4 Brits in a Volkswagen Polo steaming up the Autobahn to the Baltic Sea.
The Northern coast of Germany is somewhere that I never thought I’d find myself. So, when a new British Council friend expressed her interest in a trip to Rügen, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself in for.
Join me as I take you along our route up the blustery beaches of the Baltic Coast and back again …
First stop was Wittenberg – known across Germany for being the place where Martin Luther lived and worked for most of his life. Also known by many East Germans as being a really boring city with not much there for except… well, Martin Luther.
In the spirit of things, we went into the Martin Luther Haus before motoring on northward.
After 7 hours of driving, we reached our destination. Rügen is what the Germans like to call a ‘Halbinsel’, a half island, which basically means they built a road to it so it’s not actually an island at all.
The whole island has a magical peacefulness about it, a feeling as if you’re on the edge of the world. The landscapes are vast and outstandingly beautiful. As you drive across the island, you pass through quaint villages that you can drive in and out of within a couple of minutes.
We stayed in an Airbnb a 10-minute walk from the beach and spent our evenings looking out towards Scandinavia with a Radler in hand.
One of Rügen’s main attractions is the Jasmund National Park, home to Germany’s ‘white cliffs’, which were sadly a bit of a tourist trap. However, we hiked beyond the usual viewing platforms to see if we could find a quieter picnic spot a little further up the coast. We really were quite chuffed when we managed to out-hike the Germans.
Lastly, on Rügen we visited the Sellin Seebrücke. The whole town of Sellin had a rather unexpected New Orleans vibe and the Seebrücke itself was lit up beautifully.
This tiny island am Arsch der Welt really is one of the most extraordinary places I’ve ever visited.
On our way back down South, we looked up some other points of interest to stop at as we’d already driven though Rostock.
We stumbled upon Güstrow, which is home to one of Germany’s best-known war memorial sculptures: ‘Der Schwebende’. It is a bronze sculpture of a floating angel originally made in 1927 by Ernst Barlach.
Our final pit stop was Potsdam. Once home to the Prussian kings, this city still oozes with royal charm.
The Sans Souci Park and Palace is the real gem of the city, with beautifully manicured hedges and fountains which make for an idyllic golden hour stroll.
All in all, I couldn't have imagined a better way to spend my Herbstferien (October half term). The Baltic Coast is a real hidden gem, which I was lucky to experience in great company, with a loyal Volkwagen to to help us along the way.