Since yesterday afternoon, my boyfriend and I have been exploring a place I never knew existed until about a month ago: the German island of Sylt.
I know what you're thinking: Germany has islands? Well, turns out it has quite a few! And Sylt is the northernmost of all of them, effectively straddling the border with Denmark, albeit 11 kilometres offshore. It is known for its tourism, and, according to Wikipedia, "in latter years, it has been a resort for the German jet set and tourists in search of occasional celebrity sightings."
Conclusion? I am now a member of the German jet set! My bucket list is now complete!
Anyway, we got here after about a three-hour train ride from Hamburg, and have settled in nicely to our cozy little 70s-style hotel. We're steps from the beach, though - as you can see by the narrow shape of the island - this isn't difficult. This afternoon we took a long, frigid walk along the water's edge, which reminded me somewhat weirdly of southern California. I'm not sure why. I mean, there's sand. But no palm trees, no rollerbladers, and a distinctly more German architecture. So maybe I need to brush up on my beachiness.
Now, I won't lie: it's cold out there. We bundled up well and good, and promised ourselves a well-earned mulled wine after the walk, and off we went. And it was beautiful. I haven't spent much time on beaches in winter, and I am all for trying new things in beautiful places.
The little resort town of Westerland itself is adorable. It's dripping with money, as you can tell by the fancy boutiques and nice restaurants. I've heard Sylt (pronounced 'Zzzzült') described as 'the Hamptons of Germany,' and I'm just going to have to take their word for it, given that I've never been to the actual Hamptons. But eh, it's very pretty, and that's good enough for me!
And as always, one of my favorite things about Sylt so far is something a little quirky: 'Moin.' It's a nordish word they use on the island (and I think in a few nearby regions as well) that apparently means everything from 'Good morning!' to 'Thank you!' to 'See you later!' I've absolutely loved hearing people use it, and I've tried to pepper my own (halting) German communications with it all day long. Moin, moin, moin!
So moin for the great day, Sylt, and moin for another one tomorrow - and moin to all of you, too!