Hiddensee

Ever since my first visit to Rügen some years ago, the island of Hiddensee, located off Rügen’s western coast, has fascinated me.  Road signs show how to get to the ferry, and yet cars are not allowed on the island.  I had read about how cracks have been appearing for years on the island, and I also knew that in the days of the GDR the island was a resort that was used by musicians and artists, where they could be away from the main part of the country and the Stasi could still keep a close eye on them.  The island’s name even turns up in a song from 1974 called “Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen”.

But with so much else to see on Rügen itself, somehow in my first few visits I never made it to Hiddensee.  So when I received an invitation from Kurdirektor Alfred Langemeyer and the Reederei Hiddensee to visit the island before attending a preview of the Störtebeker Festspiele, the chance was too good to miss. [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…]

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

[Read more…]

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