Perhaps I should simply draw a veil over this day, our last in Northern Germany, since it wasn’t a huge success. Our maybe I should post a write up to serve as an object lesson for all cartophiles – incidentally, my spellchecker doesn’t think that’s a word, but I’m very gratified to find that the internet most assuredly disagrees – anyway, a cautionary tale with the moral: you can’t always plan a day out entirely on the basis of a road map.
The problem was that the house we’d booked, lovely though it was, didn’t have wifi, and, I confess, my research prior to our trip had been a bit slipshod and primarily centred around images of the white cliffs of Jasmund. Beyond that I hadn’t thought too far. But the map showed two small islands just down the coast from our holiday home, both joined to the mainland by a causeway, one of which was shown on the map as a nature reserve. What could go wrong?
So, we drove to Riems to find the island surrounded by tall security fences, locked gates and signs which made it clear that visitors weren’t welcome. It seemed as those the island was occupied by some sort of large factory complex.
Hence the rather shoddy, side-of-the-road picnic shown in the first photo. I seem to remember we were still pretty cheerful – we had the nature reserve still to come and we were entertained by the largest flock of Cormorants I have ever seen:
It wasn’t far to our second non-event of the day, but the roads were narrow and a bit confusing and by the time we reached the tiny car park at the edge of reserve I think tempers may have been a bit frayed.
As you can see, the quaint information board showed a path across the reserve to the island of Koos.
I think that this is Cornflower, not something I’ve seen at home in Lancashire.
A tern. Not sure which type.
It was a fairly bleak landscape, but the island was clearly wooded and would surely prove to be charming?
Riems. What a shame we couldn’t get in.
We eventually reached the narrow strait separating Koos from the mainland. There were lots of hirundines nesting on the underside of the wooden bridge.
And the channel was teeming with fish…
And a Moon Jellyfish – the same kind which the boys and I had swum with a couple of days before.
They don’t sting humans apparently, although when I swam in the Baltic as a kid I was convinced I’d been stung, so it isn’t just B who has a vivid imagination. Jellyfish have no blood or brain or heart apparently. People never boast about swimming with jellyfish do they? Dolphins, definitely. Maybe seals? Jellyfish no. Speciesist.
Anyway, just beyond the bridge – high fences and a padlocked gate. Insert your own expletives. We could at least see why this was a nature reserve, there were huge numbers of Greylag Geese, Swans and Cormorants about.
And, I think, three Great White Egrets, judging by their size relative to the Grey Heron nearby.
It was a long trudge back to the car.
The next day we had a lengthy drive ahead, with a considerable detour to my Aunt’s house to collect the many possessions our kids had managed to leave behind. But we weren’t heading home yet…