Friday, September 25, 2015

Karolinenkoog to Hamburg - Friday, 25 September

It was a later departure time this morning that allowed us to leave our hotel on time. Most of us had left luggage on the coach since we were only here one night.

Jutta was our guide for the day and she was chock full of information about the Nordfriesen area.

Jutta (with the red scarf) changed our itinerary a bit as we started our day in Tönning, a small fishing village on the Eider Fluß. After a 15 minute walk we stopped at a relief map of the area where she explained the marshes, harbors, and other physical geography of the area.

Then it was about a 10 minute walk into the village. Tönning is a city whose history dates back 500 years. It was a shipping port was and also was subject to catastrophic floods due to storms from the North Sea. A pole depicts the high water marks.

One of the most interesting buildings was the Kanal Packhaus, built in 1783. At Christmas the windows in the building become an Advent Calendar.

Whereas yesterday was a day spent nearly entirely on the coach, today was an on, off, walking day. It was very windy, but when the sun came out, the warmth was appreciated.

After leaving Tönning, it was a short drive to the Eidersperrwerk. Along the way we saw a massive dike that is used to hold back the North Sea.

The Eidersperrwerk is a barrage mechanism for protecting against the storm surges of the North Sea. It was constructed between 1967 and 1973 and is Germany's largest coastal protection structure.

For those who didn't want to take all the time to walk the structure, there was some refreshment time.

We left the Eidersperrwerk and headed for the town of St. Peter Ording. It was another beach resort town on the North Sea and was similar to what we saw on Sylt yesterday. After a stroll through the little village we arrived at a very impressive bridge/boardwalk structure that led to the beach.

Jutta explained the tides and how they change the beach. The boardwalk stretched for 800 meters and some of the choir even made it all the way to the water.

Because of the distance to the sea many could not make it back in time for our 1:00 departure and so we left about 20 minutes late. From there we traveled another short distance to Westerheven to see the lighthouse there. The salt marshes were also very interesting as Jutta explained how the channeling and sediment building increased the effectiveness of the dike on which we were standing.

The marshes are a stopping point for migrating birds.

A short drive took us to the Roter Haupbarg. This is a huge farmhouse that dates back to 1647 and was designed in the Dutch style to have all associated with the farm under one roof. Attached to the house is a museum that shows has many farm tools and artifacts. We had hope to have a coffee and some kuchen there, but didn't have reservations and so could not be accommodated.

Our last tour stop of the day was Husom, another village on the North Sea. It once was a shipbuilding port, but now only does ship repairing. It has an inner harbor and outer harbor and is really a quaint village. It serves as the capital of the district of Nordfriesland. Time for a stroll and a coffee before we returned to the coach to head to Hamburg.

We got to Hamburg and the Leonardo Hotel about 7:15. Quickly dropped our luggage in the rooms and headed to dinner. It was an impressive buffet with a wonderful salad bar.

The hotel also has a very nice bar of which many took advantage after dinner. For others it was bedtime in anticipation of an 8:30 am departure.

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