My love for the Baltic Sea is endless. My eyes grow wide and dreamy when I talk about it, and I have an infinite supply of tales to tell about different cities, especially the hanseatic ones, along the shores of this most beautiful of seas. When Andrew and I made for two days on Germany’s biggest island Rügen, I was excited like a four-year-old at Christmas. I will soon tell you about our hikes from the little village of Lohme, where we stayed, along the coast with its famous chalk cliffs. But today all I want to share with you is my passion for the Baltic Sea in pictures.
My sister once said she prefered the North Sea, and when I asked her why, she said: „Because I like the Elbe River better than the Alster.“ To someone from Hamburg that makes immediate sense. The Elbe and the North Sea are less domesticated, more untamed, wilder. The Alster and the Baltic are calm and reliable – some may say boring. I cannot for the life of me agree with the last point. I have seen the Baltic shimmer in all different shades of blue and green and grey, I have seen it crushing towering waves onto the sand and lie still like a mirror. It has never once bored me.
One of the things I love is that the Baltic can change colour from grey to blue and back in a matter of minutes. Also I am convinced that the sky is of a more intense blue than elsewhere (if it is blue that is, and not overcast). I feel like the Mediterranean is always blue. Granted, a beautiful blue. But the colour range of the Baltic just seems richer, and sometimes a grey sea is just what I need. Grey and angry.
Images like this make me feel free. Where might that boat be going? Is it maybe without aim and just leasurely, idly swimming by? How symbolic of life is a boat on a sea – trying to fight through the storms it might encounter and trying to hold on to the peaceful sunny days?
The Baltic Sea is also so different from the Mediterranean or the Black Sea with their heat and palms and sandy beaches. Granted, you can have wonderful beach vacations by the Baltic, but generally the climate is of course rougher, harsher. I may like the Baltic better when there’s a strong wind and I’m wearing hiking boots and a rain jacket than when I’m wearing a bikini. The climate also grants that you have the most wonderful of combinations – forests right by the sea. When I walk that line between the rich green leafy thicket and the wide openness of the sea, I don’t need a Mediterranean beach.
I am also fascinated by the swans at the Baltic. Seagulls, yes, but swans? When we went to Rügen now, I was almost surprised that they were there. I had only ever before in the Baltic seen them in Poland. But there were loads of them, and watching them dive into the tiny waves for food or sliding by majestically on the water was beautiful. In this picture, I especially like the two to the right. They look like a long married couple.
When the sun sets at the Baltic, and the sky is exploding in colours that you don’t get to see even in the most beautiful sunsets in the city, light fades, and the sounds of the waves and the wind become more dominant than what is visible to the eye, I get calm and relaxed and I can forget my busy life for a little while. There is peace.
Do you have a favourite sea? Have you been to Germany’s biggest island Rügen? Would you like to go?