My colleague FolkestoneJack told me on Tuesday, that the Deutsche Marine frigate Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is in London for five days. He had no idea that this would excite me much, but it stirred a little moment of Heimweh or homesickness. My hometown Rostock is the largest city in the German federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and I am therefore a Mecklenburger by birth. I have actually seen the frigate in Rostock before as it is a regular visitor attraction during the annual Hanse Sail event.
Apparently it is a tradition of the Deutsche Marine to name their vessels after cities or federal states. The vessel is not actually based in Rostock, but in Wilhelmshaven at the North Sea coast. She was built between 1993 and 1995 at the Vulkan-Werft shipyard in Bremen which was closed a few years later, thus ending the long tradition of shipbuilding in Bremen.
I haven’t been able to find any mention of why the frigate was in London, but with the backdrop of Tower Bridge and only one day until her departure, it was a photo opportunity not to be missed. Despite the grey and wet morning and thousands of commuters walking across London Bridge and almost running me over, I managed to take some good pictures of the frigate alongside HMS Belfast with the iconic Tower Bridge in the background.