July 29 – Gedser to Rostock, Germany (44 km, 27 miles)

Today was a short, easy day for a couple of reasons. First, the manager of the hotel I stayed at last night told me that the ferry departed Gedser every two hours, starting at 7:00 am. He was correct about the 7:00 departure, but the frequency turned out to be every four hours rather than two. I had planned on taking the supposed 9:00 am departure, but instead had to wait till 11:00. It was a two hour ride across to Rostock, so that put me there at 1:00 in the afternoon.

The ferry system here is much more efficient than the Alaska Marine Highway ferries that I’m used to. One reason for this is that vehicles load from the bow and stern. In Gedser, the ferry docks bow first, and the entire bow of the ship lifts up to allow vehicles to drive on. It took about five minutes for the ship to dock, raise the bow, and lower the dock’s bridge to the ship, and as soon as that was done, vehicles loaded four lanes wide simultaneously. I don’t know exactly how many cars and trucks were loaded onto the ship, but it was at least several hundred, and the entire loading operation took only about 10-15 minutes. By the time I secured my bike and got upstairs we were already undocked and underway. Amazing.

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Waiting to board the ferry in Gedser. The bow is lifted up, allowing vehicles to load from the front and drive out the back upon arrival at the destination.

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After getting off the ferry I needed to find an ATM to get some Euros, but that turned out to be more difficult than I thought it would be. The ferry docked several kilometers south of the city, so I used my GPS to search for the nearest ATM, which showed one about 3 kilometers away in the downtown district. The problem was, the only way to get from where I was to downtown was via the highway, on which bicycles were prohibited. So I had to take a 20 kilometer alternate route which went in a big counterclockwise direction around Rostock. By the time I got to the ATM it was around 3:00 pm, so I decided to just get a hotel room for the night and see Rostock.

Tomorrow I head south for Berlin.

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