We were able to take occasional day trips from Kiel. The bus, train, & ferry systems are very convenient, inexpensive, and easy to use – even for us that don’t speak German. We mentioned in an earlier post about our trip to Laboe. After that trip, we were encouraged with the success of getting there & back without problems. A similar beach town to Laboe was Strande. It is just across the bay from Laboe, and was equally charming with great seafood. Laboe was accessible by ferry, and Strande was accessible by our local city bus.
We were invited to lunch by some of our new friends at Kiel Church. They live in Flensburg, North of Kiel. This was only a 1 hour train ride for us. This family drives to Kiel every Sunday for church, just to find an English speaking congregation. Jonathan is from Kenya, Miriam is from the Philippines, and their daughter Mara was born in the Philippines. Flensburg is about a 10 minute drive to Denmark. We took a quick trip to Denmark, even though it was a rainy day.
Lubeck was a great day trip we took by train. The old part of the city is on an island enclosed by the river Trave. Lubeck is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and we spent our day just walking the streets and looking at the beautiful architecture. The city is also know as the home of marzipan. One of the locals told us that the city was closed off during the war, and the only food stuff they had was almonds and sugar; thus came the invention of marzipan.
We had a great day taking a “cruise” on the Kiel Canal (Nord Ostsee Kanal in German). This canal dates back to 1895 and provides a short cut passage for ships from the Baltic Sea to the North Sea. The Baltic Sea end of the canal is in Kiel and it ends in Brunsbuttel on the River Elbe. From Brunsbuttel, ships can pass to the port of Hamburg or go out to the North Sea and beyond. The day included a great buffet lunch, and an afternoon cake/coffee buffet. For our trip, we took a bus to Brunsbuttel, then boarded the paddle steamer Freya for our “cruise” back to Kiel. It was a long day, but relaxing.