Hey everyone! :)
If there is anyone left on this planet who actually still reads our blog - then hello and welcome to our first post after a seemingly much too long summer break! Break isn't really the right word, as it's been the busiest summer I've ever had, mostly due to the photography projects that kept me quite active in the past few months. I've wanted to share this blogpost with you guys back in June already, but I simply didn't get around to do it. But before I go on finding any more excuses for abandoning our blog for so long, I present to you now: my travel diary of the 10 days I spent at the Baltic Sea!
You must know that as an art history student you have to complete two excursions within your master studies, one inland and one abroad. As I had already completed the inland excursion, there was only one left for me to do, so I applied for the trip to the Baltic Sea under the thematic aspect of "brick architecture in medieval times". - Sounds much worse than it actually is, I can assure you!
Our journey started on June 12th at Vienna International Airport, or as I call it - the doorway to hell. (I hate flying, you know.) With my good friend and colleague Anja by my side though I felt confident and ready to conquer the flight to Hamburg, unfortunately she fell asleep shortly after the plane had taken off. Well, I guess I can't blame her, it was early in the morning.
After we had safely arrived in Hamburg, we took the next train to Lübeck, our first stop on our architectural journey.
Even though we would have wanted to take a quick nap in our cosy beds after checking in at our hostel, we immediately started exploring the city by following the lead of one of our colleagues. (What we generally did at every city we arrived at was to analyze brick walled architecture, whether it's profanatory or sacral. Every student had to give two speeches in different cities, in english or german, the first speeches in a new city were always some sort of urban overviews and historic facts.)
At around five in the afternoon we were done for the day and had the chance to "prepare for our speeches and look at some more architecture" - which to us meant "go have some food and buy silly souvenirs".
As usual, Anja was perfectly prepared for our journey and had of course already spotted the best place for us to have dinner at - L'Osteria. I've never been to one of their restaurants before but I have to say, their pizza is very tasty!
After dinner, Anja and I walked around some more and checked out the beautiful houses that were basically on every single corner! I've you've never been to Lübeck before, let me tell you - it is such an adorable old town, filled with lots of culture, lovely people and picturesque places. I really fell in love with this place!
The next day it was my turn to hold a speech about the Lübecker Dom, - a very impressive yet sparsely decorated building- which I personally like better than filigree gothic architecture. The first presentations of the day were held by my lovely colleagues, mine followed in the late afternoon.
Time for a short break and some ice cream at Niederegger (seriously the BEST I've ever had! And yes, I know we're not in Italy).
Our last hours in Lübeck were of course invested in food-tasting and taking some last pictures before we took a bus to our next destination: Doberan.
In the early evening we arrived at our hotel and had the rest of the day to ourselves.
I guess you all know what we did then, right? Yeah, we're THAT predictable.
On the next day we got to see the Cistercian abbey of Doberan.
In the afternoon we took a break so we went to the next little cafe nearby. It was absolutely lovely by the way and served the best vegan chocolate cake!
The day after that we took the bus to Stralsund, a city that is directly situated by the Baltic Sea. Unfortunately, we only spent one night there as we traveled on to another city the next day. I really loved Stralsund, especially the fact that this city serves the best fish dishes ever!
In the late afternoon we traveled on to Kolberg, a city on the south coast of the Baltic Sea in north-western Poland. To get there, we actually had to take a ferry!
I don't know if I told you yet but our second professor, who's from England, looks exactly like Hugh Grant (- and not just from behind). Seriously. That day we only had one referee as we arrived at Kolberg at around 8pm after a 4 hour bus ride, so we couldn't wait to go to bed as you can imagine.
The next day we headed towards our final destination in Poland,- Danzig, - but before that we made a stop at the Marienburg, which is the largest castle in the world (by surface area). Built in the 15th century it was even used by the Nazis as a destination for annual pilgrimages of both the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls. In 1945 during World War II more than half of the castle was destroyed.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, let me present to you one of the most beautiful cities I've ever visited in my entire life: Danzig!
I don't even know where to begin ... this city is so, so pretty. The medieval little houses that are surrounded by water, the lovely people that aren't just pretending to be nice,- they actually are, and most importantly- the food. My god, the food. Anja and I were really lucky as our good friend Caro, who's half german half polish, showed us around town, translated everything to us and gave us some great insider tipps. Again, thanks so much Caro, you made this trip even more special!
Oh and by the way - same procedure as every day - from the early morning 'till early evening we analyzed churches, walked around the city and discussed facades. I actually held my second speech here in Danzig at the old town hall, which is a really lovely place!
Whenever we were allowed to take a break (which was once a day) we got ourselves some food. My personal favourite polish meal were "Pirogge" which are baked or fried buns stuffed with a variety of fillings such as meat, mushrooms, onions or cabbage.
Since Caro speaks polish fluently, she dared to get a haircut at a very tiny, old hairdresser in Danzig. Naturally, Anja and I accompanied her and watched the mesmerizing process of her hair getting shorter and shorter. Of course the outcome was as lovely as expected! :)
I can't even say how lucky I felt to have had such lovely people by my side and collecting so many great new memories together with them. I probably would have never seen the places I have seen if it wasn't for this excursion, - which definitely had its exhausting sides too, let's be frank, however, looking back at it now, I just feel really grateful and happy to have been able to be a part of this adventure.