24 hours in HAMBURG

Hamburg is home to Europe’s third-largest harbor. This might give travellers – like for instance cruise ship passengers – the opportunity to explore the city on a layover. For them, I’ve put together a perfect itinerary for up to 24 hours in Hamburg.

Port of Hamburg
The iconic Landungsbrücken, Hamburg’s piers.

This very popular category on my blog is designated to transform a layover into a short extra vacation.

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ISLAND HOPPING in GERMANY

While international tourism to Germany is increasing, visitors rather stick to the clichés like beer and Lederhosen at Munich and a cruise on the river Mosel; or they hang out at the hip capital Berlin – instead of enjoying Island Hopping in Germany.

I guess that’s the reason why many people think Germany is landlocked. They don’t think about long coasts, two seas, and about 80 islands.

Hooded wicker chairs on the beach of Borkum West of East Frisia
The Strandkorb’s hood can be left in the upright position or reclined so that the sunbathers lay in the sun. The footrest can also be used as a storage space and to the sides are small wooden fold-out tables large enough for your drink and a book or magazine. It definitely is the perfect beach furniture.

However, that’s exactly what Germany’s north has to offer – and many fascinating phenomenons like the tideland that comes with it. As a matter of fact, Germany’s shoreline is longer than the Portuguese one.

So what are you waiting for? Join me on my island hopping…in Germany!

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Guide to POTSDAM – how Frederick made a small town great

This is a guide to Potsdam, a small town that Frederick II made great.

Sanssouci palace in Potsdam, the great small town, introduced in this guide
Sanssouci Palace is Potsdam’s highlight, no matter what.

Although it sounds like a cute, drowsy hamlet, everyone is amazed by its rich cultural and political heritage.

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CUXHAVEN – walking on water

“The sun reflects strongly off the puddles, so don’t forget to put sun protection on your knee pits”, orders Ute pointing at my bare legs as we start walking on water off the shores of Cuxhaven.

Crossing the mudflat from Cuxhaven to the Neuwerk island.
Crossing the mudflat from Cuxhaven to the Neuwerk island. About twelve kilometers laid ahead of us.

I already did, but under her strict eyes, I repeatedly do as I am told. I do everything Ute marshals: The next four hours, she will guide me together with about two dozens other hikers into the tideland off the shore in Cuxhaven. My life will depend on her knowledge and sense of orientation.

We will be sort of walking on water – so I better listen to my leader.

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24 hours in FRANKFURT

Frankfurt is Germany’s busiest international airport. This might give travellers the opportunity to explore the city on a layover. Therefore, I’ve put together a perfect itinerary for up to 24 hours in Frankfurt.

Skyline of Frankfurt, seen during 24 hours in Frankfurt
This might give you an idea of why Germany’s finance metropolis Frankfurt on Main is also called “Mainhattan”.

This special category on my blog is designated to transform a layover into a short extra-vacation.

Frankfurt has 730,000 inhabitants and is Germany’s fifth-largest city. The financial center is located in the federal country of Hesse, and its Airport is Germany’s aviation hub. Many parks and the long promenades along the river Main as well as a large number of fantastic museums and galleries make it a pleasant destination to be explored on a day trip or for a couple of hours during a layover.

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The Island of BORKUM – West of East Frisia

Borkum – all the way in the West of East Frisia – is the last stop of my tour of German islands.
I’ve taken you with me from the former easternmost isle in the Baltic across the north sea to the Dutch border – where we’ll spend a couple of carefree summer days on Borkum.

Beach on the Island of Borkum West of East Frisia
Doesn’t this beach with the colorful chairs and cabanas just look like the perfect summer destination?!

The island of Borkum is one of the seven East Frisian Islands off the coast of Eastern Friesland. It is not only the largest, but also the westernmost one. Therefore, it’s geographically actually closer to the Netherlands than to the German mainland.

The island is located between the Westerems strait and the Osterems straits respectively between the North Sea and the Wadden Sea to the south which grants some fascinating and unique features.

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The Island of NEUWERK – where the way is the goal

“So, by which ferry did you get here?” asks the chubby little lady and her accent gives her away as Southern German. “Well, I came here walking”, I beam at her, still thrilled by my hike from the mainland to the island of Neuwerk.

Hike on tideland from Cuxhaven to Neuwerk
To Neuwerk – this way! You cannot blame people if they don’t believe that you came to an island walking.  

The lady looks over the rough sea where the huge waves are rolling towards the shores of Cuxhaven. She frowns and shakes her head and is, obviously, thinking I’m trying to tell her a cock and bull story.

Little does she know: Visiting the island of Neuwerk, the way is the goal; definitely.

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The Island of HELIGOLAND – soft spot with rough edges

A trip to the island of Heligoland is always a good idea. On just one square kilometer, it unites soft sand dunes and rough cliffs. It adds tax-free shopping to natural wonders like frolicking seals and jumping guillemots.

Gray Seal
Gray Seal on the island of Helgoland in Germany

Heligoland is a tiny archipelago that long ago used to be Danish and British. But, actually, it is as German as can be since the poet Von Fallersleben wrote the National Anthem during his stay on the island in 1841.

However, visiting Heligoland today, either on a day trip or for a longer stay, it is almost impossible to imagine that at the end of  WWII, Germany’s supposedly only deepsea island was completely bombed out. For then long years, it was even uninhabitable.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, today, Heligoland is one of Germany’s most popular island when it comes to a couple of relaxing days in a secluded spot.

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