When you think of Germany, you don’t necessarily think of “beach holiday” but anyone who has been to Sylt can you tell you that the german island surprisingly has a lot to offer beach goers.
Christian and I were staying with friends in Hamburg when they offered to lend us their old volkswagon T3 to drive up to the coast. The temperatures were soaring and I wanted more than anything to be by the ocean so we took them up on that offer and headed to the North Sea.
We felt pretty cool driving along the roads in our old volkswagen van-waving to fellow VW vans as they passed by. Unfortunately the radio wasn’t working, leaving us with one cd to listen to the whole way ( a 60’s themed burnt cd that was left in the car).
Sunny- Marvin Gaye : It is fair to say that we know every word to this song now inside and out.
We drove until we reached the northernmost state of Germany-Schleswig-Holstein. From there we parked the van close to the train station and then took the 10 minute train ride across the Hindenburgdamm (an 11 km causeway joining the mainland to the island of Sylt).
Sylt is known for its unique shape and shoreline ( although the land is constantly shifting due to storm tides over time). It is a part of the Frisian Islands- stretching from the Netherlands and Germany to Denmark- and it offers well up to 40km of white sandy beaches. It is known to be the “Hamptons” of Germany with many events and celebrity sightings there.
We got off the train and explored the main centre, known as ‘Westerland’. The town was bustling with many tourists shopping and walking the streets. As we arrived late in the afternoon I was anxious to see the ocean, so we hurried along to the beach.
The sandy beaches stretched out for miles and I could see the traditional basket chairs (or “strandkorb” ) sprawled out everywhere. Apparently these basket chairs are unique to the region, with people spending a few hundred euros to buy them for their homes.
Christian and I found an empty strandkorb and sat down just in time to watch the sunset. After spending the last few months landlocked, it felt amazing to be in front of the ocean again.
Shortly after, we headed to the famous seafood restaurant ‘Gosch’ and ordered dinner and drinks. We ordered the seafood platter which consisted of scallops, prawns and grilled halibut. We drank wine and talked about the beauty of the island as well as our love for the ocean.
After dinner we headed to the Irish Pub (originally titled ‘ Irish Pub Sylt’) and continued on with the drinks. The drinks kept rolling in, so not much more can be said about our night other than it consisted of interesting conversation and a bunch of laughs with strangers.
We took the late-night train back to the mainland and stumbled to our camper van. It was not the most ideal location ( parked beside a warehouse) but after some drinks we were just happy to have a place to crash.
The next morning was rough, to say the least, but we had to make our way back to Hamburg. As we made our way south we shared some laughs as we talked about our “wild” night out in Sylt. We had such a good time and hoped that next time we could have a longer visit. Overall it was a memorable trip, and we speak often of going back.
For anyone visiting Germany I highly suggest making a trip out to Sylt ( at least in the summer months) and experiencing the beauty that is the North Sea.