I am just back from an one week trip to the german Isle Sylt. Arriving on Sylt feels like coming home for me as I spent a lot of time there and lived there for a while. Especially in autumn, it is really beautiful and I enjoyed the time with good friends a lot.
Exactly one year has passed, since I have been on Süderoogsand in the Wadden Sea. Thanks to a friend, I had the possibility to visit this lonesome place in the German Wadden Sea. It belongs to the most protected parts of the National Park (you are not allowed to go there without permission).
We went there to count the birds – the waders that migrate from Siberia to Africa and rest to refill their reserves in the Wadden Sea. The mud is full of small animals: there can be up to 20.000 individuals of laver spire shells on one square meter – an important food ressource for the birds. Thanks to this, the area is one of the most important resting sites for many of the waders from Western Siberia to Greenland.
Counting birds is a real adventure on Süderoogsand. We startet with sunrise, early in the morning. You have to walk 6 km, past Holm Süderoog, then 6 km to the Süderoogsand, 12 km on Süderoogsand to count the birds and then 6 km back to Süderoog. About 30 km in the mud, with more then 20 kg in the backpack. You have to be fast, otherwise, the sea will catch you.
But when you are out there in the wadden sea, there is silence! Only the sun, the sea, the mud, the birds, some seals – nothing else. This area is one of the most impressive and originally parts of Germany. It is just – beautiful. Fortunately, the Wadden Sea is a national park and we can hope, that it stays like this for many more years.
In October, I visited the small isle Neuwerk for the second time. This small isle has it’s own character – it reminds me slightly of the holms in Nordfriesland. The ‘Verein Jordsand‘ takes care of the refuges of the Isle. This association offers guided tours – realised by the young employees.
This year, I spent Christmas with friends in the lighthouse in Westerhever in northern Germany (click here to see the exact position).
We had much rain and storm but thanks to this, also three days with extreme flooding causing the little dwelling mound to be completely surrounded by the sea. The water was extremely cold, so photographing the flood was no real fun.
By accident, we had a very pleasing encounter with Martin Stock – one of the best known photographers in the Wadden Sea. Visit his website to see some of his great photos. It was nice to met you Martin!
Flare of the lighthouse at night
Storm flood at Westerhever
The lighthouse in Westerhever at night. I drew the connecting lines into the photo that you’re able to recognize the different constellations.
Thailand, USA, Australia, New Zealand… some typical holiday destinations for many people. It is hip to go there, to be able to talk with the others who have been there. Reasons to visit these countries are often the amazing landscape and nature. At the same time, few people are aware of the beautiful wilderness in Europe, of the breathtaking landscapes, of the very special animals and the beautiful flowers.
For this reason, I thought about a project for a long time: I want to show this beauty, to make people aware, that it is not really necessary to travel always that far. To show that the beautiful places are right in front of our door or not far away. And to show, what we lost already and what we will loose, if we proceed in our way of life.
Within the scope of this project, I will present different areas in Europe, special animals or plants or just special places. I already started with some posts – and I will proceed.
Maybe, you get inspired by these places and next time, it is not Vietnam but the Balkan you travel to!