fIn the past, children didn’t really care about sheep. Sheep were what to count when you couldn’t fall asleep. In general, one should be more like a lamb than wild as hell – and when the wolf comes, it’s better not to be a sheep. But things have changed for a while now — which is largely due to a white-haired child TV star. “Only Shaun the Sheep / is Shaun the Sheep / likes to do things it’s not supposed to . . .”: The title melody of the cartoon series about the sheep of the same name already explains its sensational success. The slapstick adventures about a flock of sheep, an overwhelmed herding dog and a slightly stupid farmer have been successful worldwide and have given sheep a whole new image – as brave, cunning and, above all, funny animals. In short: Anyone who grows up with “Shaun the Sheep” wants to get to know sheep.
Someone had put the flea with the sheep in the children’s ears. Far up north, there is a hotel with a pool, a lake – and its own sheep! There, said the children, we absolutely have to go. It is said that the sheep is idiosyncratic, it does not stand well in the meadow, on the contrary, it does the craziest things and is perhaps therefore insured with a sum of millions. The place where this legendary sheep lives is almost on the Baltic Sea, in Nakenstorf, a nest on Lake Neukloster. Wismar is not far. “Can you hug it?” the child asked the evening before departure. “We’ll go and see. Now go to sleep.”
The pandemic has not only caused prices for second homes and holiday homes to explode on the German coast; there is an almost irrepressible new longing for life in the country, which also produces bizarre blossoms here and there: defenseless trees are embraced by people in functional clothing who have come along and yoga mats are rolled out between herds of goats. The last sow that is currently being driven through the realm of well-being is called: cow cuddling.
But now to the sheep, to the north, to the lake, which is almost on the sea. Upon arrival, the children rush out of the car in search of the legendary animal. Could we please see the sheep in front of the room? “Our crazy sheep, yes – that’s over there,” says the woman at reception, pointing in the direction of the lake. There is actually a sheep behind a wooden fence, round as a ball and chewing the cud. Can you feed it? And where is the swimming pool anyway?
Out of sheer sheep and pool we only discover the small children’s hotel in a converted old transformer tower and the old fruit trees and the high hedges that line the property at dusk. Cormorants cruise in the sky, a heron stands on the jetty like an arranged photo motif, poplars rustle in the wind. The architect couple Nalbach and Nalbach from Berlin bought the former LPG Morgenröte thirty years ago and renovated the historic farmhouses, adding a few minimalist new buildings – now there are a total of 23 rooms, three holiday apartments and a place where you feel more like than visit good friends in the country. And because their sheep could jump onto the white leather seats of newly arriving classic car friends – worst-case scenario – sheep damage is also insured in this hotel.
Readings, concerts, weddings and workshops take place in the large thatched half-timbered barn from the 19th century, which is one of the reasons why the Seehotel is a fixed point for artists and actors. In the “Allesisstgut” restaurant with an idyllic view of the lake, everything is really good, the jams at breakfast come from the orchard behind the house, the fish comes from the lake, on which guests can sail, row or stand-up paddle.
And then, in the middle of breakfast, a guest squeaks, there is a little tumult, the children squeal with enthusiasm and watch the hustle and bustle spellbound: the sheep is there, the sheep jumps onto a small wall with an amazing leap, the sheep rumbles across the terrace, pushing past guests, almost knocking over a table, it’s surprisingly big for a sheep, and it seems to think it’s at least Batman, a Batman in a white wool cape, but hey – the kids love it it, the children race after their action hero across the large meadow under tall trees down to the lake and do things that are actually not allowed.
The Seehotel in Nakenstorf is an hour and a half drive north-east of Hamburg on the Neuklostersee and is open all year round, double rooms from 200 euros; Pool, tennis court and charging station for e-cars available: https://seehotel-neuklostersee.de In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, unvaccinated people are still asked to take a Covid-19 test before they can check into a hotel.