Vilm Island

Rügen may be the largest of the German islands, but there are several interesting smaller islands dotted around it. One of these islands is called Vilm, and it is part of the South-Eastern Biosphere. As such, the island has special protection. Boats are not allowed within 100m without permission. Swimming is not allowed in that area either.

The eastern side of Vilm, once the place where the GDR leadership bathed.The eastern side of Vilm, once the place where the GDR leadership bathed.

One part of the island is completely out of bounds to visitors, the other is used by a national government agency for nature conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz). Visitors here are limited to 30 at any one time, only in organised groups and only along a set path. Even the number of tours each year is limited, so when the Biosphere held a press tour on the island, they had to get special permission to exceed that number! [Read more…]

Rügen’s Chalk Museum (Kreidemuseum)

Located at the end of a small track that leads past the Precise Resort (formerly Jasmer Resort) in Sagard on Rügen is what is apparently Europe’s only museum dedicated to chalk.

The chalk museum or “Kreidemuseum” is located in the factory building of the Chalk Factory in a hamlet called Gummanz that was in use up to 1962. It was re-opened as a museum in 2005 using a grant from the European Agricultural Fund and the European Fund for Regional Development, and has also been extended.

The entrance to the chalk museum (Kreidemuseum) in Gummanz
The entrance to the chalk museum (Kreidemuseum) in Gummanz

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Read “A Christmas Carol” in German for free

One way to practise German is to read a book where you already know the story in English.

Many people will be familiar with “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, and at the time of writing Amazon in Germany are offering a version of the book for the Kindle as a free download.

All you really need is an account with Amazon.de, and if you don’t have a Kindle – or don’t want to change yours over to the German shop – then you can use one of the apps to read the book on a tablet or even use the cloud reader for the PC.

Click on the book cover to visit the download page on Amazon.de

The book was free at the time of writing this article.  Please make sure that it is still being offered as such before downloading it.