Unfortunately, because the weather in Stockholm, Sweden was tumultuous, the ship was unable to dock at the port, which meant we had an extra sea day. It actually came at a good time though, as I was pretty pooped!We spent our days playing cards, reading books, dancing in the lobby and the Red Frog Lounge, and eating; we had sushi and then we hit tea time! We went to a show and did a few laps around the ship, and otherwise, we just relaxed.
This morning we arrived in Kiel, Germany with zero plans. Upon leaving the ship, at about noon, we noticed a blue line along the sidewalk and across the street, a couple sitting on a bench told us that the blue line led through the city and that they had just done a walking tour.
So, we decided to follow the blue line, to see where it would take us. It was a lovely walk into the heart of Kiel, a short distance from the boat. There were the typical bronze statues placed here and there, and many old buildings, and lanterns. Are you surprised? lol
Just walking down the cobbled streets brings me joy, and I love seeing the shops, the windows, the doors, the flowers, and the signs. Remember the song, "How Much is that Doggie in the Window?", well, there was a little doggie, right in the window display of a shop; there was even a stuffed dog, that looked just like the real one. He was ever so cute!
As we continued along the blue line, I found a cart full of goodies, that I could not pass up, and bought some treats for our cabin steward, our waiter, and us! Hopefully, they are good! Down the road, off of the blue line, we saw a tower, so off the beaten path, we went, in search of the tower.
We eventually found it, and went inside; there were more sculptures, some artwork, and a lot of people in line to go to a window, my best guess being city hall and maybe paying tickets of some sort. Once back on the ship, I was able to confirm that it was indeed Landeshauptstadt Kiel; Rathus, aka City Hall.
The Kiel City Hall officially opened in 1911 and is of neoclassical style. It has shaped the city's image for more than 100 years and houses some unique paintings and sculptures.
After leaving the City Hall, we wandered the streets and over the top of the buildings I saw a large, copper spire, and since I heard church bells, I knew that it must be a church. Finding a church would just make this great day perfect, so we headed that way.
It wasn't long before we found Nikolaikirche, the city's main church on Alter Markt since the 13th century. It is a Protestant Parrish, and the oldest building in Kiel. It was updated in the 1870s in a Gothic Revival style. Much of the church's art was safeguarded from the war. There is a highly ornate wing altar that was carved in 146, a triumphal cross from 1490, and the oldest of all is the Hanseatic bronze baptismal font that was cast in 1344; it is considered one of the best medieval bronzes in northern Germany.
I absolutely loved the stained glass windows in this church. I think it was their simplicity of them that really suited my fancy. They were simple, yet beautiful. Stunning!
The bronze outside is of an angel with a sword who appears to dominate a wolf-like creature symbolizing the superiority of spirit and its victory over evil.
After wandering around the church for a while, we stepped back outside and continued exploring. We once again found the blue line and started to follow it knowing it would eventually lead us back to the ship. We found a woodworking art studio and some other pretty cool street art. We even found a Woolworth! Do you remember Woolworth?
Along the way, we stopped for some German beer, (I had a chai tea) and a bratwurst plate. All was delish! There was a man playing a wooden flute, and flowers everywhere you looked.
It was a perfect day, that will end with a perfect evening as the singer Kate Lindman will be back onboard to entertain us tonight.
Tomorrow we will be in Gothenburg, Sweden; God willing.