Tag Archives: fernweh

Blog-Parade ferngeweht – City, Country, River: P for Peene

Some time ago ferngeweht made a Blog-Parade about the old children’s game „City, Country, River“ or „Stadt, Land, Fluss“ as it’s called in German and asked for 26 Bloggers to write articles about a city, country or river for a respective letter. This time around Sabine wants 78 Bloggers (3 for each letter) to do the same.

I already participated in a previous Blog-Parade of hers (Fernweh) where my post got added to the e-book version containing nearly all entries and also two others about travelling (Strangest Travelling experiences and Travelling Glitches). When I saw the first Parade I wanted to participate, but my chosen letter was already taken and my time/motivation back then wasn’t that good to begin with.

Not that this is any better this time around (*click*), but I decided to apply for the river version of the letter P.

And as you’ve already figured out: I managed to get it. 🙂

Additionally, this post also qualifies as first „Travelling T-Day„, a category I introduced when I talked about the schedule (I just don’t have a picture for it yet >_<).

So without further ado, let me tell you a bit about

The Peene

The Peene is a river in North-East Germany; in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-Western-Pomerania) to be more precise and if there weren’t those huge corn silos I’d be able to see it from our bath-/bedroom windows. So it’s obvious why I chose it, right? 😉

Anyway, as the Peene is a German river the pronunciation has nothing to do with the English „pee“ – even if the Slavic origin of the word (Pěna) – meaning „foam“ or „foaming river“ – could be associated with the word. If you go for a similar sounding word I’d recommend a look at „penny“. Here you simply stretch the sound of the e for the „ee“ and add the short one at the end. Easy, right? 😉

River basics

Geografische Karte des Peeneverlaufs
(c) Ulamm

The Peene is a river system consisting of the Peene and other rivers that have Peene in their names (see picture) and several side-arms running towards or away from it. The Peene – that is actually only called Peene – I’m going to talk about origins near Gnoien and runs past Demmin, Jarmen (my home town that I’ll be using as an example throughout the post), Anklam and reaches the Baltic Sea as Peenestrom (strom = stream/river) in Peenemünde (münde being an abbreviation of Mündung, meaning „water mouth“) – at least that’s what I get from local knowledge and the quite confusing Wikipedia article.

This part of the Peene is about 126 km long, it’s longest distance is 185 km in total. The river is sometimes referred to as the Amazon of the North (Amazonas des Nordens) due to the curvy course of the river and its natural habitats of many different (sometimes endangered) species.

Wildlife sanctuaries and shipping

The mill & the filling construction
The mill & the filling construction

These natural habitats are often even sanctuaries, where beavers, (sea) eagles, otters and all kinds of little critters can live and re-populate. Some towns – like Demmin and Jarmen – even use the beavers for touristic advertisement (Jarmen recently got a wooden beaver statue at the town entrance). The habitats range from normal river valley (Peenetal 😉 ) to moors, with the moor even being the largest low-level moor (fen) (Niedermoor) in Middle Europe and other parts run through an Urstromtal.

Some parts of the Peene can be passed through on special river tours, where you can see these habitats. As the river(s) runs through a couple of lakes – like the Kummerower See – these tours are sometimes combined with tours there. Other parts are still used for shipping freight or (hobby) sailing, but pretty much every part can be accessed via canoe, with several stations along the way.
There are a few harbours along the Peene; in Jarmen there is the mill directly beside it and sometimes you can see the transport ships being filled from the mill and/or the tall silos that are blocking my/our view. ;)Obviously there are also a couple of bridges that are either high enough for boats to pass below or able to be drawn up.
Jarmen has two bridges: One for the (former Federal Road/Bundestraße B96) Country Road (Landstraße) L35 and one for the motorway (A20) directly alongside it. With an motorway entrance just outside of town it’s quite easy to cross the river here. The next proper bridges are, I believe, in Loitz and Anklam.

Foto der Landstraßen-Brücke über der Peene
The feet below the bridge (by the yellow sign) belong to the motorway-bridge 😉

But that’s not all there is to it

The Peene also has a history of being a natural border within the state that is nowadays called Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, but used to be at least two different parts.
During the Swedish occupation of the North, for example, the Peene was basically the border in most parts between Swedish-Pomerania and New-Western-Pomerania. During that time a lot of towns alongside the Peene – like Jarmen – were under Swedish occupation. Later it cut off the Prussian region of Stralsund. Today the Peene is usually part of a county on both sides, but before we had the „Kreisgebietsreform“ (county area reform) where Jarmen became part of the new county called „Vorpommern-Greifswald“ the Peene used to be the border between the counties „Ostvorpommern“ and „Demmin„, if I remember correctly.

An especially interesting tale concerns the part of the Peene along the town of Anklam. Where the Brandenburger (or -ian?) and Swedish armies fought over the town and its access to the river.
In a bit more fictional way this plundering and destruction is composed as a theatre play called „Die Peene brennt“ (The Peene burns) and is performed every year around September and shows how the Anklamer drove off the occupiers. Unfortunately I never managed to attend one of the shows, but some day I certainly will. 😉

My Peene

As I mentioned a couple of times now, do I live relatively close to the Peene. Growing up we met down there to just sit around and chat, to explore or to relax in the sun – if it wasn’t that time of the year where all the dead fish lay in the river after repopulating (Nearby we also used to have a large playground with a wooden ship where you could climb and play, but only the giant sand box it stood in now remains of it).

I made a few tours on the river – and I really like being on a river boat or ferry. One was in elementary school, that I mentioned briefly before, where a classmate described the animals we could possibly see as „Bibers“, „Adlers“ and „Otters“ (horrible plurals of Beaver, Eagle and Otter) and the other a trip as part of a birthday party from a friend of the family. Both were great and I don’t mind going on another trip.
If you live here it’s easy to come across different parts of the river, so it’s not surprising that I’ve seen it in at least Demmin and Anklam as well.

Flussverlauf weiter an der Mühle entlang

As I now mostly stay in Neubrandenburg I don’t have time that I could spent down at the river – and it would be weird because off all the anglers standing down there. Still I enjoyed going down there again to take the pictures for this post.

I hope you enjoyed this little introduction to the Amazon of the North and maybe you find yourself thinking about visiting it one day. 😉


On the Road: Travelling with a Heavy Heart

For the first time since it happened my Dad and I will be driving to Mum’s/our relatives for our more or less regular Pentecost visit.
It will be very strange to be there without her.

The missing Navigator

Whenever we went to see our relatives, since I got my licence, Mum would sit in the back seat giving us directions and telling us when to switch the motorway and we would tell her that we know and that we can read the signs.
Whenever she saw me struggling to keep concentrated she would give me snack or something to drink, as we kept a basket with food and drinks on the back seat beside her.
Now both those task will have to be done by my Dad and it will be really weird.
We will find our way, but she wont be there with us.
Though the hardest thing will be that down there, where Mum grew up, will also be all those people that knew her and now have the chance to express their condolences in person.
It will be a difficult weekend full of tears, even though I’m tired of crying, but my heart doesn’t care about that.

Small steps

These past few (nearly three…) months I’ve been trying to get some kind of normalcy back into my life and as my Dad supports me in pursuing my own adventures this even included minor trips.
The first time meeting people that know what happened is hard, but at some point you have told them what you need to tell and you can commence to different topics, which takes your mind off off things.
My first visit was to Janzy in Hamburg where we participated in the Lange Nacht der Mussen (Long nights of museums). It was an interesting, educative and really nice trip, but the whole time there was this aching in my heart when I thought of my Mum.
Whene I was travelling in the past I would call her or at least text her to give her an update, but this time I had to inform my Dad about all the things happening.
It felt really weird and it still does.
Another way of me to get used to texting my Dad and enjoying stuff without having the chance to tell her about it was for me to participate in the meetings of the local Animexx group in Greifswald. I discovered the HGWAnime last year and one of their meetings was my last trip I could still tell her about. I felt the need to go there again, to be able to continue going there without thinking of that last time and so far it worked and I could enjoy my time there without thinking too much about her.
Two weeks ago Breagit and I also made another trip to Berlin for Germany’s version of the Free Comicbook Day. We were so busy throughout those hours that I barely thought about her, but still managed to give my Dad some updates.
Another thing I have last done when she got out of the hospital in January was the Sabaton concert I attended with Anice. I was so occupied by my fear of losing her that I only could really enjoy the concert when the main band started.
Next week for the first time I will attend a concert again. It will be in the same hall, but a different band and a different person to accompany me. I’m not sure how that will turn out, but I made the decision to see this band last year and I really wanted to see Blind Guardian in a standalone concert for quite some time now. I really hope I can enjoy it.

What is ahead

Last year I talked about my Fernweh and slowly but surely it keeps sipping in again. With all the sadness and memories surrounding the places I know here my urge to just drive/fly away, abroad if possible, is becoming stronger and stronger. But so far I don’t have any set plans for actual journeys, like the ones I did the past few years. But I want to continue to explore stuff and I’m certain my Fernweh will find a way. Probably even more so when I start typing up my travel logs from last year…
P.S.  On a completely different note and in a different tone: My Post about Fernweh is now also available in an E-Book for ferngeweht’s Blog-Parade: 49 Gedanken zu Fernweh (49 thoughts on Fernweh), you can check it out if you like, some entries, including mine, are even in English.


Banner der Blogparade. Eine Tafel auf der "Blogparade Fernweh" steht auf einer ovalen Platte in der die Webseite "www.ferngeweht.de" steht.

Throughout this year I suffered a severe case of Fernweh and ferngeweht’s Blog-Parade gives me the final nudge to finish the post I started back in May.

For quite some time now I have this urge to travel, to explore new places and to simply be somewhere else.
Though until a few years ago I rarely did any of that as I was either too young to go on my own or to shy/insecure to do just that. Or too busy with riding back and forth between my home, my workplace and my place of study.

A shared experience

I don’t know why, but my main argument against travelling on my own is that I can’t share my discoveries with anyone right away. And writing a Blog post about it is just not the same as having someone with you, who is living through the same things as you.

Well, and as no one wanted or could accompany me, I instead set out to visit people.
Thus my idea to travel a bit through Germany was born in 2012 so I could at least see a bit of my home country, before I explore others as well.

Since then I managed to find people and places to visit each year.

In 2012 I saw Frankfurt, Köln (Cologne), Bochum and Raunheim for the first time, but I also paid another visit to Kassel, which became one of my yearly destinations.

The next year saw me not just visiting people but also attending two festivals in between.
Let me tell you, this is not an easy feat …

This year again was a bit different, as the first three days I travelled completely on my own, simply stopping whenever I felt like it. The rest of that journey I met up with family and friends again and it ended in the Metalfest, but I’ll give you a full review on that when I find the time.

Even with having these journeys and travelling to festivals in different places all over the country (this year: Geiselwind, St. Goarshausen, Ballenstedt and Hildesheim) and spending time in Berlin, Rostock and Hamburg for concerts and other events, my Fernweh wasn’t cured.

Then it hit me in July:

I hadn’t been to another country (for more than a day) in SIX YEARS

And I was no longer surprised that the urge remained. Following different travel-Blogs wasn’t really a helpful thing to do either.

To be able to cure my Fernweh for a little while, I knew I had to make a trip outside of Germany.
Luckily I had a couple of vacation days left to think up something.

Again, I was confronted with the fact, that if I wanted to travel for a longer time, I would have to do so on my own. I possibly would have done it, but after scrapping my initial ideas and creating a variation of them a friend and I spent Halloween on the Emerald Isle. It was a great remedy.

Not even a month has past since this trip, but the effects are already wearing thin and I can feel the Fernweh crawling up again (especially while writing this post)…

Because Fernweh for me is …

  • the urge to see different places.
  • the yearning to explore new things.
  • the restlessness of the wandering mind.
  • the wish to be somewhere else.

I’m not sure if my Fernweh was ever as strong as it was this year, but it does become quite bothersome at times. Especially when you want to leave, but aren’t able to because of work, money or other reasons.
But it let/s me discover new and interesting places every time I succumb/ed to it.

And these are the ones I’ve been at so far* – in Germany:

Google Maps of my Destinations

I’m sure that my Fernweh will lead me to more place, even outside of Germany.
Ireland was just the beginning. Sweden, England and others are already calling loudly for my attention.

I’m not sure where I’ll actually end up and when that’ll be, but I do plan on at least making one trip abroad next year as well – even if it’s just for a weekend again.

Regardless of my own struggles, I wish you all save travels.

I’m certain that I will not cease to explore new regions and places thanks to my Fernweh.


*No guarantee for completeness. I most likely forgot a bunch of places or left them on purpose.