Sunday, June 12, 2011

Isle of Sylt

Kevin kept telling me about this place, Sylt, that he'd wanted to visit for the last 10 years. It was on the way to Herning, Denmark, where we had a show on Monday. Since we had Sunday free, we decided to get the early train to Sylt, have the day there, then get the train to Flensburg, which was just on the German/Danish border. We would carry on to Herning the day of the show.

Leaving Hamburg                                Hammers!                                         The outskirts of some German town

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Well, that's more or less what we did--it's 7:30 P.M. Sunday, and I'm typing this on the train--so the only thing we didn't do was leave early! We took the 11:20 train from Hamburg and arrived in Sylt around 2:30.

Crossing over to the island                                The most used transport on Sylt                 Proof that Kevin's been!

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I had an e-mail this morning from Guntmar, who I'd met the night before at the show, and he said that if we were going to Sylt not to miss visiting the Kupferkanne Cafe. Its a very famous cafe among Germans and worth going to see. I looked at the map, and it was about five miles north of Westerland--the train station where we arrived. Kevin was up for it--I was definitely up for it! I Googled it earlier in the day, and it said, “We serve giant cups of coffee and huge slices of cake--including scrumptious plum cake.” Another done deal!

The art outside Westerland station.             Upside down head!         Even the lamp posts were art!

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We asked the lady in the tourist information booth outside the station where the best places to see were if we only had three or four hours to visit. The train to Flensburg left at 5:20 or 7:20, and we planned on taking the later one. She pointed us in the direction of the promenade and told us to walk north. We also asked about the Kupferkanne Cafe in Kampen, and she marked it on the map for us. It's about 7.5 kilometres, she said, and the bus goes from right outside the station and takes about 15 minutes. We thanked her, took the map, and started walking towards the promenade.

The shopping area of Westerland:

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We passed a few ice cream places--we walked past one just as the waiter was bringing out some HUGE ice cream creations to customers sat outside. Kevin and I looked at each other, then looked for a table. Unfortunately there were none outside, and it was too warm to eat inside, so we were safe from ourselves for a little while longer :)

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We passed a couple of places that had these strange seats-in-a-basket constructions. Kevin mentioned these were popular here, and we’d see lots of them on the beach. I suggested to Kevin that we take the bus to the cafe, then walk back to work off the cake and other delicious food! He suggested we walk TO the cafe, then get the bus back. That was good with me--I was up for a long walk, for sure! We passed a few places that rented bikes, and I asked Kevin if he wanted to rent one, but he was pleased with walking. We headed to the beach, and, after reluctantly paying 3.50 Euros to enter, (Come on! Kevin NEVER pays full price for tickets!) we headed down to the promenade and started walking north.

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Kevin was right--the basket things were everywhere! They were on the promenade and on the beach--facing every direction so people could catch the sun or the shade. They also moved up and down--this enabled you to fully recline.

Seaside band

We walked north until we came to the end of the boardwalk, then we had to walk on the sand. I took my shoes and socks off and headed down the beach. The sand was some of the softest white sand I've ever felt, and I've seen very soft sand in Hawaii, but this was not just soft, but clean! This is something we both commented on when we arrived--the whole place was spotlessly clean! Just before we got on the beach, my blackberry maps app said 4.5 miles and 55 minutes to Kampen, where the cafe was. As we started walking on the sand, I told Kevin that walking on the beach probably added another hour to that 55 minutes. Little did we know how right I would be!

Kevin walked on the sand nearer the sea, so it was a bit easier. I was happy feeling the soft white grains in my toes, but and struggled a little--I hadn't worked out for weeks, and this was hard work--but great! Minutes later, I looked around, and there were naked people! Not just topless people, but naked--FULLY naked!! There were bits dangling down all over the place! I put my sunglasses on, hung my head towards the ground, and started walking as fast as I could. "Oops! Excuse me!" I said as I nearly walked right into a lady with everything pointing south! I finally saw a sign I presumed signaled the end of the nude beach--phew! That was close! I was hot and sweaty, and it wasn't from the sun!

Plane landing over the beach

Plane landing

Kevin was struggling after a while too, and we took a rest in one of the basket seats for a minute. We carried on and headed to the next exit off the beach, so we could walk the remainder of the journey on the road. What we actually did, though, was manage to get on the walking/cycling path, and it went on and on winding for miles--this way, that way, then back this way, and all we had walked was about 50 feet forward! It was worse that walking on the sand! What was cool, though, was the houses and the area. It was beautiful, and a lot of the houses had thatched roofs--something that isn't seen a lot in the UK and usually only on older houses--these looked to be brand new properties!

Kevin taking a break                           Beach baskets!                                  Thatched house

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We kept following the signs and wound our way left, right, then left and back right on the scenic bike path.

We constantly joked that it would be just around the next corner, then the next, then the next. Eventually we asked someone the way to Kampen--we knew we were heading in the right direction, but just wanted some reassurance. A local said we were fine, just to keep heading up the path.

Follow the rabbit!

We walked past fields of pick-your-own strawberries and potatoes. We passed some beautiful houses--I couldn't even begin to imagine how much they cost. We kept walking and walking, and when we saw a few houses up front, we finally passed a sign saying, "Welcome to Kampen!" We were there!!

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Then the strangest thing happened--I can't really explain--you had to be there to see it--but imagine this; we walked three miles along this bike path with nothing but fields, trees, the odd thatched cottage, and a few nice houses. When we turned right onto a street, the first thing I saw was in the picture below:

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I saw three Porsches and a Ferrari California!! It was bizarre, but the further down the street we walked, the more we saw--an old Aston Martin DB7 convertible passed us, as did a Porsche 959, then a couple of the Mercedes G wagons, then parked up were three more Ferraris! This wasn't a car show or anything like that--it was just a street with three or four restaurants and bars. These places were packed to the brim with the type of people that would drive such cars!! We still had no idea where the cafe was, and we took to asking a guy on the end of the street who was perched taking pictures of all the cars driving around. "Ah yes," he said, "It's about 200 metres down that way on your right-hand side!"

Bvlgari store!                                           Louis Vuitton store           Thatched roofed Vuitton store!

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Neither of us could believe it--it was like a mini Beverly Hills right in the middle of nowhere! The cars, the people, the stores, the restaurants--it was so strange just to stumble upon it all.

Kampen

Kevin and I followed the road--it just looked like a country lane. In fact, it WAS a country lane just winding its way around some gorgeous country houses that looked a lot like quaint English cottages.

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We walked and walked, and after walking 200 metres like the guy told us, then another 200 metres, we asked a lady out walking her dog if she knew where Kupferkanne was. “Ahhh, just down the road, and turn right by the blue sign.” So again we walked down 300 metres or so, then turned right onto yet another country lane.

By this time Kevin and I were joking that maybe there was no such place as the Kupferkanne Cafe--maybe it's the Germans inside joke, and ALL Germans know that if anyone ever asks them where the Kupferkanne Cafe is, just tell them it's down there and turn right!!

We also passed a couple of strange houses with grass on the roofs! I guess mowing the lawn could be a bit dangerous! Then, finally, there was a sign for the Cafe!!!

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We also saw a strange sculpture in the middle of a field. It was in the middle of nowhere!

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We followed the arrow on the rock until there was finally some sort of activity in the distance! All along the road we hadn't seen a single person--when we walked into an opening between the trees, there were hundreds of peddle bikes, Ferraris, Mercedes and Porsches all parked up!

We're here!                                          Yes, that's a McLaren SLR!!!                JUST a Ferrari

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Kevin and I walked up to the outside area of the cafe, and it looked amazing. It was just like something out of Alice in Wonderland!! The inside was just as cool as the outside, with bare-faced rock walls brought inside to sit around

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I waited outside while Kevin went to the bathroom, and I started drooling when I saw the waitress carrying the largest pieces of cream covered cake I've ever seen along with huge cups filled with hot chocolate and coffee!

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We took a table to the side in the shade where we had a nice view of the sea through the trees. We sat and watched the other tables. We both ordered the rhubarb cake with cream, a coffee for Kevin, and a hot chocolate for me.

View from our table             People watching                Happy!!                             Rhubarb cake

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The cake was amazing, and the hot chocolate was good (but not as good as the stuff I had in Barcelona.) The view was spectacular,--it couldn't have been better. I was surprised that it wasn't too expensive either--3.50 Euros for a piece of cake the size of the island of Sylt!

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We took a quick walk after we finished--the place was huge--it went on for ages with tables and chairs tucked over every bush. It had some amazing views of the sea and the countryside around it. I could have sat there for hours with the birds whistling, the waves crashing, the clinking of peoples spoons in cups and forks on plates--it was divine! Time was getting on, however, and much to my disappointment, (yeah right) Kevin wanted to get the bus and not walk the six miles and two hours back to the train station!

Our view at the cafe

We got to the stop and jumped on the bus 15 minutes later--not before seeing the car of all cars though! Just as we got on the bus, there was a Buggati Veyron on the other side of the street! Not just any Veyron, though, but a convertible version painted in satin black. I'm sure the guy driving it could look around at all the other cars and think, "Game, set, and match!"

3 comments:

  1. Rhubarb Cake! FUCK YEAH! Deutschland, Duetschland, Uber Alles! :) :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. What, no green lamborghini!?!?
    Looks awesome. :0)
    Wendy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Blog entry thoroughly enjoyed! The next best thing to actually being there is reading about it in great detail.

    ssan

    ReplyDelete