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Helgoland

N 5410.842', E 753.465'
2017-08-06
http://www.helgoland.de/en/welcome.html
Our rating: 5.80
Overall rating:
Helgoland for a long time remained the last region of Germany, which we did not visit. Now I'm ready to say that this is the most interesting place in the country and what is important very few people have heard about it. It was really difficult to get here with overnight stay. The fact is that all the hotels on the island have non-refunable bookings and the weather is rarely good. Therefore, there is no sense to book in advance. So we waited for the good weather and a free hotel. Took the last room in the hotel Rickmers' Insulaner (booking.com) for 250 euros (!). Yes... hotels here are very expensive.

Why with an overnight stay? Of course, you can visit the island in one day, but you will not see anything. The ship to the island goes 2 and a half hours one way (and from Hamburg even 4 hours). So, you will have about 3 hours on the island. Moreover it is possible that you feel bad on the ship and need to have a rest on the beach for 1-2 hours. Take it seriously: do not eat, do not drink alcohol, do not read. This is open sea and often there are cases when more than half of the tourists on the ship are puking.

Nevertheless, 250 thousand of 320 thousand tourists each year, come just for one day.

There are few companies that operate ferries to Helgoland. We bought tickets online here - http://www.cassen-eils.de/ (104 euros for two return tickets). Departure was from Cuxhaven, parking coordinates N 53 52.513 E 8 41.976 (price 5 euros per day). Also this company operates from Bremerhaven and Büsum.

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

Another company - http://www.helgoline.de/en/home/ - operates from Hamburg, Cuxhaven and Wedel. You can also fly on a small plane from Cuxhaven/Nordholz, the cost of a round trip ticket is 200 euros (http://www.fliegofd.de/inselfluege/preise.html). Find schedule on the official website.

The island has an interesting history. For a long time it was a haven of pirates. Later belonged to Denmark and Great Britain. The sea resort appeared here in 1826. In 1890 Germany received the island in its ownership, exchanging it for colonial territories in Africa.

In April 1945, at the end of World War II, Britain dropped 7,000 bombs on the island in two hours. It became completely uninhabited. In 1947, in attempt to destroy German bunkers, the island was exploded with the most powerful non-nuclear explosion in the history of mankind, included in the Guinness Book of Records. 6,700 tons of explosives were blown up.

The consequences of the explosions can still be seen today. Walking around the island, you will constantly see funnels from bombs, especially along the way to "Long Anna". One of the bunkers preserved until today and can be visited.

Despite the protests of former residents, after 1947 Britain used the island for bombing training. This continued until the end of 1950, when German activists installed three flags on the island. This attracted public attention and in 1952 Helgoland was returned to Germany. In few years the resort was rebuilt. Now tourism brings 75% to the budget of the island.

Island is very beautiful, the embankment looks like a paradise for walks and for photographers.

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak


Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak


Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

Tourists who come to Helgoland do the following:
 - walk along the embankment, visit shops and restaurants
 - walk to "Long Anna" - a rock located on the other end of the island
 - take the boat to the second island - Dune

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

Helgoland is not included in the customs and tax territory of the EU. Duty-free shops is a primary business here, as the price does not include many taxes, for example VAT. Cigarettes or alcohol are much cheaper than in Germany. Although there are strict restrictions and you cannot buy more than a liter of alcohol per person.

A walk to the "Long Anna" is a must for any tourist on Heligoland.

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak


Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

This is a very beautiful route, 1.5 km long, running along the high part of the island.

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

In the evening tourists gather on the observation deck near the cliff to meet the sunset. At this point, on the high banks of Helgoland, the German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg also looked at the sunset and made one of the greatest discoveries in the history of physics. He described the foundations of quantum mechanics, for what subsequently received the Nobel Prize.

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

And while the viewers are waiting for the sunset, they are watching the largest in the region colony of Northern gannets.

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak


Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak


Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

The nesting period is really interesting. Gannets are constantly do some marriage rituals and follow funny rules.

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak


Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak


Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

Here's one of the situations. There is a baby gannet in the nest. Mom takes care of him and dad is on guard, all the day!

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

From time to time other families come close and try to take away the nest! In this case, the father must show all his strength and repulse the attack, which basically happens. Otherwise, the nest will be lost.

 
Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

The village on Helgoland consists of the upper and lower city. You can go up by foot or by elevator, for a small fee. From above the current small port is visible.

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

On the other side of the island you can see a large beach and a football field.

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

From the upper city, you can also better see Dune, the second island of the archipelago. Until 1720 Dune and the main island were connected, but storm divided them.

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

Now in Germany there are debates over the idea of connecting the two islands with an artificial embankment. As a result, the territory will be significantly enlarged, new beaches will appear, new big hotels will be built and what is important - a large berth for cruise liners.

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

This is an extremely expensive infrastructure project, worth 1 billion euros, but in 2011 54% of the inhabitants voted against it. However, the number of tourists is reduced from year to year, so it's clear that the project will be done in the future.

At the moment Dune can be reached by a small boat, which runs every half an hour. On a small island there is only a mini-airport. We went around the island and during this walk the planes took off and landed many times, you can make a very unusual selfies, with the plane right over your head.

There are a lot of gulls on the island.

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

And waders

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

But the main interest on Dune are the seals (in German Seehunde or sea dog). There are a lot of them, I think, about 300. We arrived on the first boat, which leaves at 8 am and were the first visitors on the Dune. In the afternoon, hundreds of tourists come here. People scare the seals and they hide in the water. In the morning seals are lazy and did not pay attention to us.

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak


Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak


Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

Despite the fact that they look very cute

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak


Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

And ridiculously bend

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

Many have wounds on their necks, what means fights are common here.

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

Our main discovery was a seal pup. By the way, this year has become a record for the number of newborn seals on Helgoland.

Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak


Helgoland
Helgoland Yuriy Buriak

In general, Helgoland left a purely positive impression. This is a very unusual place and it is worth visiting if you are not afraid of seasickness.

Tags, Germany: animals, beach, island, sea

Tags, all countries: animals, beach, island, sea
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2019-05-21 23:03 # 1 siptrans
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