Stralsund and Greifswald 2

The bicycle route from Stralsund to Greifswald is 20 km of heritage protected cobblestone road, something we’re fairly keen to avoid as cobblestone, despite its beauty, is dreadfully on both my bike and on my equanimity.  We’re so comfortable in our accommodation in Stralsund that we decided to take the train to Greifswald and make it a day-trip.

We took our bikes too so they wouldn’t feel neglected which was useful because we were able to cover much more ground in a shorter period of time. We viewed the ‘must-see sights’ (old market place, paintings by Caspar David Friedrich) and then spent a considerable time in the basement of the Pommersche Museum which has a fantastic exhibition of the history of the town beginning with tools from the old Stone Age.

Having had our fill of looking at stuff in glass cases, we cycled five kilometres along the Ryck River to Wieck where we saw the Dutch style bridge over the river. When tall-masted sailing boats want to pass under the bridge, the upper spans of the bridge are lifted, taking the split floor with them. The boats sail through and then the upper spans lowered again.

Nearby is a ruined monastery, Eldena. a Cistercian monastery, for monks, founded in about 1200 AD.  It looked so peaceful and the grounds are so well kept that I spent a great deal of time taking beautiful photos. Caspar David Friedrich loved painting the ruins which made them quite popular amongst the arty set which in turn led to them being maintained and protected rather than being allowed to fall in a heap.

On returning to Wieck, there was a thunderous black sky over the river, it could have come straight out of a Caspar David Friedrich painting…

The evening saw us again in the Nikolaikirche in Stralsund to hear the Hamburger Bach choir sing sublimely beautiful music amidst the medieval interior of the church with its lovely painted interior. The quiet calm of the conductor as he introduced each set was most impressive but the alto voices were so clear and pure (I know nothing about music!) that they sent shivers up my spine when they had to sing the introductory notes to a piece. At the end of the concert, the choir filed to the back of the church, still singing a song with phrases and counter phrases. We sat and listened spellbound to each note, the acoustics were perfect!