Again, we woke up to brilliant sunshine but nippy temperatures (45 at 7 am); we went to get some rolls and danishes for breakfast and some other groceries we had run out of, and then had breakfast at the apartment as usual. We puttered around for a bit, but made sure to take off just around 9:30 for our boat’s departure to Kiel at 9:50. The boat takes about an hour and makes about a half-dozen stops on the way, and we sat outside on the top deck and had a wonderful time watching both coastlines, to the west and to the East. We could even see the entrance into the Kiel Canal, which starts just above Kiel harbor, and some ships, including some old submarines, in the docks. In Kiel, we started exploring the general downtown area, with the help of our friend Lane, who facebooked us some good tips–he is currently a graduate student here, but as luck would have it, is visiting his wife in Bulgaria right now, so he could not show us around in person. He did guide us via Facebook instead, and we saw two lovely parks on his suggestion–the Schlosspark and the “Old Botanical Garden” right next to it. Then we found our way to a shopping district called Holtauerstrasse, which was a bit noisy because it is not a pedestrian-only area, but we still found a nice, simple lunch place with outdoor seating and watcheed the people around us. We then made our way to a couple of “dead” (unused) arms of the Foerde, i.e. lovely bodies of water in the middle of a busy downtown, and to the other, quieter shopping district, which also featured Kiel’s main church, the Nikolaikirche. It was destroyed and restored multiple times, so its architecture was boring, but some of the individual artefacts were from the 15th century,and we learned that another church nearby, part of a former monastery, would give us a good idea of the city’s history. We looked at the founder’s gravestone from the 14th century. There is not much left of this old medieval Kiel, because it was built on many times over, and then for the most part destroyed during WWII, so the city itself is really not very charming. But the waterfront and the sunshine made the city and the day really lovely, and we thoroughly enjoyed our day in Kiel–we took the boat back at 4 pm, together with many other vacationers who all seemed to want to come to Laboe with us, and were back “home” at 5 pm. We stopped by the apartment to see how Imke and Kai were faring (well) and to drop off most of the cameras, waterbottles, etc. that we had with us–but then went back out for a walk by the seaside to watch the kitesurfers one more time. There were nearly 20 kites up in the air at the same time, and even though there was really no more “flying” like the other day, it was fun to watch. And although it’s been quite chilly lately, the water was warm enough to wade through, which always makes a seaside visit more fun. We came home at about 7:15 pm, in time for dinner with Uschi, Imke, and Wolfgang. Then we wrestled with laundry for a bit and went through Mark’s photos for the day before we called it a night.