Saturday, 9 October 2010

Gothenburg, Kiel and Travemünde

Last weekend, I attended an academic conference entitled 'Coast and Sea' in Kiel. I had been invited to give the opening lecture. Of course, the most logical way to go to Kiel is to fly to Gothenburg and to take the ferry from there.
As much of the remainder of the conference related to close-readings of obscure pieces of C19th/20th literature - not really my thing - I left them to it and instead went out to look at ships, architecture and signs - which very much are my thing.

Upon arrival in Gothenburg, luncheon was required - and it was very Swedish.

Gothenburg is Stena-ville

With Rickard Sahlsten (world expert on Stena), I went to photograph the ferries sailing under the bridge. Then, we went to look at some 1930s architecture, including a rather wonderful Funkis school building.


Funkis and modern romantic styles of flats:


And so onboard the Stena Scandinavica:

Stena Danica passes by en route to Frederikshavn

Next, Stena Freighter departed, duplicating our crossing to Kiel with extra freight:

Leaving Gothenburg.

Figura have been at it: Taste on Stena Scandinavica

The forward-facing library and observation lounge is a delight - and shortly to be removed in favour of a spa complex. We had a panoramic view of Gothenburg's container terminal.

Lovely afterglow on deck.

Dinner in the Metropolitan a la carte restaurant: scallops followed by reindeer.

A little of the original onboard design survives in what is now the Truckers' restaurant. Originally, it was a corner of the Gustavianska Matsalen (now Metropolitan and Food City).

Morning light off Kiel - during the night, we overtook Stena Freighter.

Arriving in Kiel

I was booked into the Hotel Maritim, which proved to be the most wonderfully intact example of late-1960s West German design. It was James Last-tastic!

The cocktail bar.

 The swimming pool.


Toilet tilework - you can't beat a large number 2.

Fishy door handle and dining room.

The breakfast menu had a very detailed break-down of the content of all of the dishes. I particularly liked the German word for 'rich in dietry fibres'.

As a top priority, I took a trip on a local ferry to Laboe at the mouth of Kiel Fjord. In the cafeteria, the captain's table was reserved.

A frightening welcome from a plastic granny.

Children's toy on the beach.

Color Magic passes the beach.

Lisco Maxima arrives in evening light.

Day 2: the view from my hotel room as Color Fantasy and Stena Germanica appear.


Stena Germanica at the new Schwedenkai.


'And what do you do?' (above left) and me giving my paper (above right). One can never be too smartly dressed on such occasions.

Time for an architectural and graphic exploration of Kiel:



The main campus of the Christian Albrechts University, featuring some fine post-war buildings.

The University Chapel is particularly fine.


Paddle steamer making day excursions up the Kiel Canal.

Lisco Gloria arrives - she only had another week to live. 

Another Stena Scandinavica, Stena Freighter and Color Magic day...

So time to go somewhere new:

Bliss on rails: an ICE in Kiel Hauptbahnhof.

Eight famous electrical engineering firms were involved in the manufacture of the ICE.

And so to Travemünde:

1950s bandstand and kite-flying on the beach.



Port control tower (with waffle stall in front)


Hotel Maritim - Travemünde branch. Not quite the equal of its namesake in Kiel, but still pretty fine.

Luncheon: fish frikadelle.


Travemünde signs:


A fine miniature golf course.


A Transfennica freighter sets sail under a greying sky.


Dinner menu - hand painted. A gesamtkunstverk of fish.

Time to go back to Kiel; beside Travemünde station is a guesthouse making use of a coach from a 1930s streamlined diesel train.

Last morning in Kiel.


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