The froideur of faded elegance
Heringsdorf is the epitome of genteel, silver-haired affluence on the German Baltic coast boasting the longest pier in Europe, and is not an obvious destination for a family outing. It’s also a bit of a 'cul de sac' as although it is within a stone’s throw of the Polish border, for some reason that wasn’t clear to us, no cars are allowed to cross between Germany and Poland at this point.
However, Heringsdorf was a ‘must see’ destination for us because this was where a Slovak in-law and her family came for holidays at the height of the Cold War. It is a place for which she reserves particular venom and contempt, and we all just HAD to see a place that had evoked such a violent response!
On the day we visited, Heringsdorf was cold, wet and windy, but it wasn’t enough to dampen the distinct air of moneyed elegance. There wasn’t a child or a family in sight, and we wouldn’t have been surprised to have discovered that there was an active kinder eradication programme in place to minimise irritation to the elderly clientele! The guest houses are also elderly but beautifully preserved, many with ornately carved gables and painted in discreet shades of blue-rinse grey, and the only blot on the landscape is a high rise, Communist era concrete monstrosity that has fallen into disrepair and probably was built to accommodate diligent Party apparatchiks.
It doesn't take much imagination to see how a teenager would have absolutely loathed Heringsdorf, and conversely, to recognise how out of place anyone under 60 would be here. It's not that it isn't a perfectly pleasant place - it's just the converse of imagining a pensioner going on holiday to Ibiza - only people of a certain demographic should consider holidaying here!