Blogs from Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, Europe


Anne lived with us in Seattle for a year, 2011-12, attended Highline High School as a member of the senior class, and got to walk in the commencement ceremony at the end of the school year. Of course our entire noisy mob of a family attended commencement and did our best to embarrass our kid at it, as loving families must do. When she came home to Hamburg, she still had two years of Gymnasiumahead of her: not university, not high school, not quite but probably closest to what American students do at community college when they're planning to transfer to a four-year university to complete a Bachelor's degree later. Anne told us Gymnasium has nothing like the American high school graduation ceremony, and she wasn't wrong, but she didn't entirely give us the complete picture ... read more
Anne's school
Anne arrives

Today was a rest day. We had breakfast and lounged about the living room blogging and facebooking, and then Barb and Ulf and I walked to the grocery store to get things and supplies, which required me to get dressed. When we got back, Andrea's parents, Arnold and Doris (aka Oma und Opa) had arrived from Ettlingen. After introductions were made (wherein I gave a somewhat butchered version of "Pleased to meet you" auf Deutsch), a demand was made for Oma's punch, so Andrea and her mom went to the store again for more things and supplies. Pretty soon, it was time to depart for Anne's school where she would receive her Abiturzeugnis (loosely, a diploma; think of it as her graduation; it's different, though, so go read the wikipedia article if you want to know ... read more

Europe » Germany » Schleswig-Holstein » Lübeck July 3rd 2014

Today we made a day trip to a city I'd been wanting for years to see, Hansestadt Lübeck, northeast of Hamburg on the Baltic Sea. Whereas Hamburg's medieval center was thoroughly destroyed—though Hamburg was firebombed in some of the worst destruction to be dealt by the Allies in WWII, its medieval center had been lost a decade before, to a great city fire in 1842—Lübeck's was damaged but preserved and restored. This makes Lübeck also fairly touristy, the result being medieval brick façades oddly interspersed with shopping mall boulevards. The train ride to Lübeck was interesting, passing through scenic farmland that it's hard to imagine can exist in a country so densely populated, but i... read more
Memorial bells
Hospital stalls

Europe » Germany » Schleswig-Holstein » Lubeck July 3rd 2014

Today we ventured out to Lübeck, which is about an hour northeast of Hamburg by train. Lübeck still has its medieval center, ringed by a canal and two of its four gates still standing and in use. We made our way to Hamburg's Hauptbahnhof (main train station) via two buses and the S-bahn, which is akin to our light rail, although not so light and much more heavily used. After getting some cash from the Bankomat, we were able to purchase Fahrkarten for the train from the machines, which only took cash or something called a "Eurocard", which we did not have. I also had the privilege of paying 2 Euro to use the Pissoir, which is exactly what it looks like and actually what they call it. Luckily, we got word from Andrea that she ... read more
Holstentor from Afar
Holstentor from Afar, with Tiny Beethoven

After 15 months of business travel that turned my and our family's life upside-down, I've wrapped up my international client engagement and we're celebrating with a 3.5-week family vacation to reconnect with our loved ones in Deutschland. This week, we're all together in Schenefeld, outside Hamburg, to see Anne, Lars, Andrea, and Ulf, our German family. Truly they're enough like our siblings that it's just easier to describe them that way, except Anne was our daughter for a year, so "niece" doesn't quite cut it, but whatever, family. :) Tuesday, our arrival night, was a comedy of drowsy. Greg and I got in about noon from Amsterdam and were whisked away in a taxi by Ulf and Laura, who arrived here last week. A couple of hours later, Barb and Joe arrived from Reykjavik and were ... read more
View from Finkenwerder ferry dock
Ulf an der Elbe
Hamburg skyline


Europe » Germany » Schleswig-Holstein » Lübeck June 4th 2014

The town of Heiligenhafen is very close to the marina and is an old fishing town that has remade itself into a tourist destination. We arrived on the weekend and found the marina to be very active. Our short walk into town took us to the center of town where there was an open town square with a recently used Maypole and several restaurants with tables and umbrellas outside. We had dinner in one and once again Janice’s German proved to be very useful. We have noticed that there are few English speakers in Germany which surprised us when in tourist areas. We took a walk after dinner and found the town to be very pleasant with several older buildings which obviously had been carefully renovated. Several of the streets had open shops with large amounts ... read more
Decorative Details Created All With Brick
One of Many of the More Traditional Sailing Vessels
Agricultural Fields Seen

Europe » Germany » Schleswig-Holstein » Kiel May 31st 2014

We dropped our lines at the Helgoland Marina on May 26that 6AM with beautiful clear skies and great 12-15 knot winds and headed to mainland Germany. We had a lovely sail and entered the Elbe River about 9AM heading in with a few others. We timed it so we had the current with us and were able to pick up a good 2 knots. Due to the large amount of ship traffic here you must call in on the VHF to let them know your intentions. It was agreed that we should travel up the North side of the river and cross to the South side where Cuxhaven is when the traffic is clear. They have a clearly marked channel for pleasure craft which we travel in separate from the “big boys”. With lots of traffic ... read more
Timing Our Crossing of the River Elbe
This One Gave Us Quite a Wake
The Resort Portion of Cuxhaven

Europe » Germany » Schleswig-Holstein » Heligoland May 25th 2014

Our original plan was to do short day hops up through the various Frisian Islands of the Netherlands and Germany, but once we studied the tides and currents in this area we decided it would be better to just bite the bullet and do an overnight passage to Helgoland. This worked out very well as we left Vlieland just after noon on May 24th and by 11:30AM on May 25thwe were checking into Helgoland, an island 70 km ( 44 miles) off the coast of Germany. It is far enough out to sea that it is actually a duty free island. We had a very nice sail as the wind was in the right direction and it was easy navigation paralleling the ship traffic. The day was overcast but we were moving well at about 8 ... read more
A Few of the Boats in the Marina
One of the Classic Vintage Yachts
Another Classic Used as a Ferry

Europe » Germany » Schleswig-Holstein » Heligoland May 25th 2014

Sorry the slide show didn't get uploaded , so figured it would now be easier to just post the photos normally. Just for your information we are now in the Baltic and will try to update you shortly on our travel through the Kiel Canal and into the Baltic!... read more
Enjoying the Cloud Formations
The Islands Here Are Very Flat
Fortunately These Travel In Their Own Shipping Lanes

St. Peter-Ording, 20. Mai 2014 St. Peter-Ording ist ein bekannter Badeort. Im Moment laden die Wassertemperaturen aber höchstens zum sonnenbaden ein. Der Strand ist etwa 12 Kilometer lang und bis zu 2 Kilometer breit. Entsprechend weit muss man bis zum Wasser laufen. Vor unserem Campingplatz am Strand steht die „Seekiste“ ein Restaurant auf Stelzen, was auch nötig ist denn bei Sturmflut steigt der Meersspiegel fast bis zum Gebäude hoch. Entsprechende Markierungen, wie hoch das Wasser schon stand sind auf einer Stelze beim Aufgang angebracht. Man muss etwa einen Kilometer vom Deich bis zum Restaurant laufen. Am Abend gingen wir dorthin zum essen, natürlich wieder fangfrischen Fisch. Heute machten wir einen Spaziergang (ca. 18 Kilometer) von unserem Campingplatz aus bis ans Ende der Sandbank nach St. Peter-Ording Bad. Der Weg führte meist auf dem Deichkamm entlang. Auf ... read more
100jähriger Leuchtturm
St. Peter-Ording Dorf
In dem hübschen Restaurant sind wir einmal eingekehrt

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