In the 14th century, between the years 1322 and 1324, Europe was struck by especially severe winters. It was so freezing cold for months that even the whole Baltic froze. Merchants, military and bandits made use of this bizarre situation and used the frozen sea as a shortcut. Resourceful innkeepers were overjoyed and started building their inns in the middle of the sea. Special construction of the furnaces prevented them from melting the ice underneath. Seems unreal, right?
No wonder, it’s all just fiction. However, as many other urban legends, this story is still stirring emotions.
Deluge occurred over three centuries after the alleged winter of the millennium, at a time equally cold as then – during Little Ice Age. Over the course of five years, the Swedes barged deep into the territory of the Commonwealth. Even though some military activities took place in the open waters and even though there had to be at least one thaw in five years, many still imagine the Swedes crossing the Baltic Sea on foot and with sleds. Sadly for the Swedes, it wasn’t that easy at all.
However, there’s a kernel of truth in this legend. Historic records mention crossing the frozen territory of the Baltic, even if not as spectacular as walking from Poland to Sweden. Ice expeditions were undertaken on shorter distances where an occurrence of a thicker ice cover was more probable. Those included the iced gulfs of Finland and Bothnia and the Denmark Strait. And what about the inns? They were indeed built on ice, yet very close to the shore, specifically for travelers opting for the fine surface of frozen beaches.
As usual, the reality is falling short in comparison to the fiction. And if that wasn’t disappointing enough, not only did the Baltic not freeze over completely, but also Coca-Cola does not dissolve teeth, Walt Disney was not hibernated, and most of us tend to use more than 10% of our brainpower, although unfortunately there might be some exceptions...
With the ice or not, I can help you with visiting many Baltic countries such as Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Poland.
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This is a story based on what actually happened. Young German, Manfred, could not make peace with the reality he got to live in. A few years ago, soldiers created an enormous wall in Berlin, separating his home city into two parts. The sight of this giant concrete wall, surrounded by barbed wire, touched his heartstrings every time he smoke a cigarette in the window of his flat on Bernauer Strasse. But now, everything was ready for him to change his fate.
The inhabitants of London were living in an unbelievable fear for many months. Rumours had it that thousands of people were dying in pain due to an uncurable disease that spread from the Mediterrenean Sea. The hopes of being untouched by the plague became as short-lived as a soap bubble once people started to become infected. One of London’s doctors was examining another person today, whose symptoms resembled the typical signs of the Black Death.