Leonie Olivers Report
As a 51 year old Australian woman who travelled on my own in Setember 2000 to this area, I would say, go for it!!
My only German is restricted to Guten Tag and Danke, but I had a wonderful time!! The people were just great.
I was on a 3 month trip, mostly to the UK, but I just had to go to Germany when I found out just where my ancestors were from. They had left in 1857! I flew from London to Hamburg, caught the airport express into town, and stayed over night just near the station. This is where the airport bus drops you off. I walked to the station the following morning and caught the train to Rostock. (I had organised a return ticket, opendated, before I left Australia, so I didn't have the problem of buying one there with no German.) The trains go every 2 hours from Hamburg and it takes 2 hours to get to Rostock.
You get to look at the scenery along the way! Once in Rostock I took a cab to the Hertz depot, as I really couldn't work out the tram system, and I wanted as much time as possible there. I picked the car up, and headed off towards Sanitz. This was no mean feat, let me tell you, as I was driving on the WRONG side of the raod for me. But there is just no other way if you want to get to all the little towns and villages that I wanted to go to. I found a pension in Sanitz to stay at, and somehow managed to make the lady there understand that I wanted a single room for 3 nights. She had no English, but we managed. I made this my base, and travelled from there every day.
I managed to get into every church, except one, just by asking at the Pfarrhaus if I could see inside as I had come all the way from Australia. The Pastors were extremely helpful, most had some English, although the Pastor at Sanitz had none, his wife could speak a little. Sometimes I was given the key and just asked to return it when I was finished. Bliss!!! Be sure to get a good map, though. I bought a cycling map of the area while I was in London-scale 1 to 150000. You need one at least this scale, otherwise you won't find all the little villages. Some of them are really no more than a cluster of houses.
Even my map doesn't show Klein Lusewitz, even though I went there. Since returning home I have found more places in the history of my Mecklenburgers, so I will have to again.
I will go next time with absolutely no qualms at all-I was a bit nervous last time as I didn't know how I would cope without speaking the language or how I would go driving there. In Hamburg, many people speak English, in Rostock I found that there were fewer people who spoke it, and out past Sanitz hardly anyone at all.
Don't let this stop you though.
It was an experience I will never forget. My only complaint would be the weather. It was only about 15 or 16 degrees Centigrade, and I wasn't prepared for that. I come from a particularly warm area of Australia (it is an uncomfortable 37 today), so it was very cold for me.