On a date with Niki the Sand Tiger Shark in Stralsund
An afternoon at Ozeaneum Stralsund
Nina of the Travelblog smaracuja was in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania again and she wanted to know more about the northern seas. Here she reports about her excursion into the underwater world.
Stralsund is mostly left out on the way to the Baltic Sea – from the motorway to the Rügen Bridge and the skyline of the Hanseatic city on the Bodden is already only a blurred point in the rear view mirror. Also I dedicated only a short pit stop for a baked flounder at one of the fish stalls at the ferry channel before I went on to the island. That should be different this time: Finally I wanted to visit the Ozeaneum and walked through the picturesque alleys.
Anyone standing in front of the modern white building directly opposite the Gorch Fock I can imagine why the Ozeaneum is also popularly called “the Klorolle”. A term that makes me smile as an architecture fan but does neither the exterior nor the interior really do justice.
From the entrance hall with three original whale skeletons I hang along an orange line on the ground through the oceans. The 50 aquariums – the largest of which carries 2.6 million litres of water – show the different habitats and marine life.
An interactive dive takes me to the bottom of the deep sea, I watch jellyfish, rays and flirt with Niki the sand tiger shark.
With many aquariums and zoos the question automatically arises whether all this can be reconciled with animal protection and I am also skeptical before my visit.
But the Ozeaneum has already won several environmental awards and was also Museum of the Year 2010 – not at least because of the strictly ecological criteria on the farm, species-appropriate animal husbandry and the use of endangered species such as the Humboldt penguins, which have found a home on the museum roof and are also multiplying there.
The Ozeaneum has been working closely with Greenpeace since its inception. This is also how the exhibition “1:1 Giant of the Seas” was created – a gigantic hall in which original-sized whale models and other sea giants float in the air and bring the extent of these creatures really close to me. In addition several exhibits and aquariums point to the constant pollution of the sea by humans.
The exhibitions are interesting not only for families and school classes. I learned more about the sea during my visit than in countless years of biology lessons and could have watched the beautiful octopuses, jellyfish and corals for hours.
The Old Town of Stralsund
Those who are already in Stralsund should also take some time to take a look at the historic old town which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002 for good reason.
I let myself drift over the cobblestone pavement past brick houses over the old market to Schillstraße with the Johannes monastery hidden in a backyard.
There you find a small park with picturesque half-timbered houses in which it is wonderfully quiet – for me an oasis of peace which makes me forget the soon departure to the noisy big city for a while.
Since I have already eaten through all the fish kiosks in Stralsund I decide to test the new burger restaurant on the Alten Markt. At the “Oberburgermeister” you can put together your own creation – vegetarian or with meat – and plaster in the evening sun on the market square. Absolutely recommended: sweet potato fries!