Postcard No. 2: Sylt – The Queen of the North Sea

Reisen, Sports, Tipps, Travel
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Hello,

Most people abroad think Germany is all about Bavaria, Alpes, Castles and Oktoberfest…That`s a pity because Germany is much more versatile.

Look at the North Frisian Island “SYLT” in the very North of Germany close to the Danish border for instance.

The island is well-known for its unique shape and its 40-km-long (25-mile) sandy beach that has a number of surf schools and also a nude section.

Sylt is also popular for second home owners, and many German celebrities who own vacation homes on “the island”. Thus, many of the wonderful, traditional Frisian-style houses with thatched roofs are owned by wealthy people now.

Sylt is frequently covered by the media in connection with its exposed situation in the North Sea and its ongoing loss of land during storm tides. Since 1927, Sylt has been connected to the mainland by the Hindenburgdamm causeway (today with a railway line on top).

Thanks to this Hindenburgdamm, the entire Island was turned into a Fortress during WWII. below the beautiful dunes at the shore, you can still find a few hidden bunkers.

In the past, the wealth of Sylt was dependent on fishing, whaling and oyster breeding. Today, Sylt and its healthy climate is a popular, sophisticated tourist destination for visitors with a more generuous holiday budget.

Sylt is an atrractive windsurfing & kite-surfing destination. The international Windsurf World Cup Sylt, established in 1984, is annually held at Westerland’s beach front.
Sailing, beach volleyball, horseback riding and golfing are also very popular.
Furthermore, the Island offers a wide range of Wellness & Spa packages.
Frequently, there is the opportunity to attend concerts, readings, arts seminars and exhibitions.
The visitors are also invited to make a trip to the seal sandbanks or to join a guided tour through the intertidal mudflat.

Of course, Sylt is famous for ist seafood (Lobster & oysters) but offers also all kind of alternative cuisines. The Island gives home to a number of high-class restaurants.

The Must-See on Sylt is the “Sansibar” Restaurant & Party Location (with an excellent cuisine) in the dunes that includes a fashion, souvenir & gift, wine shop – and runs also an online shop today.

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Sylt is definetely worth a trip. Even in the high Season, you will find “your beach”. Except of Westerland (Capitol City) you won`t find many “construction sins” (ugly new Buildings). Sylt never supported mass tourism. This attitude might be snobbish but admittedly has got ist positive side effects…

Sylt offers relaxed life quality in all facettes.

Tipp No. 43: “Wattlaufen” – Walking on the ground of the North Sea to the next Island Neuwerk

Insights, Nature, Reisen, Tipps, Travel
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“Intertidal Mud-flat hiking” (Wattwandern) at the German North Sea coast –  a little adventure for the entire family.

Starting from Duhnen or Sahlenburg beach / Cuxhaven you can walk to the next Island called Neuwerk, have a piece of strawberry cake and a cup of coffee over there, and then return to the  main quickly in order not to be surprised by the rising flood / high tide. The clock will be your best buddy in addition to other hikers, who care for each other, of course. The later you start, the bigger and more powerful the tide-ways will be. If you`re a laggard, it might be therefore helpful to have your swimming toggs with you.

It is an amazing experience to literally walk over the bottom of the North Sea through a surrealistic landscape, where it is sometimes difficulty to retrieve the horizon line due to reflections, flickering air and the steaming ground in the summer heat. Heading for the Island Neuwerk, you might experience fata morgana-like phenomena.

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Of course, it is a special thrill to think of the (minor) risk of returning too late…In fact, there will be People who will remind or help you (e.g. to cross tideways “Priel” if the drift becomes stronger). For cases of emergency, there are “rescue baskets” on poles, which are numbered and equipped with radios to call a shuttle service. I am sure that you can hitchhike and ask horsemen for a lift too.

By the way, you can choose guided tours or you can walk on your own. In Cuxhaven / Duhnen, they are also offering tours with carts… or you enjoy the tour on the back of a horse. The latter is the ultimate fun for the horsemen but also for the horses who seem to enjoy the cushioned / elastic ground, the vastness, the fresh air and water too from my experience. Pure lust for life!

It is also fascinating to pass the waterways with big container ships and sailing boats by.  Most of the ground is stable / solid but there are also areas close to the beach at the main, which are very muddy, slimy and slippery… These areas are the perfect playground for kids and adults, who rediscover their inner child again. There are mudflat areas, where you can sink into the soft mud knee-deep or even up to the hips.

In the national mudflat park, you might meet seals, mitten crabs, various shells, rock worms (if you dig deep), jellyfishes, small fishes and different sea birds.

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“Mussel bed” and old-fashioned “mouthpieces” = in German language literally: “Talking Shells”
=> … Listen to the shells!

The mud shall be healthy. It is said that the mud ease skin deseases. In any case, the mud is an excellent peeling.

Mudflat walking is also known for its positive effects on your leg muscles and in particular your feet if you walk barfoot like the vast majority of people in the summertime. You will notice it in the evening. It feels like you got several hours non-stop TCM foot massage. You will walk on clouds. Promised.

Besides, expect to fall into a coma-like deep sleep in the night.  Kids & dogs will already pass out in the car on the way back home. Your chance to have some quality time & privacy with your partner after a wonderful day at the seaside…!

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Slippery mud – perfect for gliding, mud battles and more…
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Yes, you can take your dog with you. But please, test him if he can tolerate you and other people walking through deep water or swimming…or if he is too protective and becomes stressed because he thinks his human is in danger and needs to be rescued.

For instance, the Bernese Mountain Dog of my parents could enjoy neither the beach nor the Watt. Surprisingly, he was totally stressed trying to rescue his family and was close to a nervous breakdown, when my dad crossed a tideway.

Possibly, our dog would have felt more comfortable on the top of a glacier but unfortunately, we are not used to high mountains…

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“Mud Spaghetti” created by rock worms
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…sun, wind, water, friends, and horsepower – pure joy!
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No bird cage…but a safe place if the flood is faster than you.
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Carts Crossing a tideway.
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…the direction to the Island Neuwerk.
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Neuwerk – the only destination in walking distance.
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…Maybe a bit late? No problem. The carts are capable to swim.
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The Watt in summertime.
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The Watt in wintertime
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Cuxhaven – Duhnen beach, the mudflat entrance and exit (showers are available).
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Grounded under full sails.

Postkarte Nr.0: Die Insel AMRUM – oder warum in die Ferne schweifen, wenn das Gute liegt so nah!

arts, Kunst, Nature, Reisen, Tipps, Travel, Uncategorized

Ich möchte einige Impressionen von meinem Amrum-Trip (1ste Septemberwoche 2017 / Hochsaison, 28 -30 °C) und insbes. der gigantischen Düne Kniepsand (35 min Fussweg bis zur Wasserkante durch endlos-weissen Sand) mit Euch teilen… vielleicht fühlt ihr Euch ja inspiriert und schaut einmal vorbei….

Die Fähre ADLER V ab Nordstrand

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Asgard – Sitz der Götter…mit Blick auf das Meer.

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Walhalla ruft nach dem x-ten “Flens” …Bierkasten-Recycling einmal anders, lol!

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Unterkunft & Seminarstätte (in meinem Fall: Aquarellmalen)

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Blick zurück zum Strand am Ufer

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Meine Badelatschen…am Horizont das Meer wie eine Fatamorgana…Entfernungen können nur schwer eingeschätzt werden.

Auf der anderen Seite der schalen Insel gibt es übrigens kinderfreundliche Strände mit Sandstrand direkt am Wasser.

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Ein Klo – kein Scherz!!! Das nenne ich umsichtige Gastfreundschaft.

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Geheimnisvolle Runen…oder doch das chinesische Schriftzeichen für Mensch / Person?

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Ballspiele am späten Nachmittag

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Kein Kamel oder Oase weit und breit!

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Und endlich die flaschengrüne Nordsee nach 35 – 40 min Marsch durch die nordische “Sahara”! …Badewannentemperatur.

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Der Lockruf des sich lasziv-keck auf dem Teller rekelnden Matjesbrötchens……!

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Appetit bekommen?! Nix wie hin! …AMRUM heißt das norddeutsche Kleinod vor unserer Haustür.

Tipp No. 70: Water Colour Wildlife & Landscape Paintings by The Artist Ben Woodhams (Denmark / Bornholm Island)

arts, Creatures, Kunst, Nature, Reisen, Tipps, Travel

I totally fell in love with Ben`s work…I would like to share a few of his wonderful water colour paintings.

As you might have noticed from visiting my tiny blog, I am at home in Northern Germany. Northern Germans are often teased by calling them: “fish heads, shell pushers and dike tramplers”.  I suppose, I am touched by Ben`s art because on one hand I know his themes well and because ….I can feel the weather looking at his paintings, on the other hand I seem to share his perspectives and perception of moods, colours, surface structures etc…Besides, the picture composition and other details of Ben`s aquarelles reminds me on Japanese paintings. 

However, I am very glad that I stumbled upon his wordpress blog linked to his website:

 https://benwoodhams.com/

ABOUT BEN WOODHAMS

Ben Woodhams is an English artist and illustrator currently living and working on the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea.

After beginning a career in museums and art galleries as an exhibition curator and designer, Ben and his family moved to Bornholm in 2008, where he works as an artist, illustrator and educator.

Ben’s practice is founded in direct observation and specialises in birds, working primarily in watercolour. Studies of living birds are made in the field, while dead birds are taken to the studio. Moments in time, and the relationship between the process of observation and depiction, are the engines that drive Ben’s work – the tension between the ‘need’ to capture the moment or the vision, and the desire to let the medium speak its own language.

Recently Ben has been studying changes in the landscape through space and time. The patterns made by a passing flock of cranes, the rising tide within a rock pool, shadows moving over a rock during a day, an oilseed rape field blooming over a period of weeks, changes through the seasons and over years.

Of course, Ben is offering original paintings as well as limited printed editions for purchase.

Interestingly, he is teaching aquarell painting  & drawing (in English and Danish language) for private and public groups (all age classes) additionally.  
He focus on observation-based drawing, watercolour painting and relief printing techniques and put emphasis on outdoor drawing and painting.

Just a few impressions of BORNHOLM – as a teaser that I don`t need anymore….Maybe, we will see each other on Bornholm island in 2019?