in the shallows.

    Will's next location took us down a rickety single track road with tree branches that scraped the roof and sides of the van. Luckily we didn't meet anything coming in the opposite direction and were rewarded with a tranquil grass and hard sand car park near the end. A few hundred meters further down the track was a pier and beach access to the lake. Will went snorkeling and saw hundreds of perch with pink fins, olive green bodies and dark tiger stripes. Later, Vicky joined him for a swim in the warmth of the early evening sun.

    On our first morning we put the canoe on its wheels and trundled it to the water. Paddling in a clockwise direction we skirted the tree lined shore where the loudest noises were the rustle of wind in the reeds and the occasional cry from 2 pairs of courting swans. We came across a gap in the reeds that led to part of the lake previously hidden from us. When we entered we found a scene out of a fairytale. Large lilly pads created shade for a range of fish including two carp that were about 2 foot long. The sun sparkled on the small waves blown up by the warm and gentle breeze and to complete the scene we spotted a huge bird gliding just below the tree line. It turned and circled back over the top of the trees, giving us a good look at its sillouette and allowing us to identify it as a White Tailed Eagle!

    Feeling stunned, we continued, cutting across the lake and saw hundreds of birds the size of small geese flying overhead in long ribbons, we weren't sure what they were as the sun was too bright to see properly but later we saw similar streams of cormorants, then cranes squawking and climbing the thermals in a large corkscrew.

    We found a thin strip of sand to stop for lunch. It was so peaceful, with dragon and damselflies darting and the occasional fish coming to the surface of the calm water, protected from the wind as it was by the tall reeds. The return journey was hotter than we had expected for mid September, even in our swim shorts and summer tops.

    To finish off the day we both went snorkeling and Vicky discovered the rows of what looked like sharp teeth on the fresh water mussels that lay on the sandy bed. It was interesting to be able to watch them open and close whilst floating above.

    Tollensesee is a great place and we were incredibly lucky to see as much as we did from as many different perspectives as we did; canoeing over the middle, swimming in the shallows at the shore and looking through the window of our snorkeling masks into the underwater world.
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  • Day76

    Schaproder

    September 10, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Today we visited a tree canopy boardwalk near Prora in the middle of Rügen Island. Will was skeptical at first but it turned out to be really fun with sections cut out of the boards and replaced with 'stepping stones', ropes or horizontal ladders. The view when we got to the top of the 40m high viewing platform was amazing.

    Next on the list of things Vicky had for us to do was to visit Hiddensee Island. A ferry left from Shaproder and there was a campsite nearby. It was €18 but very convenient for the ferry and we'd been staying at a number of free places prior to coming on to Rügen so we thought we'd treat ourselves.

    We asked the manager for one night and he responded strangely by asking if we were sure... Showing us to a good spot he asked us to register later when they were less busy. Exploring, we found it was right next to the beach and had a sail boat hire company operating on site. We returned and with a little embarrassment, asked for 2 nights, making the manager laugh in a good humoured way and exclaim "I knew it! It's always the same!"
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  • Day76

    Beach car park

    September 10, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    We found that the car parks for the beach we visited the previous day allowed vans to stay overnight for €6 so had a day at the beach with only a short walk accross to the van as the sun started to sink. The morning came with a low hanging mist and calm sea.

  • Day74

    Gager

    September 8, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    With trepidation we started off towards Rügen Island. We'd done our research and found some exciting places to visit. However, the Rough Guide didn't forewarn us of the business and difficulties we experienced on the previous peninsula and we were worried it would be more of the same on Rügen.

    Thankfully our fears were soon allayed! Whilst the sometimes narrow roads were tricky to navigate with large trees leaning over in to the path of high sided vehicles, Rügen's atmosphere seemed relaxed and friendly.

    The island is Germany's largest and it took us a good while to get to the South Eastern Monchgut and Göhren peninsula where we'd looked up a stopover. On arrival we were all ready to pay the €10 the book had stated for the stopover (which turned out to be a campsite). We ended up getting charged €17 because the price stated only included the van and not us or the local tax! They didn't ask about a dog and we didn't tell them about Poppy as it would have cost an extra €2 for her! Whilst €17 was more expensive than we were used to paying over here, it was still a lot cheaper than anywhere we know in the UK and it was in a brilliant position.

    We took a short walk to the sea and looked around the marina which had a mix of leisure craft and places for fishing boats that would return and unload their catch to be processed in the harbourside huts. There was sailboat hire but there were only very small boats available, more suited to children than two 6ft adults.

    After lunch outside the van with Poppy, we cycled 3km to the other side of the peninsula where we found a long arcing beach with soft white sand and views of chalk cliffs at the point. The beach was separated into sections for clothing, no clothing and a dog beach. The day was warm and so was the Baltic and we really enjoyed swimming around before lying on our beach towels to dry off.

    The evening saw Will head to the harbour with his fishing rod and Vicky hike up the hill at the head of the peninsula. We both watched the huge red sun set over the water from our different vantage points. The hillside is beautiful, being covered with wildflowers, many gone to seed but some still in flower. A network of tracks offer views over the various coves and headlands with sea visible in almost all directions. On the way back down, Vicky spotted 3 deer only 15 meters away, unfortunately she couldn't stop for long as the mosquitos were swarming and she ended up with around 25 bites from the day.

    Our stay ended with a hike up the hill the next morning and a little wander through the small village on the way back, where we bought smoked eel from a family business.
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  • Day73

    Barth

    September 7, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Starting our journey along Germany's North West coast, we drove to Warnemunde and whilst it looked like a nice place with interesting mosaics and access to the beach, it was extremely busy, despite being September. We drove round and round narrow streets trying to find somewhere to park with locals tutting at us. Even the park and ride had a width restriction too narrow for the van so we moved on.

    In the next part of our journey we travelled through some beautiful countryside. Driving on to and along the Darss-Zingst peninsula we had mixed forest on both sides casting zig zag shadows on to the road. The forest floor was covered with rich brown leaves and its edges with pinkish heather and green bracken with tinges of its autumn colour. Other places had glimpses of the Baltic between heavily built up mounds of earth acting as flood protection. Whilst the peninsula was beautiful, it was still very busy, with narrow roads and little room for parking. What parking had been provided was very expensive and we encountered problems like width barriers and low hanging trees blocking our path once we turned in to car parks. Moving off the peninsula we stopped at Barth, a pleasant little town with a big church, convoluted streets, carved dark wood statues and a large marina.
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  • Day78

    Sailing at Shaproder

    September 12, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    11 weeks into our journey and today was the first opportunity we had to go sailing! We went to the sail hire caravan on site and hired a Jolle boat called Kuno for the day. Taking it out for a test sail we found it very stable and the wind consistent. The section of sea we were on had land in almost all directions so waves were minimal and heading cross-offshore with the wind.

    Having explored Hiddensee Island on foot the previous day, we set a course towards the furthest point south that we had reached, knowing there was a small beach where we could anchor and access the land. 3.5 miles later we arrived on the island at the correct place thanks to Will's phone and after securing the boat, we waded ashore and ate our packed lunch.

    Whilst we could have spent more time on the island, we knew the return journey would be upwind and so slower and more difficult, so we set off back and had a great time ploughing through the oncoming waves that splashed up on deck.

    We managed to tack back to near the mooring without difficulty but the shallow beach proved a little tricky, as when Vicky finally managed to loosen the rudder so it didn't catch on the sand, it popped up and took away the ability to steer, leaving us being blown in the direction of a rock! We managed to avoid being 'dashed on the rock' and a second attempt to moor was far more successful.

    After a short comfort break we set off again to push the boat to its limits, with both of us in the footstraps and leaning over the side as we sped along the water.

    We had great fun and were so glad we got the opportunity to sail. We've bookmarked the site for a return visit when we are in the area again!
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  • Day72

    Passee Rastplatz

    September 6, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    We had come to the end of our exploration of Germany's North West coast. Whilst it had been good to see the sea, we liked the lakes, the wide open country and numerous birds of prey best.

    We zipped over the Danish peninsula, via Hamburg towards the North West coast. Looking at our Bord Atlas the stopovers all seemed pretty expensive so we overnighted in a service and rest area on the A20. Surprisingly it had views over woodland and freshly ploughed farmland and was far enough away from the road for us not to be disturbed by traffic noise. The chirping from flocks of starlings filled the air and we were treated to a beautiful sunset.Read more

  • Day77

    Hiddensee Island

    September 11, 2016 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    We left the van at Shaproder and took the passenger ferry 20 minutes over the water to Hiddensee Island. It was idyllic. There were no roads as such, just cobbles and tracks and we didn't see a single automobile. People were transported to their accommodation on horse drawn wagons and there was a store of bicycle trailers for those with cottages or B&Bs closer to the harbour.

    We'd chosen to disembark at the most southerly and smallest of the three island settlements, Neuendorf. From here we walked south on a mix of grassland, woodland corridor and beautiful white sand beach. We'd packed a rug and picnic for lunch which we ate on the grass with only the occasional passer by and no road noise whatsoever.

    We'd read that Hiddensee's south tip, called the Gellen, was good for bird watching. After walking 5km we came to a fence and found an information board explaining that the area was closed off as a nature reserve. We'd seen some sandpipers on the beach and swans flying overhead but weren't disappointed by the lack of variety as the walk had been so enjoyable (despite the huge ants we found in the woods).
    On our return to the harbour, Will had a swim while Vicky took some photos.

    We took the return ferry back at 6pm and despite it being a full day, we both felt very relaxed after having soaked in the peaceful atmosphere and beautiful scenery on Hiddensee. The day was topped off by watching a stunning sunset over Hiddensee from the van.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Mecklembourg-Poméranie, Meclemburgo-Pomerania Anteriore, 메클렌부르크포어포메른 주, Mekelnborg-Vörpommern

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