It is made up of chalk cliffs, joining spits of land with long beaches and sand-dunes, and lush green forests and farmland. It really is a spellbinding mixture of all the best bits of Cornwall, Anglesey, Brighton, and Beachy Head, though all on a smaller, more intimate, scale. I don't know why it hasn't been picked up by British holidaymakers, because it is everything you remember from childhood days by the sea and without the present-day UK reality of a wave of chip cartons, drunkenness, amusement arcades, and seedy discount shops. In fact, we didn't overhear a single English-speaking voice the whole week. Though on the other hand there wasn't the mix of folk from all countries of the world that makes e.g. Berlin so vibrant. We only saw one Turkish kebab Imbiss all week (in Putbus) and they didn't even do falafel. If you like smoked fish or matjes herring though, you were in fish heaven. Rügen is like a smörgåsbord; a buffet of small nibbles full of variety linked by a theme of the sea. Enough of the simile - we're vegetarians after all.
We hired a car for the week so that we could take our cat Cassie on holiday with us. Things didn't get off to a good start as we reversed into a car in the Herz Rental car-park, but we soon got the hang of driving on the right side of the road.
|Kunstof Salsitz, Lohme, Insel Rügen|
The Kunsthof ('art courtyard') was most individual; it was adjoined and owned by a sculptor/artist and the apartment was appropriately quirkily designed with a crazy-marble floor and artwork on the walls. The grounds too were laid out with interesting sculptures around every corner:
|One of the sculptures in the garden of the Kunsthof Salsitz, Lohme, Rügen|
|Sunset over Lohme harbour|
|Sunset over Lohme harbour II|
We set out from Lohme along the path at 7am on the Sunday morning. The guide book hinted that in high Summer this walk would be like joining a very long queue of other searchers after the Königsstul, but this early in the morning in September we didn't see another soul.
|A seat to rest on along the Überuferweg|
It would be a marvellous view from here ...
if it wasn't for the trees in the way
|On the top of the Königsstuhl|
At night, as a spectacle for visitors, they used to set fire to balls of brushwood
and roll them down the side of that cliff opposite. You had to make your own
entertainment in those days.
The name 'Königsstuhl' means 'the chair of kings', and the legend is that to prove themselves worthy of kingship over the tribes of Rügen, candidates had to climb the cliff from the beach to the very top. Well, here is the view from the beach of the Königsstuhl:
|Der Königsstuhl from the beach|
|Der Königsstuhl from further down the beach|
|The chalk cliffs of Jasmund Peninsular, Rügen|
|Chalky, milky sea around Jasmund Peninsular|
|More chalky Jasmund cliffs|
|Further chalk cliffs on the Kriedefelsen coast|
|Yes, more chalk cliffs. |
We couldn't get enough of seeing them, they are gob-smackingly amazing.
|Tree fall on Jasmund beach|
Eventually we came to signs of people again, and the lovely harbour-town of Sassnitz where we had a cooling Bier and a meal beside the harbour.
|Sassnitz Old Town|
|Sea-front at Sassnitz|