VIDEO: Travel #4 – Eiderstedt, Schleswig-Holstein. Germany – Where the sea meets the land

The plan this year (2016) was to go to the island of Madeira but having watched videos showing the rather hairy landings at Madeira’s airport, I chickened out. The wife being terribly disappointed needed an alternative that would pep up her spirits again, so Schleswig-Holstein (where she comes from) seemed the only viable alternative. The fact that it is flat meant the walks would also be less painful by comparison to the mountain and hill walks offered by Madeira. – Thank god!

Eiderstedt is a peninsular that is reclaimed land protected by a dyke. Recent years have seen a transition from traditional farming to tourism. Mostly because EU rules have made farming and prawn fishing financially unviable. However there is still enough farming in the form of animals, fields, dykes, pasture and thatched buildings to be of interest to photographers. Beach tourists tend to collect more South-Easterly in St-Peter-Ording, but at the Northern end, “Ording”, the beach has no cafe or bar and was nearly empty (“Walk the dog”). At Westerhever lighthouse, the walking and cycling track around the dyke on the seaward side was also virtually empty in June (2016), when we visited; later in July you should expect it to be virtually impossible to get pictures without swarming masses of joggers, cyclists and other tourists.

June appears to be the best time of year for photography, because the school holidays have not started fully, yet the facilities are open, the boat trips are running and the weather is sufficiently well behaved for sunsets and summer images.

My wife and I recommend the holiday home that we stayed at. The ground-floor flat we had contained everything needed, the owners are really nice and the Location is ideally situated. Being inland and with the courtyard area being enclosed by the buildings and trees, held the wind at bay for summer evenings. The distances to the main areas are all within 15-30 mins driving time. Bicycles can be rented from a friend of the owners and they will be delivered and collected. Ask the owners about the location of free parking at the dyke, as the parking at Westerhever is €3, even for a short evening walk. Taking a photographic walk in the village is also an experience, as the church and graveyard is out of the ordinary. The environment they have created, together with Eiderstedt as a whole, is relaxing and calm. The area has a spacious feeling that is hard to find in the 21st century.