Emmanuel Tresmontant - 2010-08-10
Ever heard of Northern Friesland? This historical region that stretches from the North of Holland to the South of Denmark is an unusual place that has given birth to intense poetry with its red lighthouses against a backdrop of blue skies, white sand dunes swept by western winds, flocks of sheep and thatched roof houses.
Forming an archipelago along the German coast from Schleswig-Holstein, the 5 islands of Sylt, Föhr, Amrum, Pellworm and Nordstrand are one of Germany’s most popular destinations. Highly recommended is a visit to the Island of Sylt, the most northerly island and also the largest and most picturesque, with traditional villages, red cliffs, moors, dunes and salt meadows. Sylt is also notable for its prehistoric site where a dolmen more than 4,000 years old called Denghoog is erected in the village of Wenningstedt-Braderup.
The western coast of Sylt is renowned for its immense, 40km long beach of fine sand where at times powerful waves beat down. The eastern coast is much more peaceful, with its long stretches of dunes and mudflats (“Wattenmeer”). It’s a very natural place and a listed UNESCO heritage site. To the north of Sylt, near to the port of List, there’s a moving dune of quartz sand that stands 30 metres high and is 1,000 metres long!
Sylt has been connected with the mainland since 1927 by the Hindenburg dyke where the railway now runs. To get there you can take the “car-train” that leaves from Niebüll (35 minutes) or take the ferry from the Danish port of Havneby on the island of Römö.
The island’s largest locality is the seaside resort of Westerland which is popular for its mineral salt therapy centre, the Sylter Welle swimming pool and its aquatic leisure park. Keitum is a truly idyllic place with numerous artist workshops. Its pretty age-old houses are covered with reed-thatched roofs and surrounded by dry stone walls.