The Island of BORKUM – West of East Frisia

The tour of German islands is coming to an end. 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.

Island of Borkum Beach with Beach Chairs
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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24 hours in DUSSELDORF

As a matter of fact, it was not really surprising that on my way to Japan, I had a stopover in Düsseldorf. After all, it’s Germany’s third-largest airport – after Frankfurt and Munich. Also, Düsseldorf has the largest Japanese community in all of Germany.

The Greek god Triton at the northern end of the city moat in Dusseldorf.
The Greek god Triton at the northern end of the city moat. The sculpture was made in 1902 by Friedrich Coubillier.

The international airport is located only about 9 kilometers respectively 6 miles from the city center, so that it can be easily reached by public transport.

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BASEL and the Rehberger-Trail – time to wonder, time to wander

Visiting Basel, you’re not only seeing Switzerland’s third-largest city – after Zurich and Geneva. You also get to know lots of great art venues. And if you hike the Rehberger Trail, a route decorated with sculptures by German artist Tobias Rehberger, you can even cross the border to Germany walking.

Basel along the river Rhine.
Cozy little Basel in the heart of Europe. There are a couple of art venues and many interesting buildings and places along the river Rhein.
(Photo: © Basel Tourismus)

That’s one of the things I absolutely love about Basel: It is located in the tri-border area of Switzerland, Germany, and France. Three totally different countries getting connected in harmony.

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

Lummenfelsen
The number of gannets on the rocks on Heligoland’s western cliffs will just overwhelm you.

Heligoland is a tiny archipelago that long ago used to be Danish and British, but is, actually, 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 and even uninhabitable for ten long years.

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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The Island of FÖHR – every village a home

Föhr – every village a home: What’s that all about?

House at Nieblum on the Island of Föhr
I’m not able to figure out Föhr’s strongest suit – there are so many great things to do and see; the traditional architecture is certainly one of the most alluring ones.

Well, let me take you to one of Germany’s most popular holiday islands where almost each of the 16 villages’ name ends with the suffix –um. Since this is the Frisian and Lower German version of heim…which translates to home, you can imagine how cozy and homey this North Frisian island is to its….homies.

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POTSDAM – how Frederick made a small town great

Potsdam might sound like a cute, drowsy hamlet, everyone is amazed by it’s rich heritage – and how Frederick made this small town great.

Especially Sanssouci shows you POTSDAM and how Frederick made a small town great
Sans Souci Palace is Potsdam’s highlight, no matter what.

Which Frederick?, you might ask. Well, actually it was a couple of them. 

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The Island of FEHMARN – Where Plan B is the Best Plan

I’ve had a soft spot for the Northgerman Island of Fehmarn for the longest time: Beaches, Breezes, Birds, and endless fields of Brassica Napus –
I don’t really have to explain why on this island in the Baltic sea Plan B is the Best Plan, do I?

Renata Green cycling
Cycling along rapeseed-fields – the basic activity of our stay on Fehmarn.
(Photo: Mimi Green)

Brassica Napus – translates to rape in English, a term I can hardly sell you in a positive way. However, let the endless fields of bright yellow speak for themselves.

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24 hours in MUNICH

Munich, capital of the federal state of Bavaria, stands, of course, for the famous beer and the Oktoberfest and is the epitome of Germany.

Marienplatz in Munich. A must see during 24 hours in Munich.
Mary overlooking the Marienplatz from her column. In the backdrop Munich’s most iconic symbol, the Frauenkirche, Church of Our Lady – it cannot get more Bavarian.
(Photo: Nicknicknick97, München Marienplatz , CC BY-SA 4.0

Since Munich also has Germany’s second-largest airport – after Frankfurt – chances are that you have a stopover here.

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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. 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.

A group of people walking on water from Cuxhaven to Neuwerk
Crossing the mudflat from Cuxhaven to the Neuwerk island. About twelve kilometers laid ahead of us.
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