Over and under water in Müritz
Germany's largest freshwater aquarium is located in Waren in the heart of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the legendary Mecklenburgische Seenplatte. This is a state where national parks and protected areas are close together. The Müritz National Park is one of them, and the park has a boundary line towards the lake that gave it its name. Müritz is the country's second largest lake and in high season there is, to put it mildly, lively boat traffic on this inland sea, not least with sailboats.
When you arrive in a new area in a motorhome or with a trailer, it always takes some time to get to know attractions and distances, bike paths and walking routes. Müritzeum gives a flying start to what is ahead of the one who will need a bit deeper down the case. Here we can stand face to face with the fish who avoided being eaten by their own family and it seems to be okay without the family around. Nature in the original version of the bold aquarium tells many stories.
In this facility, management has realized that guiding texts in English are smart when the goal is to have at least 200.000 annual visitors through the doors to the place they have baptized the well-meaning name "The 1000 Sea's House". It has been built with half the house outside of Herrensee, and around the lake there is a great hiking trail with organized activities. Last year, 160.000 people visited this amazing facility that has catered for the children with playgrounds also outdoors.
Now that we have become more aware of the fact that we are living in the climate change, it is okay with a fast expedition back in the twentieth century. The time travel in Müritzeum, in modern interactive terms, tells us that our hard-tested monk has been through changing epochs, but the museum is pleased to guide us through the last 25.000 years. In the museum there is a copy of the lower part of an oak that has lived in 1000 years in this area - and eika keeps going!
The territory of this part of Germany may seem infinitely wide, but the region lacks forests and associated birdlife. Both birdlife and forest are provided with informative schemes where we also learn about the importance of the bogs in the big climate. Useful knowledge also for Norwegians after last year's upbringing around plantations derived from foreign ants.
The Mecklenburgische Seenplatte, located between Rostock and Berlin, was a more or less closed holiday paradise for us in the west as long as Germany was shared. But all in 1990, Müritz-National Park was established and now embraces 322 square kilometers. There are plenty of good maps to buy both for those who want to use the legs and the cycling, and everyone benefits from consistently well marked trails.
Norwegians who take ferries from Trelleborg to Rostock or Sassnitz land in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, and the road to the 1000 lakes is short. The state has little industry and tourism has become a major focus area. They must have succeeded a bit on the way for the latest statistics say that camping has increased by 10 percent. According to the authorities, this is related to upgrading places, better marketing abroad and more motorhome places inside the cities.
The Germans naturally dominate the caravan parks and campgrounds, but the immigration rate increases slowly but surely. According to the German Tourist Office, there were 1.033.584 foreign overnight stays in the state of 2016, an increase of 1,2 percent.
Most tourists are searching for nature and activities. Cyclists on transit in Europe have 10 continental routes they can follow, and the bicycle maps also show 25 tours. And then there are the thousand seas there. Müritz is very big, but there are plenty of small lakes in between. There are plenty of places to rent a canoe, kayak and accompanying life jackets.
Remember the paddle map
It makes sense to get a proper paddle map and consult with the landlord before laying the routes. Mecklenburgische Seenplatte are generally fairly flat cases so here there are not many ridges to navigate as you are used to from Norwegian coastal areas and lakes. But in this flat country it can also sweep winds that make it rustle violently in the reeds, and headwinds are headwinds in all waters.
Our canoe owner said that it is also smart to have water and a little lunch for an hour or two with the paddles consuming both fluid and energy. The maps will tell where it is possible to find a place to eat, and the basic thing for all traffic is of course respect for nature and signs.
And those who first took the trip to the Müritzeum will be able to comment on the time when winged and furling among the national park residents appear on the hiking trail or in the tree tops.
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