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Vacation in Germany
What: My favorite tips for sightseeing and more on the Baltic Sea Peninsula
Where: Ahrenshoop, Fischland-Darß
I already heard and read a lot about the peninsula Fischland-Darß, the popular vacation region in the north of Germany, a very hip weekend destination – not only for Berliners – less than two and a half hours drive from the capital. Since I decided to cancel all my travel plans to other European countries because of Corona this year, the time had finally come: Off to the Baltic Sea, or more precisely, to Ahrenshoop, a picturesque village in the middle of the island.
Already at the end of the 19th century Ahrenshoop attracted numerous artists, including the painters Elisabeth von Eicken, Anna Gerresheim, Oskar Frenzel and Paul Müller-Kaempf. They founded an artists’ colony on the Darß, which attracted other artists, writers and sculptors to the 45-kilometre-long peninsula. Today, Ahrenshoop is still a place of art, with numerous galleries, the “Kunstmuseum” and the “Kunstkaten”, which in turn explains the magnetic attraction that Ahrenshoop exerts on VIPs of all stripes: Whether BossHoss singer Alec Völkel, the actor couple Anna Loos and Jan Josef Liefers or Germany’s former Federal President Joachim Gauck, they all love the new hotspot on the Baltic Sea coast. The fresh sea air, the wide beaches, the unique island location with the Baltic Sea on the west side and the “Darß-Zingster Bodden” chain on the east side also inspired me.
In Ahrenshoop the peninsula is so narrow that you can easily walk from the Bodden to the seaside. Or you can cycle the 28.5-kilometre route from the “Wilden West”-Beach to the historic Darßer Lighthouse in the north, past beautiful landscapes up to Prerow or Zingst.
Cycling enjoys great popularity here for good reason. Those who prefer to hike through the 786 square kilometres of the national park with the “Darßer Urwald”, a rustic forest, ride out on the beach or train stand-up paddling in the sea will find the ideal conditions at Fischland-Darß. (SUP rental for example at beach crossing eight in Ahrenshoop, 22 Euros per hour).
The Darß also has a lot to offer in terms of culinary delights. I enjoy an opulent breakfast in a beach chair, with a view over the sea from the terrace of my hotel “The Grand” in Ahrenshoop, which incidentally has a great rooftop bar with a panoramic view. The perfect address for sundowners and a glass of the Spanish rosé “Esmeralda” (10 Euros) – In times of Corona currently only possible with reservation; if you like, stay here for dinner and let the cool cooks of the “Wild Pots” spoil you. As sea air is known to stimulate the appetite, I’m ready for the delicious homemade cake in “Die Mühle” in the afternoon. The mill is idyllically situated in a large garden, where I order plum cake from the tin and “Landlust” apple spritzer under the watchful eye of curious sheep. In the cold season one sits comfortably in the large guest room of the mill. Friends of the Asian cuisine will love the hip “Mr. Hoshi”, the only Far Eastern restaurant on the island and a real spot for gourmets. They serve excellent Tom Kha Gai soup (12 Euros), followed by cod fillet (28 Euros); the view of the sea and the sunset is free of charge.
What I particularly liked in Ahrenshoop were the many houses under thatched roofs in the midst of beautiful gardens, which give the place a touching romanticism. The architecture here is very individual, far from the mainstream à la Sylt. If you stroll along the village street in Ahrenshoop, past the inviting cafés and small stores, it becomes clear that the island has nothing uniform. A casual, informal lifestyle reigns here. This unpretentiousness is probably the secret why Ahrenshoop and Fischland-Darß is and remains a place of longing for many. BvH