Known as “The City of Seven Lakes“ , or “Venice of the North“, Schwerin is the capital of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state in north Germany. The city has a population of about 100,000 and it is located about 40km from Ludwigslust. As its name suggests, the city of Schwerin is surrounded by many lakes, the biggest one being Schweriner See.
Just like Ludwigslust, Schwerin also has a Schloss (castle/ palace), which also functions as a Parliament for Land of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, a museum and a church. Schloss Schwerin is romantically erected in the middle of an enchanted island on Lake Schwerin, somewhat creating the effect of a fairy tale castle. Seemingly rising out of the water, the breathtaking palace is the heart of Schwerin and is of course surrounded by an outstanding royal designer garden too.
The Schlossgarten has a beautiful landscape which consist of stairways, terraces, fountains, sculptures, a walk-in grotto, and an Orangerie (a cold house for particularly delicate plants) with an Orangerie Cafe (unfortunately closed during winter). Baroque and symmetrically designed, these are the usual characteristics of a royal palace garden.
Other parts of the city was interesting too : The Market Square, The Schwerin Cathedral, The Schelfstadt, the Schleswig-Holstein House, Pfaffenteich, Mecklenburgstrasse and Schlossstrasse.
It was the coldest day of our trip, around -7°C to -9°C, with ferociously strong chilly winds, it felt more like -20°C, especially when you were standing on the banks of the great Schweriner See (the largest lake in Schwerin). Naturally, all the lakes surrounding Schwerin were all frozen. Or partially frozen. Even waves have turned into ice. Boats which offer tours of Schwerin’s lakes during other seasons, were permanently moored in the icy banks, unable to operate until the ice melts.
Even the great Schweriner See was partially iced up. Ducks and pigeons were seen skating (or sleeping) on them. They were definitely hungry ducks and seagulls too, from the way they reacted when we fed them with our tough frozen brotchen. It seems like they have not eaten in weeks.
Walking around this beautiful city was also about the feeling of being one with nature. There was just something about the winter coldness and the snow that made me feel so peaceful and stress-free. Just a casual stroll around the lakes and the gardens (now barren and white), was a therapeutic exercise. A freezing exercise too, no doubt. Especially in the chilling strong winds. It was also surprisingly quiet, for a Capital city with more than 100,000 population. I wondered where everyone was. Hiding indoors to avoid the cold, probably.