Kiel, Germany – July 10, 2015
We arrived in Kiel, Germany, at about 05:00 amid a beautiful sunrise. At that time, there did not appear to be even the slightest breeze.
After breakfast, Leslie, Lorraine, Arlene, and I disembarked. The only direction we received at the dock was to follow the blue painted line on the sidewalk. We left the cruise terminal and immediately saw the blue line. As we meandered, we found ourselves on a small street with several businesses. One of those businesses was an antique map vendor. I wanted an old map of Pakistan since the first day Leslie, and I arrived in Islamabad. I asked the salesperson if they had an old map of Pakistan. She did not; however, she did show me some old maps of India. Ultimately, I bought n 1857 map of India that shows several cities in what is now known as Pakistan.
Continuing our walk, I spotted a fruit stand that had Bing cherries that looked wonderful. I bought about eight ounces, enjoying them as we walked along.
Since we were tourists, we were looking for tourist shops. Amazingly, we did not see any. Leslie went into one of the businesses and asked where we might find some tourist items. While she was away, I noticed the oddest named store I have ever seen, Assmann. We did not go in, but it appeared to be some department store.
When Leslie came back, she shared what the man in the store told her. We were to continue following the blue line. Ultimately, he said, we would find the tourist information center. Unfortunately, he did not share any measure of distance. Undaunted, we continued.
Not too long after leaving the shopkeeper, I spotted Sankt Nikolai (Saint Nicholas) church. I went inside while the women waited outside. Dating from 1242, the church seemed a little less decorated than most other churches we have seen. Regardless, the wonderfully carved and painted main altar dates from about 1410 (although I did see a date of 1606 on the altarpiece). The level of detail was truly amazing. Off to one side of the main altar, I found the baptismal altar. That altar dates from 1490.
The hanging crucifix was striking. It reminded me of the cross in the Basilica in Paramaribo, Suriname. I also really like the painting of a man that looked like a king warrior. Since the nearby sign was in German, I am not sure who he is. He may be Adolf IV von Schauenburg.
I left the church to continue our quest to find the tourist information center. The blue line led us farther south. Now and then, one of us entered a store, but we did not buy anything.
Finally, about 300 meters short of our goal (although we did not know that at the time), Lorraine and Arlene hit the eject button. After walking a little more than a mile, they opted to take a taxi back to the ship. Just after they left, Leslie and I found the tourist information shop. We were able to quench our desire for tourist junk.
Departing the shop, we decided it was time for lunch. There were numerous restaurants along the blue-lined sidewalk, but they were all very touristy. We wanted some more authentic German food. When Leslie talked to Lorraine’s and Arlene’s taxi driver, he told her of a restaurant, The Ratskeller. About two blocks off the blue-lined sidewalk, we found The Ratskeller. It was rather chilly, so we opted to eat inside. The ambiance was fantastic. It was a rugged décor with exposed wooden ceilings and beams, all supported by wooden columns.
We began lunch with a couple of 1.0-liter glasses of Holsten Pilsner beer. It reminded us of the beer we had in Tallinn, Estonia this past January. We shared two appetizers, Büsumer Crab Soup with Dill Cream and a Carpaccio – thinly sliced fillet of beef, parmesan, and fresh basil. Both were delicious. For the main course, we both selected Schnitzels; Leslie had the Jäger, and I had the Weiner Schnitzel. The portions were huge, and the food was delicious. The Jäger Schnitzel came with a mushroom sauce. It tasted like cream of mushroom soup, but with huge chunks of mushroom. The Weiner Schnitzel came with French fries. The Jäger Schnitzel came with a mixed salad. We both thoroughly enjoyed our lunches.
When we left The Ratskeller, we walked down to the waterfront. As we walked along, we did come across a couple of other tourist shops. They just were not on the blue-lined sidewalk. I also found a store that sold jackets. I wound up buying two, thinking they will be suitable for use in Wellington, New Zealand.
As we continued our walk back to the ship, we came across a two or three-block stretch of various sex businesses. Before I realized where we were, I saw a couple of tables and some chairs. I suggested to Leslie that we sit down and have a glass of wine. Leslie said, absolutely not!!
So, it was back to the ship to prepare for our departure from Kiel.