Six good reasons to go to Rostock

During a stay in Rostock in June, three Taizé brothers became convinced that the Hanseatic city on the Baltic Sea is a good choice for a European Meeting of Young Adults. Here are a first series of good reasons to go there (more will follow from September when the brothers return there with an international team of young volunteers).
1. Eating sea-buckthorn ice cream in front of a disused icebreaker

In the city harbour – the Warnow, which flows into the Baltic Sea at Warnemünde, is navigable all the way to Rostock – you can enjoy (in winter as well) delicious sea-buckthorn [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippophae] ice-cream in front of a disused icebreaker on the quay.

2. Have a seagull steal your fish roll

Before eating your ice cream, you can buy a fish roll. But be careful: a seagull might snatch it away if you’re not careful. The same goes for the picnic that is distributed during the meeting in the evening to be eaten the next day on the way to noon prayer

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3. Watch an eco-friendly ferry in the port of Warnemünde

In the international port of Warnemünde, you can watch the ferry that sails to and from Denmark (Rostock is only 3 hours away from Copenhagen). What at first looks like a huge smokestack is actually a "Flettner rotor", a device that saves 10% fuel.

4. Discover a multifaceted region

The host region also includes the towns and villages of the surrounding area with their thatched-roof houses and Gothic churches made of red brick, with a 13th-century Minster visible from afar thanks to its spire. The G8 meeting in Heiligendamm in 2007 put the region in the world spotlight.

5. To be welcomed

"Even the end of the world comes fifty years later" in Mecklenburg, writes Helga Schubert. Perhaps this certain local slowness explained why a family that moved to Rostock three years ago from the south, from the Croatian coast, was the first to fill out their host slip. Christians are a minority, but have many friends. Welcoming so many would not be possible with believers alone. But also people who call themselves atheists without hesitation have expressed the wish to join in.

6. A football team coached by a committed Christian

For all those who like football, coach Jens Härtel, with whom F.C. Hansa Rostock achieved promotion to the second Bundesliga, is a Christian who prays, reads the Bible and knows that he is supported in his life and faith by the Christian community. He says: “I was a Christian before I became a coach. And I will still be one when I am no longer a coach.”

[1Photo: © Raymond Strauß

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