Wednesday, 26 August 2015


Art gallery, Rostock, swimming in the Baltic, conversations.

Drove through the forest to the art gallery of Ernst Barlach, In Heidberg, a 19c sculptor who lived and worked locally. His prices were smallish in bronze and clay and transmitted emotions well, fear, horror, he had been influenced by Goya. He died in 1938 so would have experienced the unpleasantness of the Nazis. His life was displayed on boards but unfortunately not translated. The gallery was a beautiful modern space, set in the forest with large open windows.

Our landlady had been dismissive of Rostock, “very badly bombed during the war” she said. But we enjoyed our walk and lunch there. We walked past the wonderful old university building spanning 6 centuries of learning, then walked along a street full of interesting buildings, all very Hanseatic, with narrow gaily coloured fronts and Art Deco style in other buildings. We had lunch of smoked fish brodchten in the square bought from a man with a van and endless patience for the different combinations that we all wanted. I had smoked mackerel and finished off Frances’ Dutch style herrings. The Spaniards are surprised by the German food vans, in Spain one buys good to take home to eat and there is not a culture of eating on the streets. I popped into the cathedral, quite plain with a very heavily decorated organ and altarpiece only, not as over decorated as the southern German churches. I could happily have spent more time in Rostock. We were determined to swim in the Baltic and we did at Borgerend. It was a lovely little resort with sand dunes that one walked through and then a narrow strip of beach. Lots of families were playing in the warm sun. We went down and plunged in, the water was cool and refreshing and it was more enjoyable if one swam around. The sea was barely salty and there was almost no tide. We had coffee watching the small harbour on a huge inlet, lots of people were taking boats out in the long summer evening. The port and beach had a lovely small scale. Had a lovely drive back seeing the countryside in the evening light, golden on the just harvested fields, mixed forest, small villages with houses and churches, small lakes. We had a Spanish style supper at home with a large tortilla and salad.

I was surprised by the beauty of Rostock, being on the beach was innocent fun and the evening light beautiful.

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