Summer throwback – Sylt

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Have you ever been to the island of Sylt in the North Sea (Northern Germany)? It’s not for you if you prefer Italian heat, but if you like a fresh breeze on your face, endless sand dunes, long solitary beaches, great food and the Northern charm, this place is a must.

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There is something about it I can’t explain – something that makes you feel light and free, something that lets you breathe easier. Maybe it’s the salt in the air. Or maybe because in the summer days are longer than in the South and the sun seems much brighter. Or maybe both – like on sunny September days, when the sun is low and you see the air shimmer from the rays of sun streaming though it – so it seems that the air here is full of shiny salt particles. Very zen :-)

Well, at least on good days. On bad days, the island is grey, cold and very windy…and there are LOTS of bad days :-). That’s why instead of a beach lounger, people invented a “Strandkorbl” (a beach basket – sort of an armchair surrounded by walls), where you can hide from the wind and cozy up with a book and a blanket. I didn’t get this concept at first – why should anybody go on holiday to a windy place and wear a jacket on the beach? And I still don’t entirely understand why…but there just is something calming and at the same time reinvigorating about being exposed to the elements – the rough sea, fresh clean air and sun.

I admit, I’d probably still choose South of France over Sylt – just because you have a good weather guarantee in the summer. But if you are lucky, the weather forecast is good and you can spare a weekend – just go. It’s beautiful.

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In a way, Sylt actually reminds me of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket in the US. Very similar nature and even architecture – this type of understated elegance combined with unaffordable prices. The island is also full of great shops, restaurants and bars. Check one of the next blog entries for places to go to.

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