Approaching Helgoland Last Tuesday, I took a trip to Helgoland. I was in Bremen during the week to finish my vocational IHK-training. As the training started on Wednesday, I had all of Tuesday to do whatever I like. Since I had never been on Germany’s only deep-sea island, I decided to go there despite the mixed weather forecasts. I was lucky anyways because while it was rainy in most parts of Germany, it was pleasant out there. The ship was a super modern, all new ferry that can carry up to 1050 passengers. It is driven by liquified gas which is particularly good for the environment. The trip started in Cuxhaven and the return ticket was 44€. You depart at 10:15h. The departure in Helgoland was at 16:15h. Given the travel time of 2:30h per way, you are left with roughly four hours on the island. The only major disappointment was that you are not disembarked on that connection anymore. Usually, the ferries would anchor between the main island and the dune and you then switch to little boats which get you on the island. The newer ships land in the southern harbour directly. That is more convinient for elderly and handicapped people of course but a great loss of an old tradition. I would have loved to expierience the disembarkment by those little boats. The trip was very smooth in any case. There were no extraordinary occurences.
Helgoland is nice. It is quite small but that makes it just more charming. I walked up to the sandstone cliff first. The rocks are full of various species of seabirds – kittiwakes (rissa tridactyla), common murres (uria aalge), and northern gannets (morus bassanus). The sheer mass is overwhelming. It seems that right now it is mating season. The northern gannets were all very active… The one disturbing thing was that when I zoomed into the pictures that I had taken, I noticed that basically all nests featured at least some bits of plastic debris. I later read that obviously, birds strangualte themselves every year. It is not too many and it is not a risk for the entire poulation but it is still very nasty! Time to avoid plastic waste and clean up the oceans. The “Lange Anna”, the rock needle at the northern end of the island, was not quite as impressive as I imagined. You do not get very close. It is said to be very instable and it is only a matter of time until it will fall into the sea. Well, they keep telling that for how many years now? Honestly speaking, I do not care. It does not make the island any more attractive for me.
Down in the village, I went for something to eat. My initial plan had been to also take a trip over to the dune but the boat only goes every thirty minutes. I would have risked missing the boat back to Cuxhaven and there is only this one connection. I will have to visit the grey seals another time.
The trip back was far less convenient. It got windier and the sea was much rougher. Barf bags were handed out. I did not need mine but I felt sick indeed. Fortunately, I was able to contain myself… (unlike another passenger who alternated between making the sounds of someone giving birth to a baby and vomiting).
I am really glad that I took the trip to Helgoland. I already miss the North Sea again. There is no other place where I feel as free and lucky… Seems that all those family vacations in the past affected me. 🙂