13-14/8/16. Christine spent a second summer working in a German restaurant.- on the North Sea coast, in St Peter-Ording, this time – so it would have been remiss of us to bypass it. But when we got there it had all changed so she recognised nothing other than a faint memory of the ceiling of the church in which she worshipped while there. Almost every building looked less the thirty years old so it was perhaps not surprising. The path to the beach through the dunes also rang bells but she did only go to the sand once the whole summer (because her memory is that the weather, all the time she was there, was similar to that which we have been experiencing for the last few days – a strong, cool/cold wind off the sea with intermittent heavy showers).
It was also a strange place – five “villages” (St Peter-Böhl, -Dorf, -Bad, -Ording & -????) strung together and all given over completely to tourism. Every building seemed to be a hotel or a guest house or a shop or a restaurant or a cafe. We can only think that it must be Tumble Weed Stadt in winter! But in summer, even with the weather in Northern European mode, it was a busy and thriving place! Perhaps people were attracted by the kite festival taking place on the beach itself, which we declined to visit because access was down a road which required the possession of a visitor’s pass costing €3 each. (Do I hear you shout “Cheapskates”? Guilty as charged, m’lud!!)
The route from Husum to this strange place was similar to the previous days – a flat, flat, flat landscape which is a mixture of rich farmland and wild marshes and dunes, all under big skies. The wind had turned again and was from either the west or the south west, depending on how it felt from one minute to the next. Neither option (not that we had any choice in the matter!) was ideal as the route seemed to switch between the same two directions even more frequently than the wind. It made for slow going. Wind can be even tougher for cycling than hills because it can go on for EVER!
We spent two nights in St Peter-Ording because (a) it gave Christine a chance to reminisce (or not), (b) it was Sunday, so church/pill/solo bike ride day, depending on one’s inclination and (c) it was a reasonably priced campsite (€19 including showers).