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The Island of Rügen

Binz Cape Arkona Granitz Hunting Lodge Hiddensee Jasmund National Park (Königsstuhl) Mönchgut Prora
Putbus Racing Roland Ralswiek Castle Sellin


There are two ways to reach Rügen. Germany's largest island is connected to the mainland at Stralsund by a bridge and a dam. Coming from the south we used the Glewitz ferry connection from Stahlbrode instead (5.40 €). On the way to Binz we stopped at a supermarket in Putbus to store up on provisions. It was about 5 p.m. when we reached our holiday flat at Villa Ahlbeck in Putbusser Straße, right next to the Granitz Forest and 5 min. walk from the town centre and beach promenade. To the car park unfortunately it was a 10 min. walk. The fee for the car park and six bikes which belong to the holiday flats were included in the rental price. In addition we had to pay a daily spa fee of 2.10 € each.

Boat/Boot Binz

The Baltic resort of Binz is located on the eastern shore of Rügen. It's the largest seaside resort on the island and it is known for its well-preserved fin de siècle architecture (many of those classical houses have been beautifully restored since GDR times when everything was run down). Binz also boasts of a long beach with fine white sand.

Jasmund National Park
Day 7: Friday, Sep. 10, 2004
20 °C, sunny

After breakfast on the terrace of our flat we left for Sassnitz. We drove till the farthest end of the town, where the old town is, and left the car at Wedding car park (4€ for the day ticket). Here we started our hike. It was 10:45 a.m. Right next to the parking site steps lead down to the beach where we walked along the bottom of the chalk cliffs. At Piratenschlucht (buccaneer gorge) we climbed the steps to the cliff top path. We followed the hiking trail through the forest with spectacular views of the white cliffs and the sea in the sunlight. One of the most famous views was the Wissower Klinken cliff (on the picture in the upper row to the right), immortalized in paint by Caspar David Friedrich, or at least this was assumed to be the model for his painting. But this photo is already history because in March 2005 the cliffs crashed into the sea after a long period of frost. It's a real pity for Rügen, but at least we still got the chance to see them. At Abstieg Kieler Bach we climbed back down to the beach. It wasn't always easy to walk over the stony ground but we were rewarded with views of swans and cormorants swimming in the bay and spectacular views of the cliffs towering above. At Aufstieg Königsstuhl we climbed the 412 steps back to the cliff top and had a look at Viktoriasicht, a lookout point with a good view of the famous Königsstuhl (king's seat) cliff. Then we walked over to the National Park Centre and the Königsstuhl lookout point itself, towering 117 metres over the Baltic Sea. Here we had to pay 1 € but the view was rather disappointing compared to what we had already seen. The place was swarming with tourists who come here by coach or car. But at least we can say now that we have been there.

Stubbenkammer Stubbenkammer Wissower Klinken
Swans/Schwäne Stubbenkammer Stubbenkammer
Königsstuhl Königstuhl Viktoriasicht

Katja - NationalparkzentrumIt was past 2 p.m. We had already walked 12 km and now we followed the signs to Lohme. We continued on the cliff top path, which is less spectacular from here, through forest for another 4 km. My feet were now beginning to ache. Reaching Lohme at 15:15 we realized that the bus we were planning to take at 16:15 ran only during school holidays, meaning that we would have to wait until 17:11 for the next one. We were hoping that there may even be a boat connection back to Sassnitz from Lohme, but there wasn't. Would have been a good alternative to get a view of the cliffs from the sea. Boat tours do leave from Sassnitz. Instead of waiting for two long hours we decided to walk back another 4 km along the road to Hagen from where another bus was leaving at 16:35. The last kilometres were killing me, but we just made it with a few minutes to spare to grab an ice-cream. Hagen has a big parking area from where the shuttle busses to Königsstuhl leave. It would probably have been better to walk straight here, instead of continuing all the way to Lohme. We got off the bus at bus stop Sassnitz Hauptstraße. From here it was still quite a walk back to the car park. Perhaps we should rather have parked at the Kreidefelsen car park (may even have been free of charge?) and walked along the cliff top path until Kieler Bach, instead of going down to the beach. There was a bus stop just opposite that car park (Waldhalle). Got back to Binz at 5:30 p.m.

Granitz Hunting Lodge - Seaside Resorts Sellin/Baabe/Göhren
Day 8: Saturday, 11th Sep. 2004
19 °C, sunny in the morning, rain from midday

The weather forecast had announced rain for today, but when we got up in the morning the sun was still shining. So we decided to go on a cycling tour towards the Mönchgut peninsula. We took two of the bikes belonging to the holiday villa and cycled up the hill through the Granitz Forest to the Granitz (Royal) Hunting Lodge on the 107 metres high Tempelberg. We had left at 9:30 a.m. and an hour later we had reached our first destination. The admission charge was 3 € plus 1 € for the photo permission. The little castle has a 38-metre viewing tower which can be accessed via an iron staircase winding up the wall. The tower offers a unique panoramic view. By the time we emerged on top, clouds had come up. We cycled on towards Sellin. At least the cycle track from the hunting lodge to Sellin went downhill most of the time. We reached the town around 12 p.m. and had a coffee at the pier. Sellin's most famous landmark, which was destroyed in the icy winter of 1942, has been reconstructed since 1992, a few years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Many of Sellin's houses, like those in Binz, were built in resort architecture style.

Jagdschloss Granitz

Jagdschloss Granitz

Jagdschloss Granitz
Sellin Sellin Sellin
Rasender Roland Bollwerk Baabe Moritzdorf


Katja Wildflowers/Blumenwiese

Shortly after we had left the café, it started to rain. Nevertheless we continued on our way to the seaside resorts Baabe and Göhren. The Baltic resort of Göhren is the last stop for the small gorge steam railway Racing Roland that connects the towns of Putbus, Binz, Sellin, Baabe and Göhren. A train was just due at the station so we waited a little while to see it. Then we cycled on to Bollwerk Baabe. By now the rain got heavier. From Bollwerk Baabe a rowing boat ferry takes cyclists (1 € per bike) and foot passengers (0.50 € per person) to Moritzdorf. From there we cycled up a hill with wildflower meadows. It would really have been a lovely ride if only the weather had been better. By the time we passed through Seedorf, it had at least stopped raining again. In the area around Lancken-Granitz a number of megalithic graves or dolmen can be found, but it was already getting late and we had been on the road for quite a while, so we didn't stop to take a look around. We returned to Binz via Lake Schmachter and did a bit of shopping at Lidl. It was 5 p.m. when we got back to our holiday flat. My rough guess is that we covered approximately 30 km on this tour.

Of Rügen's most important seaside resorts Binz has the advantage that it opens out to the sea with a long seaside promenade. But it's also the main tourist hub. Sellin has the most prominent pier, but only very few houses have a sea view. Baabe didn't seem very interesting at all. Göhren has a pretty town centre, but it's on top of a hill with the seaside promenade quite a way off.

Cape Arkona
Day 9: Sunday, 12th Sep. 2004

18 °C, changeable

We left around 10 a.m., drove to Sassnitz and had a look around the harbour. The day started off very cloudy, but when we reached Cape Arkona, the northernmost point in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and of the Isle of Rügen, at 11:30 a.m. the sun was coming out. From the parking area (3 €) it's a 2 km walk to the two lighthouses, or you can take the tourist train (0.50 €). It took us 40 minutes on foot. From the lighthouses we climbed down the stairs of the Kaisertreppe to the bottom of the cliffs. Afterwards we took the 1.3 km path along the cliff top to the picturesque fishing village Vitt. The village with its thatched roof houses retains a feel of the past century. By now it had got cloudy again and just when we had left the village and found ourselves in the open field, we were surprised by a fast moving rain front. The rain was driving hard and our left side was soaked in a minute. At least the rain was gone as fast as it had come up. But it would have been wiser if we had jumped on the tourist train that was just leaving the village when we did. It was 1.5 km back to the parking area and it was 2 p.m. when we finally got back to the car. We drove on to Dranske, just opposite the island of Hiddensee. The wind was very strong and the waves were breaking on the pebbly beach. By now we were quite dry again and we stopped for coffee and cake at a bakery in Wiek. Got back to Binz at 4:30 p.m. and had a walk around.




      Kap Arkona


Sallow Thorn/Sanddorn



Binz Binz Binz

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