Holidays on the Danish Baltic Sea

Picking the Baltic Sea in Denmark for our holiday destination this summer came about in an interesting way. In my many years of downsizing our home, I had to revert to certain tricks to let things go. This actually applies more to my better half.

I told him to imagine we would move to a House in the Danish Dunes. If that were the case, would he take this item with him..? If the answer is no, then it is time to say good bye.

I spend my free time sorting and de-cluttering, and so the liberating expression, “Would you take this to Denmark?” popped up on a regular basis. Then, we could not help but actually book a holiday there this summer.

We spent a wonderful week in Sydals, near Sønderborg in southern Denmark, which was the first part of our leg (first week in July).

Driving around the countryside, we had never seen so many poppies before. If you thought bright sunshine would make a dashing contrast to the red color, try dark skies. This is much better.

Poppies in Denmark

This is the view from where I sat every morning. Our hostess explained that the sea lies hidden behind the tall canola field. I didn’t mind. Looking at the skies, feeling the morning breeze, and listening to the birds was all I needed. Well, add coffee to that.

Morning sky in Sydals, Denmark

Lucky for me, we had a Strandimbiss (beach snack bar) in walking distance. We came here almost every day – if not for a light lunch, then it could be for a small bottle of wine to go, or just to do laundry. The Danes are so relaxed and kind. No wonder Denmark rates as the country with the second highest happiness index (behind Finland).

Sonderby H in Sydals, Denmark

Here we stopped in Mommark for lunch, and enjoyed another great view of the open skies. You might have noticed by now that the skies are usually dark. We had daily average temps of 17°-20°, which is perfect for me. Without the constant wind, it felt much warmer though.

Mommark, Denmark

If we are on the seaside, then it had better be seafood for lunch. For my husband, not me.

More to follow in my next post.

Two Weeks at the Baltic Sea

Every morning, I came down to the Maasholm port. It was an usually hot July at the Baltic with temps mostly in the low 30s (90F), while the rest of Germany was getting drowned in rain storms and flooding.

There was nobody about, and I loved it.

Yachthafen Maasholm

Most evenings would see me reading by the window overlooking the Schlei Bay.

Reading by the window

We visited Germany’s smallest town, Bad Arnis. There is the main road with a few shops, which were mostly closed before peak season. The port had plenty of boats in it though, that is for a “town” of only 350 residents.

Arnis port

The “Bad” in Bad Arnis stands for spa town. There are hundreds of them in Germany. More about that on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_spa_towns_in_Germany

Smallest town in Germany: Arnis

Besides eating fish every day, I also had wanted to try the currywurst up north. The color of the sauce really surprised me. In central and southern Germany, currywurst sauce is usually reddish-brown. This one had the coloring touch of a Danish tartar sauce. It tasted authentic though.

There is a great Danish influence in this part of Germany. If you are history buff, then you might know this part of Germany had been Denmark/Danish territory a couple of times in history.

Currywurst - Danish

Two Weeks at the Baltic Sea

For this summer’s holiday, we had rented a vacation apartment in the fishing village of Maasholm (population: 700) which is located on the peninsula separating the Schlei Bay from the Baltic Sea.

Maasholm is such a quaint little village, but it has all the amenities residents and tourists need. Even the little grocery shop is open on Sundays. There are about five restaurants, two coffee shops, one grocery store, one bakery, a popular Imbiss Stand (German style: street vendor), which sells all kinds of fish, on any kind of sandwich.

This is what we saw on our first evening right after we arrived.

Schlei Bay

Schlei Bay

We got our keys to the apartment (which overlooked the Schlei Bay) and found ourselves across from a church. I took this photo from our living room, where we enjoyed splendid sunsets every evening.

Church in Maasholm

Church in Maasholm

As we are not confined to the German school summer break schedule, we were able to leave before high season. There were hardly any tourists. The beaches were empty and so it was just us, and the ocean breeze.

Baltic Sea

Baltic Sea

I’m an early riser, so I spent most mornings down at the port where I could sit on a bench and listen to the seagulls, watch some boats come in, and greet passersby with a “Moin”. This was also the best place to get wi-fi, and in our case, it was the only hot-spot we found.

Yachthafen Maasholm

Yachthafen Maasholm

I loved these mornings sitting there by the sea. By around 7am, I would head up the street to the bakery and get something for breakfast. And then I usually would return to the port.

Maasholm Port

Maasholm Port

I have been to many places throughout my life. I love to go places, but when the holidays come to a close, I usually look forward to coming home. In this case, it was different.

This might have been the first time I thought, I would like to stay longer.

10 Random German Travel Facts

Two weeks from today I will be attending a Sri Lankan wedding in London at the Gherkin. Then the following months, I will be spending a few days in Nottingham with our son, our summer holidays will take us to the U.S.A for a family event, and in September I’m back to London for 24 hours for our daughter. Yes, we do travel a lot.

Here are the random facts I have gathered.

Air Traffic:

* In 2012, Germany’s air traffic carried 23.5 million passengers on domestic flights.

* Air traffic among Germany’s 27 biggest airports has gone up 19% since 2003.

* Air traffic for international flights has increased by 65% in ten years.

* The busiest airports are Munich, Berlin-Tegel, and Frankfurt.

 

Frankfurt Airport:

* Frankfurt Airport was awarded the Air Cargo Excellence Award 2013 for Europe.

 

Travel Spending:

* In 2011, Germans spent 60.7 billion euro on vacationing in foreign countries.

* In 2012, women spent 1.648 euro on traveling, while men spent 1.947 euro on average.

 

Accommodation in Germany:

* In 2012,  Germany registered  407 million lodgings. This is the first time ever for lodgings to have passed the 400 million mark.

 

Frankfurt Airport

Frankfurt Airport

Travel destinations:

* In 2012, the biggest increase in German tourism went to the Azores with 28.9%.

* In 2011, Germans took 40 million trips with most of them heading to Spain, Italy, and Turkey.

…Passenger to Frankfurt. (Masterpiece Edition) by Agatha Christie, available on Amazon.de

 

All-Inclusive in Germany

Our family had to take separate vacations this year. While my husband and son went to Sardinia, our daughter and I opted for a completely different type of vacation.

Theirs, on Sardinia, is in a self-catering vacation apartment. To get around the island, my husband booked a rental car.

Margo and I enjoy All-inclusive this year, with a paid driver on the side.

On Sardinia, the temperature is a decent 27° (80 F). Where we are, the temp is hovering at 35° (95 F) for today, with 38° C – 40°C (100 F – 104 F) in the forecast for tomorrow. We have a nice view onto a beautiful park stacked with flowers and lounge chairs. There is an in-door pool and we are getting spoiled by room service versus the regular line-up at the buffet.

The staff is very kind and it makes me wonder if they had to go through a U.S. American customer-service training. We are being greeted every time we step in and out of the elevator. Doors are being held open for us. Special requests are delivered promptly.

And – I have never met so many men in my life. This place is just swarming with guys, suntanned from their extended stays. Margo has her own room boy, who takes her out for leisurely strolls.

In the hallway, there is a special room with only an ice-machine in it. We can help ourselves to ice at any time!

The other guests are extremely nice and kind, too. We open each others doors  as the staff is setting a supreme example. Meeting new guests is made very easy and we freely talk about how we ended up in this location.

We arrived by car. Special guests arrive by helicopter.

80% of the guests are male, ranging from young men to senior citizens. Everybody is so kind and helpful – I doubt it could be any better in a 5-star hotel.

Curious now  where we are spending our vacation?

We are having a lovely time at the Berufsgenossenschaftliche Unfallklinik (BGU) a.k.a. Workmen’s Emergency Clinic in Frankfurt.

Due to our daughter’s injury at school three days before the planned family holiday, we ended up here.

By the way, her knee surgery (avulsion fracture, torn ligaments) went well and we just learned we are booked for another five days with the ever remaining option for another extension.