The beach at Wyk I
Wattenmeer (Wadden Sea, mud flats) at low tide.
The day after returning from Berlin Belinda and I headed off to the island of Föhr. By car it takes about three hours to get to the town of Dagebüll where the ferry departs from. We had decided not to take the car to the island because it would have been very expensive, so we parked the car at a large parking and caught the shuttle bus to the ferry terminal. We were so early that we still had enough time to have a quick lunch with some real Northern German beer: Flensburger, one of my favourites.
The ferry ride took about an hour and we arrived on the island in the kind of weather that is so characteristic of the area: The sky was grey, it was very windy, and from time to time it was drizzling a little bit. It is a very rough climate, but somehow I love it, the air is always fresh and clean and the atmosphere is wild and rough.
We stepped off the ferry in the village of Wyk, the largest, but not the prettiest village on the island. For this reason we had booked a bed and breakfast in the village
The beach at Wyk II
Strong wind, ideal for kite flying.
of Nieblum, a picture book village with thatched roofs and brick houses. The island is, compared to its “sister island” Amrum, rather large, and Nieblum is some six kilometres from Wyk, so we caught the bus. There are only two bus lines on the island. Both run in big loops; one goes clockwise, the other one goes counter-clockwise. We took the one that goes the long way round since they run only once every hour, and the direction alternates. When our ferry arrived it was time for the counter-clockwise loop, and the beauty of this was that we got a nice impression of the island right away.
Some forty minutes later we arrived in Nieblum and checked into our most lovely bed and breakfast. It was in a brick building with a thatched roof and the owner had furnished and decorated the interior with a lot of attention to detail. We felt at home right away. It was too cold and wet to sit on the little terrace we had in front of our room, so we decided to dress in warm clothes and go for a walk. As I mentioned before Nieblum is really pretty with all the
The beach at Wyk III
Low tide, lots of animals residing in the sand.
houses that are so characteristic of the region, with lines of trees on both sides of the main road, and with nicely kept little gardens in front of many houses. There are a lot of shops, the typical souvenir shops for tourists, but also quite a few art galleries, clothes shops, and other stores that sell nice local goods. Trying to find a place to have dinner turned out to be a challenge. The first three restaurants we went to were fully booked, one of them even a few days in advance, and finally, in the fourth restaurant, we got pretty much the last small table they had available. It reminded me a little bit of the unpleasant experience on the island of Rügen a few weeks before. Too many tourists, which makes it hard to be spontaneous. Anyway, we were happy we had our table and felt sorry for all the people that walked in after us and were sent away again.
The next morning we had a most lovely breakfast at our B&B. The weather was chilly but dry, with quite a strong breeze and grey skies. We went for a little hike through meadows and the
... on the way from Wyk to Nieblum along the shore.
woods to Wyk. When we arrived there we had a coffee at a café near on the beach and sat down in a beach basket. A beach basket (Strandkorb in German) is a bench that has walls in its back and on its two sides, a roof, and a footrest. The idea is that it protects you from the wind while you are sitting at the beach comfortably. The cushioned bench, backrest, and leg rest are usually striped in red and white or blue and white.
Later we participated in a guided tour along the beach. A young lady who was currently spending a year on the island as a volunteer explained the “Watt” to us, so the area of the beach that is sometimes flooded and sometimes dry, depending on the tides. The Watt is unique and it is UNESCO World Nature Heritage, and it is absolutely amazing to learn more about the fauna and flora.
We had lunch at a pancake restaurant and then went to the small local museum to learn a little bit about the island’s history and geography. The first settlers got there during the last ice age, when sea level was a
The church at Nieblum
... surrounded by a cemetery.
lot lower and when the island was still connected to the mainland. There has always been farming, and of course shipping and fishing became more and more important. Nowadays tourism is the main source of income for the island. And I can fully understand that there are a lot of people who come to the island, it is just beautiful. We walked back to Nieblum on a boardwalk along the beach, straight into sunset, with the view of the island of Amrum. The light and colours were simply magic.
We arrived back in Nieblum when it was almost dark and took a little rest before heading out for dinner. This time we had made a reservation and had nice food not far from our B&B.
Friday was a dry but very stormy day. We left the B&B early and caught the bus back to Wyk, this time going clockwise, which meant that we were going the long way round again. Once more it was nice to see the other villages, all of them have their own atmosphere and all of them are charming in a way. We took a long walk through Wyk before catching the ferry back
The cemetery at Nieblum
... with thatched houses in the background.
to the mainland. We did not want to leave the island too late because we had tickets for the opera in Hamburg. It had been a wonderful short trip to a beautiful island though. I just love the North Sea and its rough climate!
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