In 2003 I was with my mother on the german island Helgoland. I start in my hometown Bad Oeynhausen near Hannover in the morning to reach the ferry from Cuxhafen to the Helgoland. It was the second time on this island in the opensea. Because of the distance to the mainland is here a duty free zone. In highseason between easter and autum many people come for a daytrip to see the mainatraction ” die Lange Anna” and for shop cigarettes and alcohol. The “Lange Anna” is a high redrock in the north sea with many rare birdspecies.
When i arrived at Cuxhaven i get bad news: the waves are to high for the ferry. Than i took a small plane which land on a sandbank close to the german highsea island. We had a arpartment at “La Mer Kurmittelhaus” with a balcony to the seaside and a small kitchen for make typical “ostfriesland” tea. Because of the mass of bird kinds and the seals on the “Dühne” (=sandbank) is this area a nationalpark of Germany. Helgoland is realy small, in about 15 minutes walk you can reach once around the island. There are two parts: the highland (hochland) and the downland (unterland) which are conected by steps and a lift. On Helgoland it´s forbidden to drive car, even bikes are not aloued. The onliest car on the island in north sea belongs to the ambulance.
Between Helgoland and the small sandbank a small boat travel every hour. The sandbank is famous for many kind of seals aswell the rare coneseals (Kegelrobben). This animals are nice to watch while they come out of the cold north sea. On the highlands are some holes from english bombs of the WW2. Here is everything covert by grass and the nature dominate. The most buildings on Helgoland are on the underland. The most restaurants offer fresh fish from the northsea. On the highland is the “Krebs Café”, the owner like to tell stories about the island in the past or show some videotapes about Helgoland in the evening by a fresh draft beer.
The lonely beaches at lowseason invide for long walks, after you can rewarm in one of the small pubs by a egggrog. Even Palms you can find on a place in middle of the small village. Because of the many sunhours they grow good aswell by low european temperatures and strong wind. Helgoland is beautiful but cold and windy, i can recoment this german highsea island for a weekendtrip to relax from the boring allday turn and to see something new. For more information look inside the Lonely Planet Germany. Which you can order online from this site.