Does anyone have recent recommendations (I see the forum from 6 years ago) for visiting the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern including "must-sees," transport, dining, etc? The reason for my visit is to research family ancestry. Thank you!
We did two seprate week long bike tours in the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern of North East Germany during the last two weeks of September 2010. The first week long tour was a circle of the Mecklenburg Lake District starting and ending in Waren. The secon week long tour explored the Baltic (Ost) Sea coast starting and ending in Stralsund touring Rugen and Hiddensee then west to Zingst-Prerow before returning. The end of September appeared to be the end of the tourist season.
The Mecklenburg Lake District was enjoyable in that we were bike riding across rural countryside from small (gross) village to even smaller (klien) villages. About the only "large" attraction was the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Our German friend guiding us on the bike tour commented that remembering German history like Ravensbrück is important so that we don't repeat mistakes.
The Ost (Baltic) Sea coast covered more of the tourist "must-sees". We enjoyed the island of Rugen . The stark Prora relic buildings were memerable. We took the ferry to Insel Hiddensee (no cars) then returned to Stralsund by ferry. The Baltic coast and small towns west of Stralsund are scenic.
Wonderful info - thank you!
Schwerin is very picturesque, albeit touristy. I've read good things about Wismar, I believe, but haven't been there. Then there's Lubeck, which is just on the west side of the regional boundary. Lubeck's on my list for a future trip.
45 km (28 mi) long peninsula in the coastal district of
Vorpommern-Rügen, in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Holidays on Germany´s most beautiful peninsula
Above all, the Fischland-Darß-Zingst region captivates with its
diverse coastline, which does not only include endless, sandy beaches,
but also steep cliffs and the untouched, rough Weststrand. The latter
is located in the national park Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft, which
is the largest national park in the Baltic Sea area and entices
visitors with its pristine nature.
Vacation on the Baltic Sea: our tips for Fischland Darß Zingst Video
Very helpful - thank you!
You may want to see the first section of this trip report:
You note that purpose of your M-V trip is researching family ancesrry. Here are some somewhat random thoughts that may be dated in that we visited 11 years ago.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is part of the former East Germany. We found that most of the locals, especially the older locals, spoke English as well as we speak German. That is, not very well. We survived by traevling with a Swiss friend who spoke English and Swiss German and her friend who spoke German.
Artifacts of the Russian/East German era are on display with stark post WW2 housing complexes in the larger towns. The Prora complex on the Isle of Rugen was a Nazi luxury resort taken over by the invading Russians. The Russians stripped the resport of anything of vaue, including the plumbing fixtures.
Touring by bike is a low barrier way of meeting local residents. One memerable person I met was a retired engineer remodling his house. He spoke limited English but our German speaking friend helped with the conversation. He worked most of career before Unification and had a marginal pension in the post-Unification world. Th old East Germany (at least at the time of our visit) was still adjusting to the new economy of a unified Germany. Our West German traveling companion had some thoughs about who benefited more from reunification.
Our hotel in the town of Plau am See (on the Plaur See Lake of our Lake District bike tour) was one of the bigger towns (Pop. about 6,000). Our hotel did not have Internet service but was next to the town's Tourist Information office. One person at the TI spoke limited English and directed us to an Internet Cafe (this was 11 years ago). One of the Internet Cafe workers was an Iraqi immigrant and was the most fluent English speaker in town. Younger Germans are more likely to have been exposed to English in their schooling. However, the M-V area tourists were mostly Germans with Poles enjoying the coastal areas. School english appears to be quickly forgetten.
Many of the small villages had Great War (WW1) memorials. Memorial plaques ranged from statues, to large boulders to wood plaques in small village churches. Small villages with 20 or 30 houses would have memorials with 20 or 30 names. The human toll of war was tremendous on these rural areas.
Wind and solar power generation dotted the landscape. We didn't see smokestacks.
Added comment: Resturant menus were typically in Grerman and no English menu. We relied on our Swiss friend for translation help. Rick's Italian-French-German phrase book was only marginally helpful to unhelpful. For example, a menu description would describe the type of mushroom without the German word for mushroom.
Thank you, everyone, for your experienced travel advice and sharing wonderful details - much appreciated to each of you!
If you are looking specifically at the emigration, those family members almost certainly passed through Hamburg. A trip to the Emigration Museum in Hamburg might be worth your time.
A popular local dish in this part of the world is Matjes. Hiring on a sandwich (Fischbrötchen) is the everyday local dish. If you can handle fish, you should at least try it. Also North Sea Shrimp (also found in the Baltic), a type of mini-shrimp locally called Krabben, is also found on sandwiches.
Hiring a sandwich or He(r)ring on a sandwich? ;-)
D'oh! Herring, of course!
You all are wonderful, thank you - traveling in late spring and can't wait to get back at it!
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is still one of those reliable areas if you want to avoid being addressed in English but then you can insist on speaking in German. That works too.