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Potsdam, November 24, 2018




Review of our 2018 season sailing on board Dagens 2:

                                The Hanseatic League



Dear friends,



On Wednesday 17th of October 2018 we returned to our winter port in Potsdam. We moored at Marina am Tiefen See on the same pontoon as the two winters before. We gratefully look back on a wide journey through the northern part of Germany. The theme "The Hanseatic League" guided us from one interesting point to another. At the height of the Hanseatic League there were more than 200 cities and towns connected to this network of merchant communities/guilds who dominated the land and sea trade of goods in the North and Baltic seas. Linking the famous commercial centres of London, Bruges, Antwerp, Bordeaux and even Lisbon in Portugal with Bergen in Norway, Visby in Gotland, Sweden and Riga and Novgorod in Russia. These merchants got rich, they financed kings and dukes throughout Europe and commissioned artists to let everyone see and admire their wealth.These five Hanseatic cities were our planned destinations:










Along the way we also visited:

The Optics city of

The City of

Till Eulenspiegel's

The Hanseatic city of

The historic shipping town of Lauenburg


Let us show you our journey on a map:



As a first tour in June, we wanted to show the city of Berlin to our friends from Stockholm in a five-day tour on our ship. We sailed from Potsdam via the Teltow Canal to Berlin-Köpenick, where we joined a guided city tour and met at the town hall the "Hauptmann von Köpenick". The next day we made a boat trip via Erkner and across the large Müggelsee back to the marina "ProSport Berlin 24" in Köpenick. Early the next morning we crossed the city center of Berlin on the river Spree and finally landed in Berlin-Spandau with our guests, where they left us and continued their holiday on their own.

Der Hauptmann von Köpenick - Aufführung für Touristen im Rathaus zu Köpenick

The "Hauptmann von Köpenick" - A performance by amateurs for tourists in the town hall of Köpenick.

The Gate Guardian of Werben

As a second tour we wanted to get to know the often recommended "Lower Havel", a natural watercourse with little canalized sections. We had a surprisingly interesting and very hospitable stay in the optics city of Rathenow, before we reached the Hanseatic city Havelberg. By bike and ferry we also visited the nearby Hanseatic city of Werben - today a small, idyllic village on the Elbe.

Stadttor der Hansestadt Werben an der Elbe

The Elbe Gate of Werben

Untere Havel zwischen Rathenow und Havelberg

The third destination was the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. Due to lack of water on the Elbe, we made a detour via the Elbe-Havel Canal and the Mittelland Canal. In Edesbüttel we turned right into the Elbe side channel and visited on a stopover the Hanseatic city of Uelzen with its special railway station building. It was redesigned in 1999/2000 by the Austrian / world citizen painter / architect / ecologist Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928 - 2000) and is considered as an example of a highly natural and humane architecture. In the center of the city with its inviting pedestrian zone, we came across a carillon at the house of the goldsmith and next to an interesting sculpture with a funny tale, which gave the inhabitants of Uelzen the nickname "Ulenköper" (buyer of owls).

Further on shortly after Uelzen, we came to the Hanseatic city of Lüneburg. There we visited Andreas, whom we had encountered in spring in Potsdam, when he popped around with Uli on his sailboat.

Andreas and his wife Katrin took us on a bike tour of all the beauties and culinary corners of "their" city, which was once a major trading center of salt from the local salt pans to Northern Europe, specially the fish ports, and firewood from forest regions for heating the salt pans. An old crane in the port still bears witness to this economic boom. It is said to have hauled its heaviest load ashore on August 13, 1840: a steam locomotive weighing 9.3 tons for the Ducal Braunschweig State Railway, which had been transported by water to Germany. To rotate the pedal wheel, the power and weight of 38 people was needed.

With Andreas we visited the other day the 1170 founded convent of Lüne. It was evangelized in 1562 and is still run by women living there. Their apartments have been adapted to modern times. This makes the earlier cells accessible to visitors. On the guided tour we got to know a lot about the life and the daily routine in the monastery over the centuries. In addition to the fountain hall and the beautifully embroidered tapestry we were fascinated by the cloister with its special Taustab vault. The vaulted ribs are made of specially shaped bricks that, when lined up, give the impression of a thick rope.

Eastern cloister wing with Taustabgewölbe in the convent Lüne.

After visiting Lüneburg, the Scharnebeck ship lift lowered us by 37.5 m to the water level of the Elbe and, accompanied by a pilot, we sailed up the Elbe to the historic shipping town of Lauenburg. Passing the Elbe-Lübeck Canal and the Till-Eulenspiegel town of Mölln, we reached the harbor of the Lübeck Motorboat Club, which housed us throughout the month of July and gave us a comfortable time, to get to know more about the Hanseatic city of Lübeck, this major city of trade, and the Hanseatic League itself.

It's not the photographic wide-angle - the Holstentor is actually leaning. The sandy bottom gave way to the weight of the massive towers already in the construction period. It nevertheless remained the landmark of Lübeck and Lübeck marzipan.

A guided tour through the museum in the Holstentor impressively showed us where and with what the Hanse merchants from more than 200 Hanseatic cities in the East and North Sea region had traded to more than 50 destination ports.

Of special interest for us was the exhibited tangible stockfish. It was trawled in the Norwegian Lofoten, air-dried on sticks and thus preserved, shipped via the harbor of Bergen and ended, as a delicacy for fasting, on the plates of wealthy Christian households throughout Central Europe. Those who could not pay so much, had to be content with the salted herring. Most of the salt needed came from the Hanseatic city of Lüneburg, where everything about this topic can be found in the German Salt Museum.

On their way to the sailing estuaries in the Baltics, Yvonne and Andreas from the region of Basle (Switzerland) on their sailing ship stopped in the harbor of the Lübeck Motorboat Club. Andreas set up a blog for Bernadette, which allows her to tell our current experiences from then on with illustrated short reports.    (in German only)


The month of August we spent in our fourth destination, the Hanseatic city of Hamburg. With a pilot on board we could sail down the Elbe off Lauenburg without any problems of water level. From the lock Geesthacht on we even got an additional cruising speed of about 3 km/h, thanks to running tidewater.

Hamburg's new landmark, the Elbphilharmonie, replaces the "Old Michel" (Michaelis Church), which disappears more and more behind the raised new buildings downtown. Not only does the "Elphi" offer a striking silhouette, but thanks to its location directly on the Elbe, it's easy to be seen from everywhere. With great luck we got two tickets for a piano concert with poetry reading and were thus able to experience the big concert hall live. Even high up in the gods we heard every note played from the piano in the room, every word spoken by the poet, but also every cough and noise of the spectators. Woe, woe, who forgets to turn off his mobile phone!

Nautical friends from Hamburg, Antje and Christoph, picked us up with their car and showed us the Airbus plant area opposite the landing bridge of Hamburg's passenger harbour. We drove through the "Old Country" south of the Elbe with its countless fruit farms, saw the Elbe ferries and the "Willkomm-Höft" at Fährhaus in Schulau (Wedel). Here all arriving ships to Port of Hamburg are greeted with aflag salutation and their national anthem. The same procedure is adopted for ships leaving the Port of Hamburg. The captain on duty explains to the spectators on the shore the origin, destination, tonnage, drive and much more about the ships actually passing. From the restaurant, which served us an excellent lunch, we could comfortably watch the goings on.

There is so much more to tell:

about the Speicherstadt, the coffee museum, the miniature wonder world, the city park and the planetarium, about the organ concert and theater, the trip to Helgoland with the ship "Halunder Jet" and about Ballinstadt, the emigrant museum, about the musical "The Lion King" and the sculptures of Ernst Barlach. It could fill winter evenings. We will try to tell some of it on our website.

But at the end of August our journey continued.


We sailed on to the Hanseatic city of Bremen, the fifth and final destination of this journey.This city could be reached relatively easy from Hamburg via the coast. But coastal travel is not our strength. That's why we made the long detour over the Mittelland Canal to Minden and were allowed - as a great pleasure - to sail down the Middle Weser.

After a few days of travel, there were still enough days in September to get to know extensively this city and its surroundings. Our Bremen friends Werner and Helga dedicated us their time as guides over several days and took us within their car to places that we would not have reached with our bicycles alone: We rounded the whole of Bremen state, saw the extensive harbor area, got to know the Böttcherstrasse (street of coopers), listened to the carillon of 30 bells of Meissen porcelain and roamed the Schnoor quarter, paid homage to the great Roland, visited St. Peter's Cathedral,

saw the Bunker Valentin with its concrete walls and bomb proof roof which are 7 meters thick, where it was planned to produce German submarines in series. "Unfortunately" World War II ended before starting the production. Today, the bunker is an unmistakable relic of Nazi armoring for the naval war and a place to remember the ferocity of war and the sickening cruelties under National Socialist rule.

As a very big highlight we experienced the trip to the artists' colony Worpswede, where Otto Modersohn and his wife Paula Modersohn Becker, also a painter, their friends Heinrich Vogeler and Rainer Maria Rilke worked together with many other artists. We learned about the life and work of Paula Becker and her marriage to Otto Modersohn, when we saw the movie "Paula - My life is to be a party" during winter 2016. We were thrilled. In the museums in Worpswede we encountered many of their originals. They strongly reminded us of the paintings of Claude Monet in Paris. Following our visit to Worpswede, we went to see the Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum in Bremen's Böttcherstrasse. It is the world's first museum for a female painter, shows various of her masterpieces in permanence and the building is considered the masterpiece of expressionist architecture in Germany.

Otto Modersohn: Autumn in the moor

Claude Monet: Fields in spring


On the 25th of September 2018, in clear skies, we had the 100th full moon, since we had taken over our ship in s'Hertogenbosch (Nederlands) on 18th of August 2010. Bernadette has compiled an 80-page photobook of our trips, guests, adventures and experiences for this anniversary. It is unique. Whoever would like it is kindly invited to visit us on our ship.


At the beginning of October we set course for our winter harbor again. It's Marina am Tiefen See in Potsdam. On this route we were glad to have guests on board alternately. They provided a lot of variety and thanks to the exceptionally beautiful summer with warm days until late in October, they got a notion of life on board in its most beautiful pattern.


Freddy, Bruder von Bernadette

Hannes, unser Sohn


Freddy, brother of Bernadette, sailed with us from Bremen to Wolfsburg.

Hannes, our son, and his friends Barbara and Christian came on board in Wolfsburg, visited "Autostadt" and travelled with us via Burg and Genthin (excursion to cloister Jerichow) to Rathenow, where we explored the artistic getaway of artists Hans and Karin.

Wilfried und Elke

Wilfried and Elke traveled with us from Rathenow via Werder to Potsdam. We had met them before in Minden. Elke had grown up in a professional sailing family and was, after many years on land, "homesick for the cabin". Wilfried was also used to sleep in a bunk. They and we really enjoyed the fair weather trip over the Havel.


Now we are at the end of our extensive and rich journey. Back in the hospitable Marina am Tiefen See in Potsdam, we were welcomed with open arms. We had a lot to talk about. We can spend the winter months at the same berth as the two previous winters before, and shall devote ourselves entirely to experience the culture and people of Potsdam and Berlin.


We are looking forward to everything that awaits us here. Bernadette is already working diligently on her traditional advent calendar and in mid-November the time is ripe to festively decorate the ship and garland it with fairy lights.


We wish you all a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and send our best greetings.






Since 17th of October 2018 we are back in the Marina am Tiefen See in Potsdam.



Our postal address until 1st of April 2019 is:

Bernadette und Heinz Gubler

an Bord von MS Dagens 2

Marina am Tiefen See

Schiffbauergasse 8

D - 14467 Potsdam

(Our email addresses are the same as before.)



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