Germany again calls. Or rather a certain german person. But first, there's a few pics of the Castlehill area and the Coast south of Kaikoura.
Camping south of Kaikoura. The nice autumnal weather holds.
Suprisingly quiet with the tourist season drawing to an close.
The coast south is a bit off the track, but certainly possesses a rugged beauty.
Desolate... perhaps you'd go as far as saying lonely.
A little lake north of Cheviot.
Now in Arthurs Pass. This is an alpine start for a trip up Mt Cloudsley. Looks a bit ominous for sure.
Not a bad sort of a frost for early May.
Castlehill Peak in the background, and the outcrops below.
So now we go to the other side of the planet.
We go to visit the new grandkids. And take a trip to the beach. Of sorts.
On board the intercity train from Berlin to Hussam, which is near Flensburg on the Danish border. This is the big shipping canal that connects the Baltic and North Seas. The germans call it die Nordsee und Ostsee. North and East, logical one supposes.
Red brick is the favored building material in the north, and the historic main streets of Hussam are quite lovely, with lots of tiny lanes and nooks with shops.
Our host takes us direct to the "beach". On the way we see lots of solar, wind, and many small villages surrounded by barley fields.
So the North Sea is kind of hard to get near as there is this large inland sea slash wetland. Being a windy area the wind turbines are prolific.
The whole area is low lying and has been slowly reclaimed from the sea over a 1000 year period. The resulting dyke / sea wall is more or less continuous from Denmark to the Netherlands.
The areas residents learnt to build their houses on raised areas of land that form islands depending on the tide.
This is the closest thing to an actual beach, its rocky, manmade but on the updside... there are beach chairs you can hire.
This panoramic view saddles the seawall, and the inland sea that is now a national park. (Wattenmeer). Actually it's the only significant national park in the country. The same basic logic applies as in NZ, only land that is otherwise economically unusable becomes dedicated parkland. Its just that NZ is more rugged thus has more parks.
These birds perch upon the fence structures that they erect to trap tidal sediment.
And here you can see the results, which is taken from google earth from the area we visited north of Hussam.
And, again, the area makes perfect wind turbine country, national park or no park.
More of the sea fences and a tramway to one of the islands.
This is the port in Hussam or might have been Tonning. Its very tidal, and the boats are all flat bottomed. The old example shown here lowers its wings into the water to serve as a keel.
There is a very good aquarium / national park display center, called Multimar in Toenning. This flatfish underbelly is fascinating.
Also interesting the way there faces twisted / evolved. And the way they bury themselves in the sand.
This unusual and semi transparent fish had a delicate greeny blue color.
This star wars like creature periodically opened its huge mouth wide and swallowed buckets of water.
The gulls here have grey heads.
And this striking blue fish.
Outside the aquarium is a fantastic 3D map, which has been clearly lidar generated. You can make out the different generations of sea walls that were built over a thousand year period, as the sea retreated further the wall was pushed out.
So the tide was in on our first visit. On another occasion the water departed leaving the famous mudflats. You can walk for miles on the sand if you want.
The weather in the north is windy, cooler, and changeable. This front came out of nowhere, and we had to make tracks.
Before we got wet, some more photos.
There is a lighthouse, its south of Hussam, and about a big an attraction as you'll find around here. Everything else is flat, flat, flat.
The province is known for retaining many of the thatched roofs. The reeds grow in abundance in the swamps. We visited this well preserved example, open as a museum of sorts.
The layout is interesting. Only the small left area is the house. The rest is for animals, grain drying, and storage. You can really see how important grain was to these people.
The thatch serves as both rain coat and insulation. Nothing else is needed.
It was, we were told, a house from a wealthier family.
Home on the intercity, just in time to see the sunset as we pulled into Berlin.
I'd never noticed this before but the Hauptbahnhof has these integrated solar cells in the glass roof. What a cool idea.