Germany 3 - The Lakes area - Schwerinersee to Muritzsee.

The Lakes area
There are many hire boat companies on the lakes. This picture came from a Locoboat Hire pamphlet.

Schwerinersee (27 square Kilometres)
We crossed the bottom of the lake for about 6 k and stayed in Schwerin for a few days. The yacht club we stayed in is only 500m from the city and castle.
The first evening we wandered around the town taking picture of the castle which is a beautiful backdrop for the city.

We enjoyed a drink at the café and found out they had free internet.
There was a garden festival on with tourist buses everywhere and next morning we joined them in looking at the flowers and the gardens then spent the rest of the day visiting the castle and the museum.
Next morning we went back to the restaurant in the town harbour which had free internet and had coffee and cake while I did the blog.
After lunch we found the bank and got a few more euros then went to the bus station and caught a bus which did a 60 k circle of the outskirts of the city. The bus had a bike rack as it dropped people off to cycle around the lake.

We went back to the restaurant after charging the computer battery and had a good German style meal, Beef Goulash with red cabbage and potato and Rollmops and smoked fish with sauerkraut and potato then finished off the blog . Next morning we did the washing and household duties watered the vegetable patch and the flowers, the lettuce is growing well and providing us with fresh salad each day.

This was the view of the lake from the back of the boat.

Next morning the weather was fine but very windy, about 5 beaufort as we set off back across the lake passing these cute boat houses and onto the canal leaving in time to be at the Plate Bridge at one of its four opening times for the day.

Back on the Muritz-Elde Wasserstrasse on the way to Plau Lake, the canal passes through a nature reserve with forests and reeds along the side.

The automatic locks ( schleuse) we go though have signs in German and fortunately they also have diagrams of how to operate them. First you pull in and turn the blue knob before the lock to start the automatic operation. They also say which side to tie up on, right or left so we have quickly learnt Linke and Recht.

Once the gates open and the boat is tied up in the lock, twisting the blue knob closes the door and starts the water flow. The red knob is used for an emergency and stops the process.

We have a good German -English dictionary but it is still difficult to understand the words when used in a phrase. Also I think we really needed a navigation dictionary if there is such book. It doesn’t matter we are managing very well and have learned quite a few German words from other boaters. We weren’t sure of the phrase people we met used when saying farewell, we are often wished a Gute Fahrt, or a good journey which sounds a bit like an Aussie phrase but with quite a different meaning.

We travelled through Parchim and had a nice quiet night on a pontoon along the canal. Next morning the sun was shining and the temperature was about 28 deg, the locals were out on their boats and suddenly the canal was really busy. The locks were busy and sometimes we had to wait for boats in front to go through.

After a couple more locks in the morning we got to the Bobzin Lock which has a lockkeeper. The lock has a 7 metre lift the highest so far. We followed two small boats in and tied up on the left side and waited for the other boats to come in. They tied up on the other side and then lady lockkeeper appeared looking down from 8 metre above saying something in German. She was pointing to us to go to the other side of the lock. We followed instructions which were not easy when other boats are behind us. Now tied up again we waited for the water to come in. It didn’t come from the front as it usually does but from the left side, and then the right side. Lucky our windows were closed as the water bubbling up came onto the decks. This picture was taken when we were halfway up and the water had calmed down.

The rest of the day we were spending quite a bit of time waiting at locks. On such a beautiful day all the locals were out as well as the travellers.

We waited 2 turns and finally got into the Plau lock at 7pm. Others behind us were grumbling as they hoped to get through and under the next bridge before the lock closed for the night.

We tied up in the town on free moorings for the night so it didn’t matter to us if the little bridge went up or not. After a long day we settled in for a drink and a nice home cooked meal.

The boats coming through all milled around until the last lot came through the lock then the bridge went up and they went through to the marina.

Plau see (24 square kilometres)
This morning we went through the bridge at 9am and set off the 200 metres to the lake entrance. It was raining, the wind was not too bad but the visibility was not good. Off we set with me grumbling and Kevin enjoying the challenge to cross the 4 kilometres to the other side. The further we went the visibility got worse and it was getting difficult to find the port markers we needed to follow to the other side. Finally after 2 k we turned around as we couldn’t see the second marker. As we came back in, 2 large boats and another smaller one went out and we thought about following them but decided to tie up and wait. We didn’t feel so bad when 2 of the boats came back in soon after us.

The view across the lake the first time. The crossing is about 6 kilometres.

Finally the mist lifted and we set off again with the other boats following. As we went out a rescue dinghy went past fast to towards the other side of the lake and a little while after came back with the big boat we saw go out and not come back. So we think they ran aground and they looked distressed as they came back into the harbour.

The view across the lake the second time.

We noticed the port markers shown on our map weren’t there. When you can see the other side you head for the canal entrance.

Just inside at the marina we got fuel and water and set off again.

Coming down towards the Fleensensee we pass lake side houses with boat sheds below then a line of water garages.

We went down through a small lake and waited in line for the bridge at Malchow to open. While we were milling round we saw a tourist bus pull up and all the people get out with their brightly coloured umbrellas and line up near the bridge. Apparently we were the entertainment for the day, the bridge opened and the boats filed through each of us putting 1 euro in the bag lowered down.

We got a small postcard for the privilege of providing the entertainment.

Fleesensee, (6 square kilometres)
Next we crossed the Fleesensee lake, we have a journey of about 6 kilometres with visibility not bad but the anemometer is showing between 5-6 beaufort, about 40 km/h. I am not too enthused with this kind of cruising, the weather is Ok but we are certainly not relaxing and swimming in the lakes, the water is freezing, even the motor is running cool no mater what speed we are doing. We follow the line of boats to the other side.

The small canal joining the lakes is lined with lovely trees in all shades of green.
Kolpinsee (14 square kilometres)
We crossed the 7 k in 40 km/h winds and grey skies. It was hard to believe yesterday we had blue sky and 25 deg.

Waren on the Muritz

It was no use stopping on the lakes so we carried on to the entrance to the Muritz Lake. It was getting gloomy so we set off for Waren a large town on the north of the Muritz Lake.

We arrived in a large harbour where a lot of hire boats from various companies are based, they range from 12 to 15 metres. The rest of the port is taken up with private sailboats and smaller boats our size. All along the harbour are hotels and restaurants with alfresco dining from early morning to late at night.

While walking around the harbour we saw this unusual boat, it has catamaran hulls with decking on top and a full sized caravan set into the middle of it with a lounge deck at the front and a rear deck.

We decided to stay a few days and caught a train about 100k away to Gastrow to see another Schloss (Castle). It has a beautiful garden and museum.

Soon we were all Schlossed out and it was time to go back to the train.

And back to sipping coffee and eating apple strudel by the harbour side.

I am writing this blog from a very elegant internet room in the Hotel am Yachthafen in Waren.

Tomorrow we go down the Muritz lake towards Berlin. Another adventure and another story.

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