19 personal declarations of love to the North SeaApril 24, 2019
- 1 North Sea instead of mountains
- 2 Walcheren peninsula – perfect for the holidays
- 3 Willi, the landmark of Hörnum on Sylt
- 4 In love with St. Peter-Ording
- 5 Forces of nature in front of Søndervig in Denmark
- 6 Rainy weather can be so invigorating
- 7 Heligoland bargain hunter
- 8 Heal the world on Langeoog
- 9 On Juist, life slows down
- 10 A Britten opera at the North Sea beach
- 11 Decelerate at Eidersperrwerk
- 12 Crab coils in Büsum
- 13 East Frisian tea ceremony
- 14 With the Blokart over the beach on Rømø
- 15 Neuwerk is freedom plus nature
- 16 Harbor porpoises in Jade Bay
- 17 Between sea and watts at Afsluitdijk
- 18 Freedom to the horizon
- 19 Brick modern in Zandvoort
North Sea instead of mountains
BErge or beach? Sea, very clear. I love it. But I like some seas more than others. In Germany, where you can choose between the North and Baltic Sea, I drive in case of doubt to the northwest.
So dear Borkum instead of Usedom, Sylt instead of complaints. Because of the food (North Sea crabs!). Because of the animals (more seals!). Because of the variety (watts!). And because of my mood. If I am at the Baltic Sea, I find something constantly to complain: too few waves, no real salt water – and these mosquitoes!
On the North Sea, on the other hand, I am relaxing in the middle of a stimulating climate. Intoxicated by wind, waves and Ostfriesentee I think relaxed at nothing. Or at most: Why do people actually go to the mountains? Brenda Strohmaier
Walcheren peninsula – perfect for the holidays
The classmates, whose parents were dentists and lawyers, flew to Spain and Portugal. The Huths, on the other hand, packed the Ford Granada up to the roof rack year after year, and then went non-stop to Oostkapelle on Walcheren to play through the normal everyday life in the holiday home variant. Even Aunt Uschi, the nanny, was there.
There was vla Instead of yogurt, soft raisin bread instead of rolls, ancient Gouda instead of old Gouda and Stroopwafels instead of biscuits. At noon, our father threw the gas cooker in the beach hut and threw in the shrimp we had fished children with nets from the tufts. That was not nice for the shrimp, but very, very tasty.
On the way to the beach, to which one with the handcart marched, there was in the beach shack fries, sometimes with a copy of the big five the Dutch frying kitchen: Bami. Nasi, Frikandel. Kroketjes or Kaassoufflee, Minigolf was played once a holiday, a trip to Westkapelle, where a tank stood, and eaten in Domburg flounder.
It was the best two weeks of the year. After the holidays, we wondered why you had to fly to Spain and Portugal to do exactly the same thing we did in Holland. We did not know that seawater can be warm.
Willi, the landmark of Hörnum on Sylt
Willi is one you. However, with a somewhat undemanding appetite. This has meant that the gray seal with 200 kilograms now weighs about a quarter more than their conspecifics. But as a landmark of Hörnum on Sylt it may already be a bit more.
She has perfected the beggar’s gaze, which she throws tourists and locals out of the harbor basin with her dark button eyes, for many years. With success: Willi is loved – and fed. Because of the seal meanwhile even “fish Matthiesen” in Hörnum holds in addition to its legendary fish rolls especially small herrings, which one can buy as feed for Willi.
No Sylt trip without Hörnum, not a long walk on the beach, without looking before or afterwards in the Hörnumer docks, whether the cone-shaped seal head peeks like the tip of an iceberg somewhere out of the water, which is rewarded then of course with herring. Willi just knows that Sylt is a connoisseur island. Claudia Sewig
In love with St. Peter-Ording
Late eighties. The summer was hot, the beaches on the North Sea went to the horizon and the mint tea came from stainless steel jugs. I was nine, I did not know about love yet, but there was something in the air, I could feel that.
My parents had sent me to a Protestant holiday village for three weeks, to St. Peter-Ording, just behind the dike. Fresh air, lots of exercise, the beneficial influence of the church: I should recover properly.
But then came Sophie Marceau. Thursday was a movie night in the village, it was “La Boum – Die Fete” with 13-year-old Sophie in the lead role. The guys dropped their jaws. I too fell in love immediately: scarlet mouth, a smile that promised everything, and Frenchwoman! I wanted to go straight to Paris to smooch with her, but I did not know how the smooch went, nor how to get to Paris as a nine-year-old.
So I tried it next door, at Iris’s “Haus Klabautermann”. I messed it up completely. Iris fled. I ran to the beach and threw myself in the sand. The watt reflected the splintered sky. I wanted to break up. Then I smelled the ocean and saw the waves recoiling, but each time came back. This reassured me and restored my faith in love. Christoph Cöln
Forces of nature in front of Søndervig in Denmark
The training camp 20 years ago in Denmark was the daily jogging on the beach of Søndervig. Dozens of bunkers from a German fortress from the Second World War lie here like breakwaters in the sand – history to touch.
Fabian and I wanted to cool down but should not swim far, our coach had warned. “Yeah, yeah, sure,” we said, plunging into the waves and swimming far out. Suddenly the beach was threateningly far away. Our friends on the shore waved excitedly, shouting something, but we did not understand a word.
The current kept pulling us out. We stroked full force for several minutes towards the beach and kept on going. “I can not do it,” Fabian called to me. Like me, he was completely exhausted and had almost given up.
Suddenly a mountain of water piled up behind us. A wave of insane height broke over us and whipped us into the shallow water. The rescue! We crawled the last few meters to the beach, everyone talked to us.
We had no strength to answer, just lay in the sand the rest of the morning and could barely believe our luck. That’s what the North Sea taught me that day: respect for the elemental force of nature. Philip Jürgens
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Rainy weather can be so invigorating
My memories of the North Sea had long been marked by a traumatic feeling on the island of Spiekeroog. Shortly before enrollment, I was sent there with my kindergarten group for the entire holiday there in a convalescent home. To make a long story short: All the kids thought it was awful. I was also outraged because my parents drove parallel to Italy with my brother.
After all these years I still remember this heartless maritime delicacy very well. And because the weather was good then, the sun was shining over Spiekeroog. The consequence was clear, I avoided the German North Sea for four decades. Until we had children ourselves. Since then we have been there several times, in late autumn, in winter.
And behold: I like that. When it storms. When it rains. When the clouds are low. Urgewalten with waves and spray crowns. Drama still and holes. The adversity of the North Sea is one of them, they say. It seems to me, however, that I still avoid the North Sea when the weather is nice, as every stormy weather confirms my antipathy to the sun-drenched Spiekeroog, which of course I have never visited again.
In the inhospitable seasons I admire the North Sea for its roughness as well as for its year-round expanse and the changes made by the tides. I disapprove of the good, this repellent and resistive take-me-as-I-am attitude (the Baltic seems to me therefore usually too lukewarm). If self-mortification, then please in headwind. If you only like the North Sea in bright sunshine in August, you have no idea. Rain on the face, loud wind in the ear, that’s it.
A few weeks ago we were on Föhr. It rained. It stormed. At noon we wanted to head to the dike in the far west of the island, but we did not know the way. So we asked a local in Grossdunsum, who was just coming out of a shed with a sack truck full of firewood.
He looked at us, nodded, said “that’s back there” and pointed down the narrow street. Then he looked deep into our eyes again and grunted. “But it’s not warm.” He certainly thought the mainlanders have no idea what the weather is, and I was delighted about that.
He was right. The storm pushed with great force. We pushed against the wind on the dike. One man, who was probably doing something similar, was desperately holding his flat cap, which threatened to fly from his head. We once looked at the misty sea without discovering the nearby island of Amrum and trudged back, completely wet but happy. Schietwetter can be so invigorating. Holger Kreitling
Heligoland bargain hunter
You can not only holiday on the North Sea. You can work there too. After graduation I was in Helgoland for three months in the summer, as a salesman in a souvenir shop.
In terms of customs, Germany’s only offshore island is considered foreign, so goods are not only duty-free but also offered without VAT. Every day, this is what drives barbarian hunters to Helgoland. My colleagues and I sold these people tons of things that had been shipped to the island just minutes before them.
The tourists took their prey back to the mainland by ship that very day – especially the, well, regional specialties of Heligoland: cheese from Holland, cigarettes from Poland, rum from the Caribbean. I especially liked selling “Heligoland Shell Baskets” – they came, like everything, also by boat to the island and were always carefully wrapped up in the “Manila Times”. Jörg Malitzki
Heal the world on Langeoog
Since the age of three, I’m traveling to Langeoog with my parents and sister, at least once a year. The island is the perfect place for me – even if Anna, my little sister, was lost years ago at the popular village pasture for a few hours.
As I sat in haunches with another regular on my lap, my parents set out with a few islanders. After a microphone announcement, they finally found Anna: at a drinks stall. She drank a Fanta there with relish.
Since then I know that you can not get lost on Langeoog. Here is still a perfect world in which one is at most times jostled by a cyclist, because cars are prohibited on the island.
My favorite place is the beach: whether it rains or storms or the sun is shining, in the endlessness of the sky over Langeoog you can always give free rein to your thoughts. Lena Zimmermann
On Juist, life slows down
The long train journey ends in Norddeich-Mole for 20 years. Take a deep breath, and then grab a sunny spot in the sprint on the upper deck of the only ferry. The crossing to Juist takes one and a half hours. Time enough to immerse yourself in the anticipation.
It will be a lot as always – but every day on this East Frisian island will be different. The North Sea sometimes calm and lethargic, whipped by storm at sea the next day; Again and again the view wanders to the sun, which often disappears behind picturesque cloud mountains and the next day in sunburn strength shines.
Life becomes slower and livelier on this barren island, which is only eight kilometers from the coast: no cars, 100 cold-blooded animals do the necessary transports of man and material day after day.
A must is a walk to the west, where you can walk for miles with tailwind on the seemingly endless beach. Here it feels like you have the magnificent nature all to yourself. Ernst August Ginten
A Britten opera at the North Sea beach
Of course, in the town of Aldeburgh on the mostly windy coast of the English county of Suffolk, you can only stare all day at the slate-red North Sea and let pebbles glide over the waves until it’s time for the mid-day portion of fish and chips.
You can also visit the Red House, where the composer Benjamin Britten lived with his partner Peter Pears. Batik shirts and glasses, board games and scores, everything is still there, with a view of the North Sea. Both graves in the municipal cemetery are not far away.
Or visit the Jubilee Hall, where Britten and Pears founded the now world famous “Aldeburgh Festival” in 1948. Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream was premiered here. The festival lives on today, this year it will take place from 7 to 23 June. It is always a pleasure to visit this austere but beautiful place where music, even contemporary, is so natural.
But most of all it was when they performed “Peter Grimes”, Britten’s most important opera, at their 100th birthday in 2013, where they play: on the beach in Aldeburgh. On this stormy evening, the singers sounded live, the orchestra came out of the loudspeaker, everything was one: the sky, the sea, the beach – and Britten’s music. Manuel Brug
Decelerate at Eidersperrwerk
Peninsula, that sounds so nice – to Florida, Cornwall, Chalkidki. Or just to Eiderstedt. In order to be able to feel this beautiful peninsular situation correctly, the journey to Nordfriesland should definitely take place via the Eidersperrwerk.
It would go a few miles further east (and faster) on a secular highway, but the width of space and tides is only felt here at the barrage, when the wind, coming from the North Sea, even the brackish water of the Eider. Then there is a Hauke-Haien-feeling, somewhere here Theodor Storm’s daddy must be on his way with his white horse!
If a cutter from Binnen to Buten, so from the Eider into the North Sea, or the other way around, is simply the road that runs over the barrage, folded up. Then you stop, get out of the car, hold your nose in the wind and enjoy this miracle of deceleration. Jörn Lauterbach
Crab coils in Büsum
Turn the animal back and forth with both thumbs and forefingers, until the tank springs open, then slowly pull apart – and then you have the edible part in your hand. The crabbing, which is much more difficult than it sounds, I learned at the age of 14 in the summer holidays.
At that time I was visiting aunt and uncle of a school friend in a small village in Dithmarschen. In Büsum harbor, we bought the crabs fresh and then rummaged and prepared on the terrace of the thatched house. It took quite a while and a few failed attempts to get the hang of it.
In the end, there was a lot of shell and meat left over from the Krabbenberg we had in front of us. But together with mayonnaise and bread it was the perfect dinner. Since then I have been buying crabs at home every now and then. They taste so nice after a North Sea holiday. Christine Haas
East Frisian tea ceremony
Klong, pling. If a sound could be tasty, it would be what Kluntje does, the extra large candy piece of the East Frisian tea ceremony, when placed on the bottom of the teacup with the sugar tongs. It is a delicate sound, although such an East Frisian Kluntje is much harder than candy anywhere else. But it is easy to say that the ceremony is a time of leisure, an almost sacred ritual, even ennobled by UNESCO as an intangible world heritage.
There follows another delicious sound: the crackle of Kluntje when the hot tea is poured. He must be strong, mainly from Assam varieties, and mixed in East Frisia, otherwise he may not call himself “Genuine Ostfriesentee”.
Then something comes to the eye: the Wulkje, the little cloud. Take the cream spoon of silver and pour real cream into the tea, circular, following the edge of the cup – counterclockwise to stop time. The rising drops form cloud pattern. Do not stir! So each sip has its taste – first creamy-cool, then bitter-strong, sweet in the end.
Ostfriesentee tastes best after a walk along the North Sea. For example, in “Lütje Teehuus” on the island of Juist with freshly baked waffles. Or in the tea city north in the tearoom of the old Westgaster mill, where you can chew Platt.
In this pretty city you should not miss the Ostfriesische Teemuseum. There you will not only find exciting things about local tea culture, such as Norder silver or the art of making wares, but also about tea worldwide, including the growing areas and ceremonies in India and China, which surprisingly do without Kluntjes. Maike Grunwald
With the Blokart over the beach on Rømø
As if by magic, I sweep over the south beach on Rømø – thanks to help from above. Above me, the sail bangs in the wind, I’m sitting in a blokart, a mixture of go-kart and windsurfing board. Pedal work is not required, but clever play with mast and leash to change the angle of attack of the sail.
There is no speedometer, no brake. For me as a non-sailor that is quite unusual. Already the next gust grabs me, sand squirting the cart is powerful pushed forward. I drive a conical cone over the heap, where I should have actually turned, and approach the surf fast, tear on the handlebars and almost overturn.
But then the U-turn with rope and sail suddenly works. After a few minutes you have the bow out. Back at the rental I steer elegantly against the wind, and the cart is already standing. Has something, such a rush of speed. Stefan Weissenborn
Neuwerk is freedom plus nature
While Föhr, Sylt & Co. are full of tourists around the clock, Neuwerk, this small island in the Wadden Sea, which belongs to Hamburg, returns with a fascinating silence when the ship is dropped off to Cuxhaven.
When the last excursionists sail back to the mainland, you can walk undisturbed in the light of the setting sun on the dikes and watch in peace the terns, the clouds or the large container ships passing by on the horizon.
Neuwerk is not a party island, even if one or the other bachelor party may get lost here. There are only a few guest beds, you can even sleep in the straw.
Highlight in the literal sense is the lighthouse from 1310, otherwise there is still a mom and pop shop, a school, a mailbox and behind the dike green meadows and watts. Who gets involved in Neuwerk experiences freedom + nature = pure relaxation. Jörgen Camrath
Harbor porpoises in Jade Bay
For whale watching, many people spend a lot of money, fly to Alaska or New Zealand for sword or humpback whale watching. But you do not have to fly halfway around the world to feel the goosebumps that come when a whale looks out of the water a few yards away or even jumps on the doorstep. At the Jade Bay.
There are porpoises between March and May, some of which are so close to the coast that they can be admired and photographed from the land. And in Wilhelmshaven. Because the chances are best to sift through Germany’s only native whale species live, the city proclaimed the “Wilhelmshaven Porpoise Day” for the third time in 2019.
A Walsichtungsgarantie is not associated with it: The porpoises are relatively sluggish and jump less often than dolphins from the water. Now and again, however, you can see porpoises emerge to breathe, and regularly one or two of them produced water fountain from the Jade Bay – for a goose bumps that’s enough. Sönke Krüger
Between sea and watts at Afsluitdijk
What the American of the Overseas Highway to Key West, is the Dutchman Afsluitdijk, to German: closing dike. In an impressive way, the 32-kilometer-long dam reminds people that they do not shy away from the hassle of protecting their habitat. To ward off storm surges, he was built between 1927 and 1932. Since then, the dam separates the Wadden Sea from the IJsselmeer and connects Friesland with North Holland.
About halfway, namely at exactly the point where the dam was once closed, there is now a lookout tower from which you can see the building in full length. The surprisingly homely rest stop at the foot of the monument serves local snacks like Kroketjes. Poffertjes or frietjes and serves as a small museum for the construction and its prehistory.
And as befits a Dutch traffic route is the afsluitdijk not only accessible by car but also by bike. Heiko Zwirner
Freedom to the horizon
I stay behind the dike, while the other tourists continue to rush to the North Sea, across the district of Aurich, in the sand to sit on Juist, Norderney or Baltrum. I prefer to enjoy this unique view over the flat land. Focus on far away points – a kind of endurance sport for the eye muscles.
Because eye lenses, conditioned to centimeter-like screen distance, want to look for miles. They stare stunned into this distance and can not get enough. 50, yes 80 kilometers without big obstacles, what distances! Even eyes yearn for freedom to the horizon.
The one finds best on the East Frisian mainland. Board level. March, canals and Geest, pastures and meadows, hedgerows, windmills and windmills, a couple of black and white cows. The few trees are all heavily protected natural monuments, usually Blutbuchen or Linden, which are in the few villages and towns.
The highest natural elevation behind the dike are the Eierberge (which are really so) with exactly 14.50 meters above sea level. Deeper is in East Frisia always: in the district of Aurich is one of the lowest points in Germany – a meadow in Krummhörn, two and a half meters below sea level.
And where else can you top the grandiose view? Just drive a few kilometers further east to Westerholt, also in the district of Aurich. Here is a walk-in wind turbine – a spiral staircase leads to the glass observation deck in 65 meters height. It looks like an airplane tower designed by Sir Norman Foster.
It does not get any higher up in Ostfriesland. When the weather is clear, the view across the countryside reaches as far as Emden, even as far as the Netherlands and the East Frisian Islands. For this view, the 297 steps are worthwhile! Kira Hanser
Brick modern in Zandvoort
Zandvoort, not to be confused with the nearby Santpoort, is a suburb of Haarlem, which in turn is practically a suburb of Amsterdam. In Holland, everything is very clear, even the distances.
The former fishing village became world-famous through a 4.9-kilometer circuit in the middle of the dunes, Circuit Park Zandvoort, where the Formula 1 Grand Prix was raced between 1952 and 1985. Thousands of visitors at that time were intoxicated by the smell of gas and worn tires, without worrying about the life cycle assessment. The times are over.
Today, Zandvoort is one of the most popular beach resorts in Holland, no noise and extremely authentic. The community was heavily destroyed in the Second World War, then came young architects and completed the work with prefabricated buildings as in the GDR.
So you better avoid the authentic (the promenade and the Touri district) and soon come across beautiful brick villas and houses in the style of the Amsterdam School, the Dutch counterpart to the German Bauhaus. Here you can endure it even during the high season. Henryk M. Broder