So... our next big stop was the port of Warnemunde in Germany. It's about 3 hours by train from Berlin, but we didn't want to feel too rushed, so my German-speaking husband booked us train tickets to a small town called Schwerin, about an hour and a half from port. It was out own little German adventure!
Puff got on my case for stopping to take a picture of the train station. I'm pretty sure he thought I was documenting the McDonalds. Sometimes, I just go all Japanese tourist and he can't handle it. Since I refrained from photos on the train, I figured this would do. Although not taking on-the-train pics was probably wise since that creepy goth kid kept staring at me the whole way. He probably just thought I was super hot. Why wouldn't he?
It only seemed right that Puff and I stumble upon a festival in a random town in Germany, since we frequent so many around home. A band literally announced our arrival into town, since we came up from behind them and were obviously the only day-tripping tourists at that point. I kept referring to it as the "Safety Parade" although calling it a parade was ridiculous since there was no parading happening. It was a nice place to get an ID tag for your kid or perhaps learn how to properly buckle your safety belt. All on a Friday morning? Do people in Germany not have jobs?
Reading online about Schwerin made it sound very cute and quaint. And it was definitely that. Sure, we eventually ran into some tourists, but in general, it felt very real. The town square was bare when we got there that morning, save for a few locals riding their bikes... possibly to jobs? We popped in the cathedral and then wandered down some back lanes toward the palace.
The Schwerin Palace was the "it" thing to see and do in this town. It was really pretty, actually. And was finishing a massive renovation. The inside rooms were typical European palacey but the grounds were beautifully situated on a lake and there were groves of orange trees. Or at least I think that's what they were. Regardless, it was also the "it" place to have wedding photos done. Several couples were there that day. Our favorite was the lady with the roughed up hair who was wearing a dress that hit her knees in the front, but her ankles in the back. I'm so surprised I missed that option at David's Bridal for my own wedding last year. Darn!
After palace touring and random building photo taking, we ventured down a cobbled alleyway to a small restaurant in a tudor building. Puff nursed a giant beer and I ate fresh produce, during the height of a massive E. Coli breakout. It was all worth it. Puff impressed me with his mad German-speaking skills and we got to escape cruise tours and most of the Japanese tourists. And that is always a victory.