Walking on Hiddensee

My first visit to the island of Hiddensee had been an organised visit with a strict timetable of things to see within the few hours that I had on the island.  Wishing to see more, I returned to the island later the same year with my daughter for a more relaxed view of things.

Since motorised vehicles are not allowed on Hiddensee, we parked at the large car park at Schaprode and walked down to the harbour.  Parking at the harbour itself is only allowed for very short periods.  For those not wanting to walk so far, there is also a shuttle transfer from the car park down to the quayside.

We had decided to take the same crossings as I had done previously and took the ferry to Neuendorf.  In Neuendorf there are several ways for visitors to see the island.  One of the most popular is by bicycle, but in the middle of the summer holidays the chances of hiring a bicycle on the spot are very slim and this really needs to be planned in advance.  There is also an island bus and the horse-drawn wagons.  But we wanted to walk, and our aim was to get to Kloster at the northern end of the island to take the ferry back from there in the evening.
[Read more…]

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…]

The eagle’s eye view of Rügen from Binz

A new attraction outside Binz on Rügen is hoping to attract visitors and bring them closer to nature during their stay on the island. Outside the town a new nature trail has been built, which features not just an elevated section through the trees but also two towers. The higher of the two goes up as far as 82m above sea level, is shaped like an eagle’s nest and offers spectacular views across the island.

The nature walk in Binz seen from the base

The nature walk seen from the base

The first tower, however, starts at ground level and takes you up into the trees. From there, an elevated section takes you through the woods to the second tower. On the way there are a number of things to do, all of them optional. There are some alternative routes that contain see-saw type arrangements or wobbly boards to make the walk for children more interesting. And there are sensory tasks, such as listening to bird calls through what look like gramophone horns. [Read more…]

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