|The Abbey in the Oakwood (Wikipedia)|
Our next stop would be a very dark chapter of German history: The Peenemünde Army Research Center. A fishermen's town was erased, its people removed, and a military zone and test site with restricted access established in 1937, built by slave labourers, inmates of a concentration camp and prisoners of war.
This location pretty much became the birthplace of rocket science and spaceflight. It was here, where the first guided missiles were developed to be used for maximum mass destruction. The majority of the rockets were aimed at London killing thousands of people.
Ironically its inventor, Wernher von Braun and select members of his team continued to work for the US government without ever being punished for their deeds, on contrary, von Braun received a medal for his accomplishments in the NASA space program.
Today the whole area is being kept as a museum and a reminder that these events must not ever happen again. The museum currently also hosts a special exhibitions about Operation Crossbow.
|V2 cruise missile|
After this nightmarish experience we needed to find something lighter, and visited a few more of the ever so present ocean resorts, also in quest for a cake and coffee.
|The sea bridge of Ahlbeck|
And since we were so close to the Polish border we thought, let's have a look at the other side. The last time we visited Poland was long before it belonged to the European Union. There were borders, and barriers and passports being controlled. Today... no customs control, you just drive through. Hello, Poland! There and back. From Nazi Germany and WWII to a world without frontiers in a united Europe. We have come a long way.
Today's trip into history wouldn't be complete without the early settlers of this area: Vikings. A mile away from Menzlin lies an old Viking camp. The site was close to the river Peene, and supposedly an important trading post in its time (the 9th century). The actual name of the site remains unknown but remnants of bridges and stone ships (grave yards), and other archeological findings had been discovered proving its regular use.
Given that the day started dull and grey, it was rich of educational experience. We certainly learned a lot today about ancient and recent history.
|Viking grave site|
Today's trip was 260km.