Sylt Island in Germany
Even before I was done saying Sylt, pronounced as Zult, people reacted with, “Gasp! Wow! that Island is for the rich and the famous, it is so expensive” and so on. All these exclamations made me nervous. I was not sure how to prepare for it, whether to pretend I’m rich or stay poor and just visit anyway, I decided to go, for Sylt is the 4th largest Island of Germany and the largest German Island in the North Sea and only 400 years old at that.
While I expected hoity-toity locals and visitors in oversized sunglasses, designer bags and cute dogs under the arms, I was pleasantly surprised by what Sylt had to offer.
Sylt definitely had an air of affluence to it, but people were more modest than what I thought. Houses and shops with thatched roofs made of straw, especially to protect the buildings from cold in winters and heat in summers, gave it a feel of a fairyland. I thought, the Island looked like a Hobbit movie setup.
Sylt is famous for its rich residents and visitors as well as its rich Island biodiversity. Walking through the ubiquitous Rosa Rugosa shrubs aka Sylt Rose to reach the Wadden Sea, boarded by Sea Grass buried in Sand Dunes was nothing short of divine. Apparently, Hilter’s troops brought Rosa Rugosas to hide explosives during the WWII.
Just a couple of hours of walk in the marsh around the sea felt like several hours of scuba diving. And the life I discovered on the Island, some of them brought to us by the high tides, took me to another world of breathtaking beauty.
Here are some pictures of the beautiful Island.
Sylt Island in Germany
Breeding and Resting ground, do not enter. That’s what it says.
Some migratory birds come to rest here and there is food aplenty for them.
Colorful Sea Weeds-Jewels of the Island
Looks what we found, eggs of a snail and we found loads of them.
Wattwurms (Sandworms) keep themselves busy eating sand and pooping like nobody’s business. And the poop leads the birds to the Worms.
And that’s the Wattwurm’s poop the Crab is going for.
More of Wattwurm’s poop. I initially mistook the poop as Wattwurms themselves.
Live Muschel (Shell), there were so many clutches on the sore. They made the shore look so pretty.
A dead Blue Jellyfish, and we found a lot of them too.
Sea Grass and the Dunes are very vital to the Island ecology. The grass soaks the water during the high tides and keeps it from reaching the land.
I biked 28 km to see the Meadows and Beaches of Elenbogan (Elenbogan is Elbow in German, also name of this place). Denmark is visible from the Beaches of Elenbogan. I had a few falls, ripped jeans, scratched knees, sore back and bums and burnt face by the end of the below three shots. But it was all worth it.
A view from the Rotes Cliff (Red Cliff). It looks like a Hobbit movie setup, doesn’t it?
That’s Rosa Rugosa aka Kartoffle Rosa, introduced here during World War II to hide explosives. They thrived and I suppose took over some of the locals shrubs too.
A shop at the downtown Sylt
Also, read about some animals I spotted during my trips here.
How to get there:
International airports are in Hamburg and Lübeck. Sylt also has a national airport and has seasonal connections from big cities like Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Munich among others. Using the train is the easiest way to get here. There are three train stations in Sylt, Westerland being the final station.
Although I travelled in November to enjoy the rain, May is still considered the best time to visit Sylt as it starts to get warmer.
Hikers, kite surfers, wildlife watchers, mudflat hikers, beach lovers, photographers, foodies, Sylt caters to everybody’s needs.
In spite of its reputation as an Island for the rich and famous, it has reasonably priced hotels, hostels, shops, and restaurants. I stayed at a Youth Hostel and loved it for its cleanliness, great ambiance and free breakfast.
Sea-food restaurants are a dime a dozen all around Sylt. Gosch is the most popular sea food restaurant with fabulous ambience, located all over Sylt. I’m a vegetarian, but it didn’t stop me from visiting the restaurant, especially for its spirit. They also serve salads, delicious potatoes dishes and desserts. I ate an apple, cinnamon pancake and loved it.
Read about rainy day travelling in Sylt here.