Image default

Rügen and Sylt: A declaration of love to two German islands

Baltic Sea Rügen and Sylt

Declaration of love to two German islands

On Rügen, Germany’s largest and sunniest island, nature plays the leading role. In contrast, Sylt not only has to assert itself against storms, but also against many a cliché. But that can’t harm the love for the North Sea island.

Baltic Sea: Rügen has almost 600 kilometers of coastline with long sandy beaches Baltic Sea: Rügen has almost 600 kilometers of coastline with long sandy beaches

Rügen has almost 600 kilometers of coastline with long sandy beaches

Source: Getty Images/Westend61

You can listen to our WELT podcasts here

In order to display embedded content, your revocable consent to the transmission and processing of personal data is required, since the providers of the embedded content as third-party providers require this consent [In diesem Zusammenhang können auch Nutzungsprofile (u.a. auf Basis von Cookie-IDs) gebildet und angereichert werden, auch außerhalb des EWR]. By setting the switch to “on”, you agree to this (which can be revoked at any time). This also includes your consent to the transfer of certain personal data to third countries, including the USA, in accordance with Art. 49 (1) (a) GDPR. You can find more information about this. You can withdraw your consent at any time via the switch and via privacy at the bottom of the page.

Rügen: Germany’s largest island is a natural paradise

Zur herring season in spring, they flock to the island. Visitors love the nutritious fish. They devour the seafood specialty with relish – and then let their round bodies shine in the first warming rays of the sun. No, we’re not talking about human fish lovers in beach chairs, of course there are those too. Baltic herring in a bun, pickled sweet and sour or Müllerin-style, there is a wide range on Germany’s most beautiful island.

But animal tourists also land on Rügen, such as the Scandinavian gray seal. Until a few years ago it was considered to be extinct in the region, but now it is swimming happily off the coast again and feasting on the silvery little fish.

Nature plays first fiddle on the island of Rügen, it has always been like that. And that’s how romantic artists like Caspar David Friedrich immortalized it in their paintings: landscapes of magical beauty, balm for the souls of stressed city dwellers looking for relaxation. Just close your eyes and listen to the rustling of the trees. Listen to the call of the cranes. At dusk the cicadas chirp, the frogs croak, and at night the little owl lures.

The symphony of nature is perfect, you can listen to it anew every day on Rügen. And because pure enthusiasm means nothing without the corresponding figures, here you go: Rügen is Germany’s largest island. It has almost 600 kilometers of coastline, including endless sandy beaches and chalk cliffs. The steep coast in the Jasmund National Park is 60 million years old, the adjacent beech forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the largest contiguous forest of this kind in Europe.

Two thirds of the island are under nature protection. The picturesque Bodden landscape is also a habitat for countless animal and plant species. Unfortunately, this paradise is also under threat: investors, big farmers, environmentalists – they are all gnawing at the substance of the island. It’s quite simple: Rügen is the pearl of the Baltic Sea, and it’s our job to preserve and protect it. By Jenny Hoch

The documentary film “Rügen – Weiß Felsen, Grüne Bäume” can be seen on TV on Thursday, July 6th at 8:55 p.m. on Arte.

Sylt: The island in the North Sea defies storms and clichés

No matter where, if you go west on Sylt, your feet will eventually get stuck in the fine sand. The beach stretches 40 kilometers from List in the north to Hörnum in the south. Continuous. Enough space for everyone. Do you need another argument for this island? Maybe that a stiff breeze blows your nose in plenty of healthy North Sea air.

The sea sprayed like a real sea. Storm, it says here, is only when the sheep have no more curls. The people have not lost their sense of humor, even when the wind and waves nibble at their narrow island so much that sand has been washed up on the west coast for decades at great expense.

Sylt and money, that’s a touchy subject. Because of real estate worth millions. Because the locals are migrating and it is difficult, if not impossible, to maintain workshops or volunteer fire brigades. The island has had the reputation of being a German Saint-Tropez since corporate heir and playboy Gunter Sachs chose Sylt as a party location in the late 1960s.

Even today there are chic and celebrity guests, sometimes a Düsseldorf Bentley rolls through Keitum or Kampen. So what? Everyone is the same in front of the car train, with which thousands of people rattle across the Hindenburgdamm every day towards their vacation. At the Niebüll loading station, luxury SUVs and trendy surfmobiles are piled up bumper to bumper.

Island fans who cycle through the dune landscape near List to the northernmost foothills of the island, the Ellenbogen with its lighthouses, don’t mind at all. Rather, that the wind always seems to come from the front. On the other hand, Friesian cake, crab rolls or the oyster platter want to be stamped with the Sylter Royal. That the mussel delicacy is a Pacific species laboriously cultivated on the mudflats: a gift!

Cosmopolitanism characterizes the nature of the islanders. As captains, they once sailed the oceans and built beautiful thatched houses at home. “Rüm hard – clear Kiming”, “broad heart – clear horizon” is the slogan fluttering on the Sylt flag today. And if your heart doesn’t open up here, you probably can’t be helped. By Oliver de Weert

The documentary “Sylt – Wellen, Wind und Watt” can be seen on TV on Thursday, July 6 at 8:15 p.m. on Arte.

The two texts are from the July issue of Arte magazine.

Related posts

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.