(municipal district) Lübeck in Schleswig-Holstein. It was during WWII a testing ground for some of Adolfs dreams, flying boats, U-boats and also a slave labour camp. During the Cold war a small part came under the GDR Regime, the east side, but the rest was still West but could only be reached by a small ferry, this meant that large parts were off limits to much of normal Joe public, therefore it was allowed to return to nature. The one time airfield, returned to a salt mash after a high summer tide and the rest a natural forest full with wild life. They are at the moment building a smashing Nature Centre at the start of the wanderweg (8.5km long), this will not be finished until 2016, but will encompass an information centre, education facilities and a conference hall.
I carried on along the track, admiring the colour and heady scent of the Hawthorn and Wildroses until the path met the shoreline of the Pötenitzer Wiek (Wiek comes from the old German and means a bay connected to a larger body of water (in this case the Baltic), by a narrow opening, in this case theTrave)).
|A Chirping Great Tit|
This is where I had aimed to have my lunch at a rest area with tables but it was taken by a cyclist group (they get everywhere don't they, worse than dog poo on the streets of Berlin).
My lunch table haven been taken, I walked a little further, found a break in the undergrowth and discovered a washed up tree branch that made a smashing seat. I unpacked my lunch and got out my water bottle, when a cheeping, chirping flotilla came into sight, a Red Breasted Merganser with 9 chicks in tow, what a wonderful sight.
Alarm over out she came with her brood astern.
On the other side a Baltic Trader (alas not the sailing vessels of yesteryear) was making ready for sea, I watched with a longing eye, as during the 70s I had done a six month tour on Chemical Tankers plying there trade on the Baltic, this was while having a break (birth of son number two) from the Far East and Pacific Rim.
I walked a while along the shore path but got a bit sick of looking across the river towards Travemunder, watched a river pleasure cruiser heading towards the river mouth and that was it.
So turning into the woods at the earliest opportunity and was at once rewarded by a flash of red in the trees and managed to get a couple of good shots and I do believe it was a female Red Start- Phoenicurus phoenicurus (Rotschwanz)
|Grey Heron, lapwing, Sheldduck, Grey lagged geese and many more waders|
I then walked to the start of the route and back to my car, I had parked right at the start of the walk and there are a limited number of free parking slots on Helling and adjacent to the soon to be new Nature Workshop complex (hopefully to be opened in 2016 and fully functional in 2017). I think that if you try to get parked at weekends during the summer months you had better come early or leave your car in Travemunde and go across as a foot passenger on the ferry; it is just a short walk to the start of the nature trail.
|Alexander Vin Humbolt II|
I caught the ferry (you never have more than a few minutes to wait) across the Trave which is very narrow at this point and then decided to travel along the coast to Scharbeutz before turning inland to visit my storks in the small village of Böbs.