Das Wattenmeer: Exploring the mud flats of the North Sea coast

At low tide, the North Sea coast is a sea of mud. From the Netherlands to Denmark, the slope of the sea floor is shallow, resulting in huge differences in the water level between the tides. At low tide, the water peels back, sometimes as much as 15 kilometers, revealing acres and acres of intertidal mud flats. This is known as the Wadden Sea, or Wattenmeer in German, and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Das Wattenmeer, or the Wadden Sea, pictured here off the coast of Cuxhaven, Germany. Despite how far from shore I am, the water is only at most a few inches deep.
Continue reading “Das Wattenmeer: Exploring the mud flats of the North Sea coast”

Lübeck: the City of Seven Spires

Move over, Lüneburg – I’ve got a new favorite medieval city in northern Germany, and it goes by the name of Lübeck.

The city’s most iconic building, the Holstentor, is the gate through which all visitors had to pass before entering the city walls. No, my photography isn’t that bad – the towers are actually leaning (which is forgivable seeing as it was first built in 1464). The city’s tourism office claims this building is one of the most iconic images in Germany, up there with the Brandenburg Gate and the Cologne Cathedral.

Like Lüneburg, Lübeck is a picturesque, old-fashioned small town that was once the capital of the Hanseatic League. Both are full of sagging, 500-year-old brick buildings lining curvy cobblestone streets. Both are a short train ride away from Hamburg and make an excellent day trip if you’re staying in Hamburg. Continue reading “Lübeck: the City of Seven Spires”

The little town of Lüneburg: Hamburg’s best day trip

Just 20km south of Hamburg’s bustling downtown and industrial river ports lies the little town of Lüneburg, a city frozen in time.

The Lüneburg harbor.

It’s easy to forget the city of Hamburg is much older than the second world war, because outside of a few restored churches, not many buildings from the pre-war era remain. Lüneburg, on the other hand, escaped the brunt of the bombs in both wars, and periods of affluence followed by poverty in the city’s history lead to beautiful houses being constructed, then preserved, as there was no money to tear them down and build anew. The result is like a step back into the middle ages. Continue reading “The little town of Lüneburg: Hamburg’s best day trip”