Lazing on a Sunday afternoon

//Lazing on a Sunday afternoon

Nylars Rundkirke, Bornholm, Denmark.jpgThree days in to my cruise to the Baltic on board Fred Olsen’s Balmoral, and a quiet afternoon in Ronne, on the Danish island of Bornholm, provides time to reflect on what we’ve achieved so far.
First question must be why the ship is visiting the island on a Sunday, when pretty much everything is closed. Apart from a couple of cafes in the central square at Store Torvegade, where the determined could get a coffee and . . . er . . . Danish pastry, the place is pretty much deserted.
The ship was berthed a mile and a quarter from town, and those who chose not to walk were charged £5 for all-day use of the shuttle-bus service
There were four excursions available from the ship’s tour desk – a garden tour, a five-hour “Taste of Bornholm” a three-and-a-half hour “Best of Bornholm”, and the option to take a 16 mile cycling tour. Numbers were limited on all of them, and I suspect most passengers decided to do their own thing.
My brother – we’ll call him Greybeard the Younger for now – hired a bike independently for about £8 and set off to visit the 12th century round church at Nylars (above). Even that is normally closed to visitors on a Sunday, but he was lucky enough to arrive as the pastor was preparing for a harvest festival service, and she gladly showed him round.
The rest of us retired to the ship for lunch, and I for one was lulled into a Sunday afternoon snooze.
Yesterday’s port of call, Warnemunde in northern Germany, was much more fun and a lot livelier.
A few passengers took a 13-hour trip by coach to Berlin, but I chose to stay closer to my temporary home.
A short walk from the quay – where Balmoral was tied up next to Norwegian Sun – was the railway station for a 20-minute train ride to Rostock at a cost of just €1.70 (about £1.50 – London Underground and South-West Trains please note).
The streets were bustling with visitors and shoppers, and local youngsters were taking part in sports demonstrations in University Square. The 14th-century Marienkirche was particularly impressive, as much for its astrological clock and richly ornate baroque organ as for its soaring columns and stained glass.
I would have got much more from my visit to the local museum, in a former convent, if I had paid more attention to my German teacher at school. I was left guessing at the descriptions of some of the exhibits, but there was no mistaking the elaborate 150-year-old framed tableaux created from human hair.
The journey back to Warnemunde was an hour-long boat ride on which, for €8 (about £7) we joined locals taking a day trip to the coast. And here the esplanades, ice-cream carts and fish and chip stalls were busier than a bank holiday Brighton or Blackpool.
On the ship, the Rostocker Bordmusikanten brass band entertained passengers by the pool, carefully choosing a selection of British favourites rather than the oompah band tunes they are probably more familiar with.
Tomorrow we arrive at out third port of call, Gdynia in Poland, from where I’ll be taking a tour into Gdansk. I’ll tell you all about it later.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:21+00:00 12 September 2010|Cruise Destinations|1 Comment

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

One Comment

  1. Ross McLean 12 September 2010 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    Brilliant blog captain greybeard! Keep up the good work. 🙂

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