Thursday, May 30, 2013

A trip to the island of Sylt

Sylt is one of the popular spots for Germans to spend their holidays. A over 40 km long, unbroken chain of sandy beaches and mud flat makes up the island's coastline. There are many protected nature habitats for fishes and birds to feed and rest. Majority of the houses are decked with traditional north German thatch roofs which gives a very rustic characters to the island. There are also many, many fine restaurants. It also has some of Germany's most expensive real estate, and is also known as a place for the rich and famous. Therefor you can probably say that it has a similar feel to the Hamptons.

I am in love with this beautiful place. The landscape is unbelievable. Everyday we were greeted with a clear blue sky and refreshing ocean breeze. I felt connected with this island, even though I have not been there for a long time, probably because I am born in north Germany, not too far from Sylt.

Since the land is mostly flat, one of the most popular tourist activities is cycling. There are plenty of shops where you can rent bicycles. You can probably travel around the island that way within half a day or so. Where bikes are not accessible, it is still very comfortable to reach these destinations at walking pace. There are hiking trails for those who wish to experience nature.

Another regional icon for Sylt, and perhaps north Germany, is something called Strandkorb. It literally means "beach basket", but are basically the Cadillac of beach benches. Traditionally built with woven wickers, the Strandkorb comes with accessories such as sun shield, collapsible mini-tables, and pull-out foot rests. You can see these little boxes peppered over the island, and they are a very comfortable place for spending a day on the beach.