The Island of Sylt: -10° Sunshine!
So it was a Sunday morning when I was traveling to Sylt with a bunch of Climate Technology students from Hamburg, thanks to my childhood friend Suman for planning it! We knew very well that it was a cold day and not the best time to visit an island. But why not? We were looking forward to some unique experiences, and so be it!
We were traveling overland by train via the Hindenburgdamm causeway that has been connecting Sylt with the mainland of Germany since 1927.
So Sylt is one of the largest North Frisian archipelago island in northern most part of Germany, with beautiful beaches along the North Sea. Also known as the ‘Queen of the North Sea’, it is a part of the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park.
Now we were at the island’s biggest town, Westerland which has approximately 9,000 people. We were welcomed by the Reisende Riesen im Wind (Traveling giants in the wind) right outside teh train station. As the name explains, its a work of art depicting how windy the island can get at times!
We walked through the shopping street and everything seemed very classy. Like most German clichés of traditional lederhosen, loud football fans and great beer, Germany’s northernmost island of Sylt presents a different side to the country, driven by laid-back attitudes, a relaxed beach culture and old-fashioned traditions that cannot be found anywhere else in the nation.
Soon we headed towards the beach of the ‘Queen of the North Sea’.
Honestly, everything looked perfect for coming back in the summer.
It was bone-chilling cold here by the sea. The sand had snow on it. But we had enough layers of clothes and were excited enough at this point of time to look around the vastness and smile.
Being a German island, it is a unique experience here. The beautiful beach was overlooking the town of Westerland.
As the sun started to shine and peep between the clouds, the ocean began to glitter.
Soon enough I stumbled upon the society of snails on the sand beach.
I got on my knees to spend some time observing.
Incredible how they had their own society thriving.
Soon we were walking by the beach lost in our thought, till the time a gush of pricking cold-wind would hurt our ears.
We stood for a while looking around the ambiance, the sun, the clouds, the sand, the ocean and the cold!
On the other side were the dunes of the island.
Just when we were soaking inot the ambience, something spectacular happened: Snowfall on a sand beach. It an experience of its own. Everything in the nature seemed to go against each other, yet calm. There I was ironically with a buch of climate technology specialists!
In no time I had started getting along with people. Everything seemed to be better with the awesomeness of the people around filled with laughter.
Once the snow was gone, the sun began to spread its aura. It was evident how tiny we were in that vastness of nature out there.
Next what I stumbled upon was some kind of a crustaceans along the beach.
I still don’t know if it was alive, but the eyes seemed to stare at you pretty distinctly.
We were already on the beach for some 2hrs now and it was time that we were getting numb from the cold. It was time to find a nice bistro to get warm.
Also the clouds began to get darker and soon the snow & rain poured in heavier than before.
We got ourselves in the nearest bistro we found along the beach.
Sylt is well known for its posh and excellet cuisine offerings. It’s gourmet restaurants regularly receive rave reviews from international connoisseurs.
We had some hot beverages and got warm inside the bistro talking and laughing. I chose a Gluhwein and it was pretty nice to be inside a cozy resort in an island looking at the ocean and the snow!
Soon we began our walk along the dunes of the island.
Yes, then we climbed what almost looked like a stairway to the heaven.
We were already cloud-chasers by now, walking in this island by the North Sea aimlessly
We were back at the beach to experience the sunset.
As the sky began to turn golden, the cold started getting onto us.
Thankfully we were a bunch of people talking and laughing, overpowering the negative temperatures. But not for long. Everyone took their own shelter.
I went along the beach observing people. However cold, everyone seemed to have their own sweet time!
It was a fantastic view to see the golden waves turning into crystals of ice!
As the sun began to set behind the clouds, it was ideal for the couples in those cozy chairs to experience the serenity.
The dusk also saw couples out for a jog in shivering cold. I am not sure how to explain that, but be it.
As the darkness began to spread out its blanket, it was time to say goodbye!
The golden sunset began to spread across the island, covering the ocean in vibrant reds and yellows. It was the perfect way to conclude a not-so-typical day in Germany.
Until the next time in summers! 🙂 Thanks to each of those amazing fellows out there: Suman, Ani, Alexandra, Maria, Krishna, Maanuel, Daniel, Kareena, Maika, Wenlin, and Pia.. making Sylt a memorable Sunday!