It has been great visiting and meeting my Dutch relatives so far on this trip but there is something comforting about seeing a familiar face. Rae demonstrated this by literally throwing herself down the stairs of the Schwerin train terminal (wearing a heavy backpack and running through the crowded train platform) to deliver the many hugs from friends back home to our host Kelly.
Yesterday, the sky was a little grey so we took our rental car for a drive while Kelly and Klaus were at work. With no destination in mind and an iPod app for navigation we headed south-west towards Hagenow. As lunch approached we decided to head east to find a bite in nearby Ludwigslust. Ludwigslust was a picturesque, sleepy little town with cafés and bakeries/ice-cream parlours.
As soon as we arrived, we spotted a wurst stand and had our first curry-wurst in Germany. Once we were fed we decided to explore Ludwigslust.
Ludwigslust grew in the early 18th century from the small village of Klenow to the town it is today. At the end of the town is the Baroque palace that served as a summer residence to the dukes of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. We walked along the paths through the Schlosspark that is home to a mid 18th century church and bell tower, a canal with many bridges and fountains, some 24 waterfalls and the mausoleum of Helena Pavlovna, daughter of Tsar Peter I.
It started raining as our parking was about to expire so we packed up and returned north to Schwerin.
With about an hour to kill before Klaus was off work, we decided to check out a 340 year old house that was a five minute walk from our hotel. This small museum was run by an elderly couple whose family, I believe, were the original inhabitants. I'm uncertain because the tour was given entirely in German by a sweet little old lady who spoke no English. Even though she spoke slowly and we were the only people on the tour, we were quite proud to have understood around 30% to 40% of the tour and were even able to ask a few questions with some success. Here's a little watercolor picture that looks alot like the building that we picked up from the little gift shop shack at the front of the museum building...
We're hoping to have some sun today so there should be more blogging soon.