Eva and Suzi Head for the North Sea Islands
Posted on August 5, 2014
After one last champagne breakfast, July 2, 2014 saw Suzi and me on the train again. We were beginning our North Sea adventure. Husum, a delightful town which became an instant harbor town in 1362 when a huge flood submerged large parts of the coast, was our first destination. It is the capital of North Frisia, and the proud Frisians still speak their language (but also German, the northern language Plattdeutsch, and often Danish, too). We were delighted to find ourselves back in the Land of Moin. “Moin” is the standard greeting used by natives and tourists alike. It can be spoken all day long and is often doubled up, as in “moin, moin”.
This was our first visit to Husum, and we were both enchanted by it. Narrow, winding streets with old fishermen’s cottages and lovely flowers, a picturesque harbor with many restaurants and taverns, a charming downtown, even an old castle surrounded by a large park– it was such a walkable town we just wanted to stroll all day long.
I had booked a room in a very fine hotel for us, my big splurge on this trip. And we enjoyed it to the hilt — especially the breakfast! Our little hotel with the big breakfast in Lübeck had serious competition here. Yes, you’ll have to look at another breakfast picture, I just couldn’t help myself.
We only had two nights in Husum, but there was no way we could leave without having a Spaghetti Eis. At one point we stepped into an ice cream shop at the harbor, just to look at the fabulous display. A waiter prepared something intriguing. He put three scoops of vanilla ice cream into a device, squeezed it, and out came spaghetti-looking strands of ice cream. That became the base. Then came either strawberry or raspberry sauce (tomato sauce), and the creation was topped with grated white chocolate (Parmesan cheese!). Voila, Spaghetti Eis!
We were picked up by Mr. and Mrs. Ingwersen, our hosts for the next couple of days, at the hotel. They drove us to their home, the Peterswarft, part of which became our home, too. On the way they stopped at a store so we could purchase anything we needed for the kitchen of our vacation rental. After 30 or more minutes, we arrived at their 300-year-old thatched-roof farmhouse. This was our first acquaintance with a Warft — man-made mounds people figured out hundreds of years ago would be perfect for building their houses on, so in case of heavy floods they would be safe.
The first evening we went for a walk. Just wanted to explore the neighborhood. Before we knew it, we had reached the dike, and we got our first glimpse of the North Sea, or Wattenmeer (Wadden Sea). This is a very special region: A large area stretching from the Netherlands to Denmark is preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are a number of islands dotting the coastline, from small ones where seals and birds are the only inhabitants, to larger ones extremely popular as summer playgrounds for humans. The tides are very strong here, and a great way to experience them is to walk way out during low tide. More about that in a future post.
We spent two or three hours that evening walking along the dike. It was a very warm evening. Sheep were grazing all around us, but these three had settled down and weren’t about to budge. We had to walk around them.
The picturesque houses, with their thatched roofs and typical Northern German brick construction, built behind the dikes, were a constant reason to pull out our cameras.
We ate dinner in the Strandkorb that night at 10 pm. And the sun was still up.
What a splendid ending to the day!