quinta-feira, setembro 22, 2005

East Germany

After leaving Gedser i took the ferry to Rostock where i stayed for two wonderfull weeks.
Rostock is the largest city of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, situated in the old Eastern Germany, with a population of 200 000 residents.
In the Eatern Germany times, Rostock was the main port, with an incredible traffic, with reunification of Germany the port lost importance for the other bigger ports has Hamburg. Nowadays is more common to see a ferry full of turists from Scandinavia than a ship carring products. The all state is in crisis, the young people imigrate to west because there is no job, there is about 20% of unemployment in the state, agriculture is disapearing and industry is dead, the only hope is on turism, that is more intense near the baltic coast, supporting cities like Rostock and Wisma, but even here the crisis is felt. Nowadays is least expensive for a German turist to go to the warm coast of Greece than stay in the Cold and rainny shores of the baltic. The number of women in the state is decreasing more and more beacause of immigration. Did you know that even this State is still controlled by PDS( the old left party of the east) the racism and extream right has more power in this state than in the others. The differences between east and west are very big, here is not so common to find an english speaking person.
The city of Rostock was completly distroyed during the second world war, the cty because was small and compacted served has a test point by the allies to see how to atack the other cities. the bomb attack was very effective and destroyed all the city just in a few hours. After the war the city was recovered but not all, some buildings were left the same in a way to show how things were before the war. After the reunification of Germany all the main cities were totally recovered and the number of falling buildings is much smaller, now you can see the big churches totally recovered. People say that during the comunists time the country was falling appart, the state of the houses was very bad. One of the heritage from the comunists time were the very big dormitory, worker houses. Some of the buildings reminds me my city, the social neighborhoods.
Rostock is a very old city and has one of the oldest Universitys in Europe. The city used to be surounded by an old wall and we still can see some of their remainings. The main buildings are the gate doors and the city hall. One of the most funny things about the city is that in some churches there are people living there like they were in a flat.
There are some interestings parques and churchs, in of the churches you can go to the top of the tower and see all the city, in other church you wilol find a very strange clock that tells you hours, days, zodiac signe, sun set, etc but doesn't say the minutes. The other great sight is to see the harbor by night.
When i was there it was a special day, it was shopping day, so stores only close at midnight. It was really a great day i even saw a very nice fire show.
for more info about rostock and w(good luck almost everything is in German)

photo:University of Rostock
Fountain in front of the University
Diferent views of Rostock

quarta-feira, setembro 21, 2005


On 2 of September i travelled to the north of Europe to the inospid territories of Danmark. I landed in Copenhagen were i stayed for only two nights, then i travelled south to Gedser where i took the ferry to Germany.
During this trip i violated the basic rules of travelling, first when i called to the hostel where i was going to stay i should had writen down wich bus and stop i should go out, i didn't, so i got lost and missed i bus stop. i took more than 1 hour to find the hostel but finnaly i found it.
back in the hostel i asked were i could raise money but i didn't care about the answer, resul: i wlaked like crasy and had to ask to a native danish( i discovered that he was from sumalia)where it was the cash machine and a nice place to eat. i found a very nice place to eat so nice that i decided to go in next night( on the next night i didn't find the restaurant). the rest of the night was nice, on my way back to the hostel i discovered a nice libanese bar were i smoked water tobacco, after i decided to go to the disco.
My arrival to the disco was funny, the guard asked me if i knew where i was, he thought that i was looking for the biblioteke( i had the guidebook in my hand and i was wearing glasses). i didn't pay entrance because i was a student. the music was very bad but i didn't care, only after ~leaving the disco and looking more carefully to the guidebook i discovered that the disco had two dance floors and i went to the bad one. Now that i am back to Portugal a friend of mine told me that i stayed in the worst neighborhood of the city and that some time ago a guy was kild in the disco.
In the second day i went to the big copenhagen tour, always caring my guidebook. i started with the cemmitary where the most famous dannish are. in the picture you can see Hans cristian handerson grave. The cemmitery is very nice, looks like a very big garden where you can walk, run, play ball but that is replected with graves. ( i saw people joggin in the cemmitery). My next stop was the botannic garden and the the fortress.
The story of the fortress is very funny. The fortress was build to protect the cities from attacks of the enemy comming from the Baltic Sea, but was the first place to be invaded by the German in the begginig of the second world war.
I continued walking now by the water where i passed near the "full of turists liltle marmaide",some churchs(catolic, protestant, ortodox), the house of the queen, till i reached the main the square where the opera house is. Near the square you have one of the longest streets in Europe free of cars.
In the afternoon i went to the parlament, national library, citty hall, main train station, lot of chruches and of corse cristiania.
Cristiania is a self declared independent country, in really is an old millitary barranks that was occupied in the 70 by people. For a long time thewy didn't pay taxes to Dannish goverment and is free to buy drugs there. It's a free stile of living. the country is governed by a coupreatiuve of people and put rules in that land. It's a very colloufull place, with strange houses, lot of graffities, very annimated. They have a lot of coffes, vegetarian restaurants and some nice jazz bars. I saw dannish girls dancing african tribal music, very funny.
This was my day in copenhagen, it was so long that in the night my legs hurt so much i could move.
The last contact i had with Danmark before going to Germany was Gedser. Gedser is a very strange town,, you don't see people anywhere, when i arrived to the ferry station i couldn't see a soul. the room was empty till a russian man came in, he sat there for a while quietly,then a women came after him and started havind a discussion, so it was only me and two russian people yelling and crying in this empty room in the midlle of nowhere. finnaly the ferry came and when i enterd in the ferry it was full of people( everyone goes by car or bus to the ferry, never on foot like me).

photo legend:ferry to germany, bhor tomb, hans critian handerson tomb, botanical garden, fortress, cristiania, Copenhagen