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June, 2016

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I signed on to do a week’s hiking with Anglo-German Walks in Rugen, an island off North East Germany in June, 2016. I made my own way there by flying Manchester to Berlin and then by three trains. There were flight delays both ways which messed my plans, and I had booked the slow train, which was a mistake. We stayed at Hotel Gesellschafthaus in Bergen on the Isle of Rugen. Each day we hiked around the island, often getting trains or buses or going by private cars to our starting point. The climate is mild and sunny and that is what I experienced. We travelled to the scenic north,east and south and on Hiddensee Island – going by ferry. I swam in the Baltic Sea on two occasions and found it quite warm and pleasant. There are nudist beaches next to ordinary ones and some seem to be mixed. The coast is eroding away and there are dire warnings of danger near to the coast. There are beautiful long sandy beaches. The scenery is wonderful with woods, wild flowers, huge swaithes of agricultural lands with rapeseed, grains … ! lighthouses. There are unbelievably beautiful houses which are let off for tourists, and also camping and caravaning sites dotted all over. There are wonderful tracks for cyclists and everyone seems to cycle around with friends or family in tow. The food in our hotel was good, but you must order beforehand, and there was also a bar. We did activities at night in order to get to know each other and speak the other language. One night we went to a live outside performance where real old fashioned boats, real horses and other animals and lifelike gunpowder and fires were incorporated in the story, which was truly excellent. There was also two occasions when falconry was used to amazing success. Another night a few of us went to a pub to watch the final of the Olympics Football when Germany won. The commentary was so loud that one English lady put plugs in her ears! On the free day I went to visit an Ocean Museum which was extremely well presented. Overall it was a great holiday, apart from my travel plans unravelling. However, I have learned from this too.


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