The flood, the island of Neuwerk and what Hamburg has to do with it

EIn a bit of wind, there is always Neuwerk, that tiny island off Cuxhaven that is so small that there would not even be a place for an 18-hole golf course. At night, when the day visitors have disappeared, it is completely quiet on the three square kilometers. At most you can hear a “pop”. Then a pawn fell over on the hotel’s garden chess field, caught in a light breeze.

37 people live on the green spot in front of the Elbe and Weser estuaries. Most of them live from tourism. There are five guest houses in total, plus a Wadden Sea house, a bit of agriculture, a bit of port logistics. Neuwerk and the surrounding Wadden Sea are part of Hamburg, but the few island tractors have Pinneberger license plates. Sometimes wealthy horse owners bring their animals here so that they can recover from their lung ailments in the pure North Sea air.

So close that you want to start walking right away

This island is so different and so close that you want to start walking straight away. The temptation already begins at the Cuxhaven ball beacon and continues to the beach at Döse, where the huge container ships in the Elbe estuary are soon no longer a sensation. Here we really see it: two distant rows of trees shimmer like a mirage on the horizon, with a tower between them. It looks like a little Mont-Saint-Michel. But wait! You can’t just run out into the mudflats, no matter how seductive it is. The moon only pulled the carpet of the sea briefly. Soon the creeks will be full again, then the tide will come. When everything is back to the way it was, there will be a flood.


Emptying times on Neuwerk depend on the tide.
:


Image: Christoph Moeskes

Tschelp. Dschubb. Our shoes squeeze the mud like in a Donald Duck story. Now we’re on our way to the island. Julia from “Wunderwelt Watt” leads us, together with the dog Ben. At eleven o’clock sharp, we left the land in Sahlenburg, less than a minute later. Today is low tide at 1 p.m. During the almost four-hour hike, we run halfway into the lowest point and halfway out again. Sahlenburg disappears behind us, other groups move away in front of us. Soon we 20 mudflat hikers seem to be alone under the pencil-gray sky. We stay together. Julia stops. It gurgles in the silt, bubbles rise – the work of sapling tube worms, which continue to filter food in the damp channels. We continue. It is still a long way to Neuwerk, around twelve kilometers in total.

“O”, just “O”. That is what the island was called in ancient times. Sometimes also “Og”, like at the end of “Langeoog” or “Spiekeroog”. Around 1300 Hamburg took possession of O and built a tower, the “Nige Wark”, the “New Factory”. The stone building, almost 45 meters high, served primarily as a defense tower. Even then, half the world was on the move with its goods in front of the Elbe estuary. But the area is treacherous, until today sandbanks and currents change. Pirates and wreckers could count on rich booty back then.

Happiness is knee deep

Traffic jam at the first large creek. A column of yellow horse-drawn carriages crosses the water. The people are wrapped in blankets and remain motionless. It looks like an antediluvian silent movie. Immediately a band of riders appears on black horses. Then it’s our turn with our sneakers and it looks like 2020 again.

We’re lucky, the water is only knee deep today. For a few years this has been becoming increasingly rare, and the tide can reach up to the shoulders for both horse and human. Environmentalists attribute the changed flow behavior to the Langendamm in front of Cuxhafen. Although this makes the Elbrinne safer, the two main prelays in front of Neuwerk are becoming increasingly unpredictable. The current is already fast, we have to hold on to iron bars.

On, on and on. We are points in an immeasurable world of gray. Olive gray the mudflats. Navy camouflage blue-gray the sky. The lifeboats are also gray. The steel cages on stakes were erected after a teacher with twelve students drowned here in the mudflats in 1979. Suddenly they were caught in sea fog. When he comes you won’t see anything at all.

Green island in the Wadden Sea: Neuwerk


Green island in the Wadden Sea: Neuwerk
:


Image: Christoph Moeskes

Then finally, after three and a half hours, the first green. Neuwerk is no longer an illusion. We wash shoes, stockings and trousers from the cotton splashes and say goodbye to Julia and the others. In the evening, the group will take the ferry back to the mainland – like most of the more than 100,000 guests a year who visit the island in a combination of a boat trip, a mudflat hike or a wagon trip.

After that Neuwerk belongs to the Neuwerkers again. And the two self-confident hamburgers who smoke a cigar on the dike. And the young woman who jogs once around the island on the six-kilometer outdoor path. And a little bit us too. We have to play a game of chess tomorrow morning.

.

North Sea: These five beaches are simply terrific

Eit doesn’t exist the North Sea. In this sea there are ebb and flow, sand and mud flats, wind and waves in very different forms. And coastal dwellers with many customs of their own. Every island, every shore here is different – and always something special. We present five of the most attractive places on the water.

Denmark: fishing trawler right on the beach

And that too, one involuntarily thinks – the fishing trawler ran aground, here in Jammer Bay on the northwest coast of Jutland in Denmark. The ship is lopsided and sways in the waves.

A sailor stands at the bow and throws a line. The surf tugs at the cutter. But it doesn’t have to be rescued, just pulled ashore.

Thorup Strand in northern Denmark: Here the cutters land directly on the sand and sell freshly caught fish to tourists

Quelle: Getty Images

Thorup Strand in Denmark is one of the last and largest landing sites for fish in Northern Europe, where the local fishermen and captains let themselves be pulled ashore with their cutters by a bulldozer, there is no pier or quay.

When the weather permits, the ten skippers of the local fisheries association extinguish their catch every day – mainly plaice, sole and cod. If you want, you can buy these fish right here from the ship.

EU fisheries ministers agree on new catch quotas

After a negotiating marathon, the EU fisheries ministers agree on new catches for the North Sea and the north-east Atlantic. Significantly less cod can be caught in 2020.

Source: WORLD / Sebastian Struwe

Of course, you can also eat freshly caught North Sea fish in the small town: In “Thorupstrand Fiskehus”, for example, fish sizzle in butter that recently swam in the sea.

And in the snack bars you can get fried fish dumplings on hand for the beach. This is the best way to sit down in the fine sand, listen to the surf, look at the blue cutters and have the taste of the sea on your tongue – more North Sea is not possible (Info: visitjammerbugten.de).

Netherlands: Show of the stars on the mudflats

In the alleys of Schiermonnikoog, a few lanterns provide some light. But the small village is quickly left behind – and you are, in the literal sense, completely in the dark.

Schiermonnikoog is the smallest inhabited island in the West Frisian Wadden Sea in the Netherlands. In 2006 it was named the “most beautiful place in the Netherlands” by the Nederlandse Christelijke Radio Vereniging.

Beaches on the North Sea

Source: WORLD infographic

Also because of the darkness – on the island, which is just four kilometers wide and 16 kilometers long, nothing disturbs the view of the night sky. The few lanterns in the village and two lighthouses – these are the only artificial light sources.

Only a handful of residents live in the postcard-beautiful island village. The feeling of being far away from the rest of the world is therefore particularly intense on Schiermonnikoog. There is always a place on the island where you can be all to yourself. Just nature and the sea. And the sky above, which is most beautiful at night.

It’s a 20-minute walk from the village to the beach, first through the heather, then through a pine forest – and the sea spreads out in front of you, dark and unfathomable. A ghostly atmosphere, also because long-eared owls and nightingales are calling and the surf is rumbling.

More can be seen from the sky than from the dark water, such as the constellation of the Big Dipper. There is orientation, the fivefold extension of the rear axis leads to the North Star. It is one of the brightest stars in the sky and is exactly north.

Netherlands: The island of Schiermonnikoog should definitely be explored at night

The Dutch island of Schiermonnikoog should definitely be explored at night

Quelle: Getty Images

A bright band stretches out up there: the Milky Way. The stars sparkle like diamonds on the velvety black. Depending on the season, Venus can also be seen; sometimes it is the evening star for months, sometimes it announces the approaching morning. Jupiter and Saturn are in the constellation Sagittarius. In spring the lion sneaks up as its constellation.

More and more stars can be seen – in the deep darkness you almost have the feeling of being drawn into space. And sometimes even a shooting star pulls its orbit through the loneliness of the universe and ensures an unforgettable goosebumps moment in the loneliness at night on the beach of Schiermonnikoog (vvvschiermonnikoog.de).

Helgoland: The home of the gray seals

The little ferry has hardly left Heligoland when it arrives at the dune opposite. The little sister island with its snow-white beach and the holiday village is a bathing paradise and at the same time the nursery for Germany’s largest predator – the gray seal.

531 young animals were born on dune in 2019. The population has grown significantly in recent years and Heligoland’s side island has become a hotspot for seal fans from home and abroad.

Researchers waited almost 20 years for these recordings of gray seals

British researcher Ben Burville spent almost twenty years trying to capture these gray seals on camera. Now he has finally managed to record the animals’ breeding behavior, which is quite surprising.

In summer several hundred animals hunt for fish in the waters around Heligoland, often taking a break on the beach of their native island. Nowhere on the North Sea can you see the seals better.

However, a safety distance of at least 30 meters must be maintained on dunes – the sluggish-looking animals can, if they feel threatened, come out of cover at up to 20 kilometers per hour. And they do it without hesitation!

Helgoland is one of the best places on the North Sea to spot gray seals

Helgoland is one of the best places on the North Sea to spot gray seals

Quelle: picture alliance / imageBROKER

Those who want to be on the safe side prefer to take part in a guided tour. A specially created panorama path offers views of the sea again and again – and with a bit of luck you will see hairy snouts emerge from the waves.

It is not always seals, it can also be seals. They don’t use Helgoland as a nursery, but they also love trips to the island to do the same thing as human visitors: enjoy sunbathing (helgoland.de).

St. Peter-Ording: sailing on sand

How was that with the braking? The sand yachts are fast and have foot pedals as a steering wheel, but no brake pedal. Several of these three-wheeled speedsters with sails whiz across the beach of St. Peter-Ording. A constant wind blows on the kilometer-long sand ridge and puffs up the sails.

“The beach here is particularly suitable,” says Sven Harder from the Nordsport beach sailing school. He offers courses for beginners on one of the largest beaches in the North Sea. “Beach sailors have a lot of space here, hard sand and mostly good wind.”

Wind strengths between 3 and 6 are ideal, adds Harder, as it is a wonderful way to escape the stress of everyday life. If you know how to slow down the beach runabouts, you would like to add.

The course starts with some theory, the rules of avoidance, flag signals, safety instructions and fitting the helmet. It is particularly important because the lower, horizontal rod on which the sail sits just above the head swings back and forth when driving.

And how do you even get going? “With a line that we call a sheet, you let the sail loose or pull it in,” says Harder. “The sheet serves as a kind of gas pedal. If you pull the sheet tighter, the sand yacht accelerates. If you loosen the sheet, you reduce the speed again and thus determine the pace. “

North Sea: You can learn sand sailing on the beach of St. Peter-Ording

As fast as the wind: you can learn sand sailing on the beach in St. Peter-Ording

Quelle: picture-alliance / dpa/dpaweb

And brake? “You let the sheet as loose as possible, but not let go! You steer against the wind and take the car away from it. “

Dealing with the sand yachts seems child’s play. Feel, think, do – and the box starts running. Soon the course participants were racing on the firm sand of St. Peter-Ording.

Even beginners get going quickly, and they can soon manage a speed of 50 and more. And apparently the beach yachtsmen have been paying close attention during training, because everyone manages to brake without an accident. Without a brake pedal (st-peter-ording.de).

England: castles overlooking the North Sea

You can literally hear the blades clapping and the screams of rough men echoing through the walls – in your mind, of course, because it is more than 1200 years since native Celts and invading Vikings crossed their blades here in what is now Northumberland.

The defiant castles, of which there are many in this part of the English and Scottish North Sea coast, fire the imagination of the visitors. They are silent witnesses to an eventful history – and a wonderful backdrop for a walk on the beach.

One of the most beautiful North Sea beaches in Great Britain is the one in front of Bamburgh Castle. The castle itself is now a place for cultural events, you can visit it, walk in the footsteps of sagas and legends.

England: Visitors can also spend the night in Bamburgh Castle on the North Sea coast

Visitors can also spend the night at Bamburgh Castle on England’s coast

Quelle: picture alliance / Loop Images

And you can live here: On a clear day, the view from the room in the Neville Tower extends across to Holy Island and out to the Farne Islands. With binoculars you can see seals and dolphins, sometimes even whales.

The late light sets the huge castle in a picturesque scene and lets the walls light up like brass, the clouds in the sky are the color of mallow, the surf shimmers silvery and light gray.

The beach is clean and beautiful, the lords of the castle and the nature conservation organization Natural England are in charge. Bamburgh Beach is sweeping, ideal for long walks; however, the water is too cold for bathing.

Surfers in their wetsuits have it better, they appreciate the wind-blown coast, where steadily passable waves roll. Those who love lonely walks will get their money’s worth here, and everywhere you can enjoy an unobstructed view of the sea and the beach, the drama of the landscape and the sky.

But you can also just sit in the slipstream of the dunes and watch birds for hours. Or you can practice as a lord of the castle – and build a sand castle in the form of Bamburgh Castle (visitnorthumberland.com).

also read

The author at the age of eight in 1968 on a roof terrace in Wenningstedt

also read

The North Frisian Wadden Sea: in front right Blauortsand, far right Blauort

Vacationers come back to a new normal

Much is no longer the same as it was before the Corona crisis. And it will probably stay that way for a while. Holiday destinations on the Baltic Sea prepare for visitors with strict rules.

Source: WELT / Marcus Tychsen

This article was first published in May 2020.

The text comes from WELT AM SONNTAG. We are happy to deliver them to your home on a regular basis.

Packshot_WamS_halbeSeite_17.05

Source: WELT AM SONNTAG

.

North Sea: These five beaches are just fantastic

Es not there, the North Sea. There are ebb and flow, sand and mudflats, wind and waves in very different forms in this sea. And coastal residents with many of their own customs. Every island, every shore here is different – and always something special. We present five of the most attractive places on the water.

Denmark: fishing trawlers right on the beach

Even that, one thinks involuntarily – the fishing cutter ran aground, here in the Jammerbugten on the north-west coast of Jutland in Denmark. The ship is crooked and sways in the waves.

A sailor stands on the bow and throws a line. The surf tugs on the cutter. But it doesn’t have to be saved, it just has to be pulled ashore.

Thorup Strand in Northern Denmark: Here the cutters land directly on the sand and sell freshly caught fish to tourists

Source: Getty Images

Thorup Strand in Denmark is one of the last and largest landing places for fish in Northern Europe, where the local fishermen and captains can be pulled by a bulldozer to their land, there is no pier or quay.

When the weather permits, the ten seafarers from the local fisheries association clear their catch every day – mostly plaice, sole and cod. If you want, you can buy these fish right here from the ship.

EU fisheries ministers agree on new fishing quotas

After a negotiation marathon, the EU fisheries ministers agree on new catches for the North Sea and the Northeast Atlantic. In 2020, significantly less cod can be caught.

Source: WELT / Sebastian Struwe

Of course, you can also eat freshly caught North Sea fish in the village: In “Thorupstrand Fiskehus”, for example, fish are sizzling in butter that have recently been swimming in the sea.

And in the snack bars you get fried fish on the hand for the beach. It is best to sit in the fine sand, listen to the surf, look at the blue cutters and have the taste of the sea on your tongue – there is no more North Sea (info: visitjammerbugten.de).

Netherlands: Show of the stars on the mud flats

A few lanterns provide some light in the alleys of Schiermonnikoog. But the small village is quickly left behind – and you literally grope in the dark.

Schiermonnikoog is the smallest inhabited island in the West Frisian Wadden Sea in the Netherlands. In 2006 the Nederlandse Christelijke Radio Vereniging named it “the most beautiful place in the Netherlands”.

Beaches on the North Sea

Source: WORLD infographic

Also because of the darkness – on the only four kilometers wide and 16 kilometers long island nothing disturbs the view of the night firmament. The few lanterns in the village and two lighthouses – these are the only artificial light sources.

Only a handful of residents live in the postcard-beautiful island village. The feeling of being far away from the rest of the world is therefore particularly intense on Schiermonnikoog. There is always a place on the island where you can be completely on your own. Only nature and the sea. And the sky above, which is most beautiful at night.

It is a 20 minute walk from the village to the beach, first through the heath, then through a pine grove – and the sea spreads out before you, dark and unfathomable. A ghostly atmosphere, also because long-eared owl and nightingale call and the surf rumbles.

There is more to see from the sky than from the dark water, such as the constellation of the big car. There is orientation, the five-fold extension of the rear axis leads to the Polarstern. It is one of the brightest stars in the sky and is located exactly on the north.

Netherlands: The island of Schiermonnikoog should definitely be explored at night

The Dutch island of Schiermonnikoog should definitely be explored at night

Source: Getty Images

A bright band spans up there: the Milky Way. The stars sparkle like diamonds on the velvet black. Depending on the season, Venus can also be recognized; sometimes it is the evening star for months, sometimes it announces the coming morning. Jupiter and Saturn are in the Sagittarius constellation. In spring the lion sneaks up as its constellation.

More and more stars can be seen – in the deep darkness you almost have the feeling of being drawn into space. And sometimes even a falling star makes its way through the loneliness of the universe and ensures an unforgettable goosebumps moment in the lonely loneliness on the beach of Schiermonnikoog (vvvschiermonnikoog.de).

Helgoland: the home of the gray seal

As soon as the small ferry has left Helgoland, it is already docking across the dune. The little sister island with its snow-white beach and the holiday village is a bathing paradise and at the same time the nursery for Germany’s largest predator – the gray seal.

531 cubs were born on dune in 2019. The population has grown significantly in recent years, and Helgoland’s neighboring island has developed into a hotspot for seal fans from home and abroad.

Researchers have been waiting for these gray seal recordings for almost 20 years

British researcher Ben Burville has been trying to capture these gray seals with the camera for almost twenty years. Now he has finally managed to record the surprising breeding behavior of the animals.

In the summer, several hundred animals sometimes hunt for fish in the waters around Helgoland, often taking a break on the beach of their native island. Nowhere else on the North Sea can you see the seals better.

However, a safety distance of at least 30 meters must be maintained on the dune – the sluggish-looking animals can come out of cover at up to 20 kilometers an hour if they feel threatened. And they do it without fear!

Helgoland is one of the best places on the North Sea to spot gray seals

Helgoland is one of the best places on the North Sea to spot gray seals

Credit: picture alliance / imageBROKER

If you want to be on the safe side, you’d better take a guided tour. From a specially created panorama path there are always views of the sea – and with a little luck you can see hairy snouts emerging from the waves.

They are not always seals, they can also be seals. They don’t use Helgoland as a nursery, but they also love trips to the island to do the same thing as human visitors: enjoy sunbathing (helgoland.de).

St. Peter-Ording: sailing on sand

How about braking? The beach sailors are fast and have foot pedals as a steering wheel, but no brake pedal. Several such three-wheeled speedsters with sails whiz across the beach of St. Peter-Ording. A steady wind blows on the mile-long sand ridge and inflates the sails.

“The beach here is particularly well suited,” says Sven Harder from the Nordsport beach sailing school. It offers beginner courses on one of the largest beaches in the North Sea. “Beach sailors have a lot of space, hard sand and mostly good wind.”

Wind strengths between 3 and 6 are ideal, Harder adds, because it is a wonderful way to escape everyday stress. If you know how to slow down the speedsters, you would like to add.

The course starts with some theory, the evasive rules, flag signals, safety instructions and the fitting of the helmet. It is particularly important because just below the head, the lower, horizontal rod on which the sail sits is swinging back and forth.

And how do you get going at all? “With a line, which we call sheet, you let the sail loose or pull it on,” says Harder. “The sheet serves as an accelerator pedal, so to speak. If you pull the sheet closer, the sand sailer accelerates. If you loosen the sheet, you take the speed out again and thus determine the pace. “

North Sea: You can learn to sail on the beach of St. Peter-Ording

Fast as the wind: you can learn to sail on the beach in St. Peter-Ording

Credit: picture-alliance / dpa / dpaweb

And brake? “You let the sheet as loose as possible, but not let go! You steer against the wind and take the car’s drive. ”

Dealing with the beach sailors seems child’s play. Feel, think, do – and the box is already running. The course participants will soon race on the solid sand of St. Peter-Ording.

Even beginners can get going quickly, soon reaching speeds of 50 and more. And apparently the beach sailors were careful during the training, because everyone manages to brake without an accident. Without a brake pedal (st-peter-ording.de).

England: castles with a view of the North Sea

You can literally hear the blades knocking together and screams of rough pictures of men echoing through the walls – only in spirit, of course, because it was more than 1200 years ago that native Celts and invading Vikings crossed their blades here in what is now Northumberland County.

The defiant castles, many of which are found in this part of the English and Scottish North Sea coast, inspire visitors’ imaginations. They are silent witnesses to an eventful history – and a wonderful backdrop for a walk on the beach.

One of the most beautiful North Sea beaches in the UK is in front of Bamburgh Castle. The castle itself is now a place for cultural events, you can visit it, walk in the footsteps of legends and legends.

England: Visitors can also stay at Bamburgh Castle on the North Sea coast

Visitors can also stay at Bamburgh Castle on England’s coast

Credit: picture alliance / Loop Images

And you can live here: From a room in the Neville Tower, on clear days, the view stretches across to Holy Island to the Farne Islands. With binoculars you can see seals and dolphins, sometimes even whales.

The late light paints the huge castle in scene and lets the walls light up like brass, the clouds in the sky are the color of mallow, the surf shimmers silvery and light gray.

The beach is clean and beautiful, the castle owners and the nature conservation organization Natural England are under the supervision. Bamburgh Beach is wide, ideal for long hikes; the water is too cold for bathing.

Surfers in their wetsuits are better off, they appreciate the wind-blown coast, to which constantly passable waves roll. Those who love lonely walks will get their money’s worth here, and everywhere you can enjoy an unobstructed view of the sea and the beach, the drama of the landscape and sky.

But you can also just sit in the slipstream of the dunes and watch birds for hours. Or you can practice as a lord – and build a sand castle in the form of Bamburgh Castle (visitnorthumberland.com).

also read

The author as an eight year old in 1968 on a roof terrace in Wenningstedt

also read

The North Frisian Wadden Sea: Blue Ort sand on the right front, Blauort on the far right

Vacationers come back to a new normal

Much is no longer what it was before the Corona crisis. And that will probably stay that way for a while. Holiday resorts on the Baltic Sea prepare for visitors with strict rules.

Source: WELT / Marcus Tychsen

This text is from WELT AM SONNTAG. We are happy to deliver them to your home regularly.

Packshot_WamS_halbeSeite_17.05

Source: WELT AM SONNTAG

.