Rostock was formerly part of East Germany and was important for ship-building during the Soviet era. The guide I had for this journey was from Rostock. He told several stories about what life was like before and after German reunification. One story he told was right after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He and some friends decided to drive a town that had been on the opposite site of the border. The drive is about 100 kilometers. When they arrived and talked to some of the people there, he learned that, even though the towns were so close, no one knew about Rostock! I found this a fascinating insight to how little understanding there was about the what was on the other side of the Wall.
The central plaza of Rostock feels very modern. There is a light rail transit system that cuts through the plaza. The central fountain is surrounded by very modern statures representing Norse Gods. There was a a farmers market, selling fruits, vegetables and arts and crafts. Next to the market were several outdoor cafes, perfect for a coffee — or beer. I settled for an espresso, since it was still early in the morning for me.