Churches in Wismar, fish sandwiches at Timmendorf harbor, bridges in Boltenhagen - and the charming Baltic Sea is always there as a backdrop. If you want to experience something on a bike tour on the Mecklenburg Baltic Sea coast and have the fresh wind blowing around your nose, you should try Wismar Bay.
Starting a story with the - or at least one - highlight is usually not a good idea. In this case, however, it would be problematic not to tell about this wonderful morning at the Boltenhagen pier right away, because this is where it finally starts, the bike tour in the Bay of Wismar. Or rather: Here it should start, already since 30 minutes. But the author of these lines just can't tear himself away and instead idles away minute by minute with his steaming coffee in his hand; has strolled out to the end of the 290 meter long Boltenhagen pier and looks out. Looking and looking and looking at the waves of the Baltic Sea - or the Baltic Sea, which somehow sounds more powerful, more sublime almost - and hanging on to his thoughts.
A sea like this has a strange effect on people. It gives them a pleasant feeling of longing and lightness while at the same time making them aware of their own insignificance. But let's not get philosophical in the early morning, let's just stay with the pleasant feeling. The Baltic resort of Boltenhagen is one of the oldest seaside resorts in Germany, its kilometer-long beach and the long steep coast are known and loved far beyond the borders of Mecklenburg. The pretty spa park at the entrance to the bridge, which is already being surveyed by an astonishing number of guests with their first steps of the new day, also bears witness to this.
High time to get on your bike to discover a little more of the Wismar Bay. Off we go - through the pristine landscape of the Klützer Winkels, where old brick churches stand out amid green meadows and fields in the immediate vicinity of the Baltic Sea. An idyllic route leads directly to Zierow, a place that basically does not need to point out its predicate as a state-recognized resort. It is enough to open one's eyes: We're talking about a stretch of land on the western Mecklenburg Baltic coast, surrounded by beautiful fields, meadows and forests. A special highlight: the approximately two-kilometer-long stretch of coastline at Eggers Wiek. It's actually too early for a break, but the natural beach there makes cyclists an offer they'll find hard to refuse: The crescent-shaped bay is the perfect place to take a quick dip in the waters of the Baltic Sea - and there's a fine view of the islands of Poel and Walfisch in there, too. The latter is an uninhabited nature reserve and bird sanctuary that may not be entered year-round.
After a few more kilometers on the bike, a multitude of sights of a completely different kind await inclined visitors in the Hanseatic city of Wismar: Numerous Gothic architectural monuments convey a striking impression of the magnificent backdrop against which life in the prosperous Hanseatic city of Wismar must once have taken place. Particularly striking in this regard are the three Gothic sacred buildings of St. Marien, St. Nikolai and, above all, St. Georgen, all of which can be found in Wismar's UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town. "Although St. George's Church is the largest of the three churches in Wismar, it is also the youngest," says Christian Thadewald-Friedrich, the cantor of the trio of churches in Wismar, who is still surprisingly young at just under 30. He came to Wismar via Thuringia and now gives piano lessons, plays the organ in the churches, and leads choirs and music groups in Wismar. With a little luck, the gifted musician can also be found outside of the official mass times in the Nikolaikirche, where he plays the organ, gives lessons to his students or rehearses for a special performance. "That's when I sometimes cheat my own compositions in," Thadewald-Friedrich laughs, "nobody usually notices." He points to very special concerts that take place now and then in the Nikolaikirche: "See these kind of light shafts," he says, pointing his finger under the ceiling of the huge church vaults, where projections lined up next to each other at some height can be seen. "That's where the singers stand on occasions like this. It makes for incredible acoustics and develops a beautiful atmosphere in the church."
The last stage on this entertaining and varied day trip by bike along the Bay of Wismar leads to Timmendorfer Hafen on the island of Poel. A turbulent place full of life, where everything revolves around fresh fish - and its enjoyment. You can still buy it here quite authentically at a few places directly from the cutter. However, there are no longer too many fishermen who set out in the middle of the night to offer hungry visitors fresh eel (only in summer!), turbot, plaice or cod the next day. So it's all the nicer to see people lining up at the picturesque Timmendorf harbor to enjoy the day's bountiful catch as fresh as possible.
There are truly plenty of ways to while away the last hours of a sunny vacation day relaxing in the Bay of Wismar. Watching the sunset on the island of Poel with its picturesque lighthouse in the background is certainly one of the most beautiful. If there is a plate of fresh plaice on the table or a fried cod, even spoiled cyclists in the Wismar Bay are happy to acknowledge such a scene as (another) highlight of the day. And this time it fits also, because the most beautiful belongs finally always to the end. Well, at least on a perfect vacation day.
Cover photo: Boltenhagen is perfect as a starting point for a bike tour © TMV/Tiemann
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