It was a short night last night with having to repack and get ready for an early luggage call. With a bit of a mix-up on the departure time, we left Hotel Gasthof am See, our "home" for the last 3 nights to head for the auto train to Sylt.
The best laid plans often don't work. The time to the train was underestimated and we missed out auto train at 10:35. So we had to wait until we could load at 11:35. By the time we left on the train it was close to noon. On the train we had foggy view of the North Sea and some We arrived in Westerland, the only town on the island of villages at 12:45.
We arrived in Westerland about 12:45 and were met by our steo on guide, Sybile. She was an excellent guide and passionate about the life on Sylt. She gave us an introduction to the island, which at one time was part of the mainland 8000 years ago. As is the case in most of northern Germany history, Sylt has a strong Danish heritage and connection even today.
Sylt is a fairly well known movie backdrop with films like Roman Polanski's Ghostwriter having been shot here. On 21 February the residents light a huge fire called Biikeblennen. It originated in pagan times and, later, a time to say farewell to the whalers. Today it is a way to chase the winter away and welcome the new season.
The weather on the island today was bleak,very windy, and eventually very rainy. Sylt's economy is based on tourism, welcoming 850,000 visitors year. We began the tour by heading north to the village of Kampen.
Kampen is characterized by homes with thatched home, which is a home owner requirement. It is an exclusive area with specialty boutiques. Standing on the dunes is a 38 m light house that was erected in 1836 and given to Sylt by the Danish.
(The pictures today were taken through coach windows in misty and foggy conditions and don't nearly represent the beauty of the area.)
Going north on the island, the next village was List. List is the most northern village on the island and in Germany. It was the training center for chefs for the Germany navy and also served as a base for British and American soldiers. Those barracks have been turned into homes as in many other parts of northern Germany. The harbor is the arrival point for the Danish ferry from Rømø.
Coming back south we next came to Ellenbogen or "the elbow." This is privately owned and maintained and a vast expanse of natural lands. It si where sheep have the right away.
It was decided to cut our tour short because no one had eaten lunch and there was a need to stretch some stiff legs. And so we headed back to Westerland where the group dispersed to explore the town for 2 1/2 hours. Sybile took a small group down to the beach where it was windy and cold. Should we have expected anything else? The promenade feature several large hotels and an amphitheatre. The basket chairs provide a comfy place to relax.
The drizzle soon changed to a hard, cold, and driving rain.
We had to be back on the coach at 4:30 and most decided to escape the rain and return early. Our train departed close to 5:00 and we headed to our resting point for the evening.
We drove through pouring rain and finally arrived at the Landhaus Pfahlersdorf, were we would spend the night.
Dinner was a nice buffet of salads, cheeses, meats, cold fish, roast pork, poached fish, vegetables, sauerkraut, boiled potatoes, french fries, and assorted cremes.
After dinner in the bar area, the singers were asked to sing. So informally, they performed a couple of songs for the staff and some other guests.
What a fun way to end an evening!