A Trip Up North

My latest posts have been about travelling and I can already tell you that the next few posts will be about travelling, too. I am getting around quite a bit these days. That is simply because I told myself that I want to make the most out of my (probably) final semester as a student. So no more unnecessary talk, I will cut right to the chase.

Germans love to go on vacation in Germany. Any why not? It is a beautiful country, with rich history and different landscapes. I have been to all larger cities and corners of Germany, I even lived and studied in the east for three years – but I have never been up north. As a lover of the sea, it is a disgrace to admit that I had my first visit to the German shores only a week ago. To be precise: I visited the North Sea.

A very historical place at the North Sea is Wilhelmshaven. It used to be the first German naval port, from which already during World War I many ships were sent into battle. The city is most likely named after Kaiser Wilhelm I., the German Emperor (although I couldn’t find it stated anywhere, but that’s what I’ve been told).

 

Typical North Sea booths.
Typical North Sea booths.

 

Swans on the Banter Lake in Wilhelmshaven.
Swans on the Banter Lake in Wilhelmshaven.

 

Old Warship.
Old Warship.

 

On another day I took the ferry with my best friend and travelled to the island of Spiekeroog (I love boat tours!). It is one of the East Frisian Islands and has just about 780 inhabitants. So it is like an island village. The whole island is super-cute, I felt like I was in a theme park when I arrived there. There were all these small cafés and little restaurants, offering local specialties and other delicious foods. We loved it so much that my best friend and me ended up sipping East Frisian tea and eating waffles for hours.

There are only two ferries per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. In spite of the tourists there (including me) the atmosphere is very cozy. That is probably because cars aren’t allowed and everything can be done in walking distance, since the island is so small. The entire island of Spiekeroog is UNESCO World Heritage. What actually stunned me was the Wadden Sea and the low tide. I have never seen something like that before…

Arrival in Spiekeroog.
Arrival in Spiekeroog.

 

No cars allowed.
No cars allowed.

 

On the way to the other side of the island.
On the way to the other side of the island.

 

The typical dune landscape.
The typical dune landscape.

 

Low tide.
Low tide.

 

I don't know how the Sri Lankan flag landed up here.
I don’t know how the Sri Lankan flag landed up here.

 

Sipping on East Frisian tea.
Sipping East Frisian tea.

 

Landscape near the ferry harbor.
Landscape near the ferry harbor.

 

Goodbye Spiekeroog.
Goodbye Spiekeroog.

 

IMG_4483

As for the local food in the north, of course it was plenty of fish. I challenged myself and tried this creepy-looking local specialty called Bismarckhering:

Bismarckhering.
Challenge accepted.

The fish is pickled in vinegar, oil, mustard seeds, onions and bay leaves. It tasted sour with a sweet note. Conclusion: Edible, but one per day is definitely enough.

In spite of visiting Spiekeroog and Wilhelmshaven, we also travelled to Oldenburg, one of the larger cities in the north and went for long walks/hiking trips (Germans love this). It was my first time at the North Sea and I loved it! It was a welcome break from my very busy last semester as an MA student. A big shout out goes to the family of my best friend, who hosted me in their holiday home and made sure I was comfortable.

I can recommend travelling all the way up north, it is totally worth it, especially for nature lovers. Now it is only the Baltic Sea left on my checklist before I have seen all of Germany. I hope I can accomplish this, too, one day. Until then, stay tuned for my next articles, there are some exciting days ahead! In the meantime you can follow me on Instagram: lady_smee, where I post regularly from my adventures.

Travel safely!

x.

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