Ever since having spent two weeks camping on Fehmarn the “island of sunshine” has been tempting me to go for a longer walk near its shores. Now, finally, I have enjoyed three days of sunshine, exercise and the Baltic Sea.
For quite a while I had nurtured the thought of hiking on Fehmarn, well known for its very sunny and mild climate. When the chance of a long weekend away from kids and family came up I immediately cancelled everything showing up in the calendar and started packing.
“Do you really think this is a good idea?”, was one of the questions in my direction. The background to this doubtful asking: My gear was way too heavy for one person (e.g. tent for three people – but I love having that space), temperatures were increasing steadily, and Achilles tendons on both feet still troubled me seriously. Same as the broken little toe on the left foot. Ah well, they’ll be safe in the hiking boots, I thought…
Arrival on Fehmarn by train
Having arrived by train just before lunch on a rather cloudy Sunday morning I immediately set off, wanting to leave my not so beautiful starting point behind. Puttgarden, better known for its Scandlines ferry terminals to Denmark and Sweden. “Anti-clockwise some kind of around the island” was my detailed and professionally worked out hiking plan, so: let’s go.
Dyke, sheep – and sheep plus dyke
The first two or three kilometers I spent pulling and adjusting all those straps and other stuff that change the way the backpack is glued to your body. Having found the seemingly ideal configuration I quickly fell into hiking mode, passed the Niobe Memorial and enjoyed the fine little breeze with its unique odor of mostly decayed seaweed. I actually like that kind of smell, it reminds me of holidays, sea, ocean, freedom, adventure…
After a brief but nonetheless wonderful late lunch I continued my walk on the dyke, still savouring every minute of Baltic Sea waters on my right and Fehmarn on my left. This part of the trip I had envisioned to be the most lonely hours of it all – and so it was. Hardly a soul crossed my path (apart from hundreds of sheep souls), and of those human fellows I met all seemed to have been tourists cycling along the dyke. Out of those just over 13.000 permanent inhabitants of Fehmarn I am sure no-one was near by.
End of hiking on day 1
Much sooner than expected Wallnau came in sight, and with that the end of my first day of hiking on Fehmarn. Putting up the tent was a very short and pleasurable task, the camping site neat, clean and big. To give credit to my doubtful supporters: Yes, the tent was heavy, and yes, carrying a three person tent is definitely over the top. Thinking about it, it was an absolutely rubbish idea. However, after a little more than five hours of hiking and carrying the 17 kg of weight on my back (and hips) my body did not really scream out loud. Tired, yes, but no pain. Fantastic.
Day 2 – with sheep, what a surprise
After a very good night’s sleep (with rain pouring down heavily), packing up and a brief breakfast I set off again round about 10:30h. The packing was – luckily – a rather uneventful process and I managed to squeeze everything back into the backpack. The first couple of meters it all felt a bit strange, but I soon got back into hiking routine and managed to fall into my usual pace.
Still continuing on my way South on the Western coast of Fehmarn I soon set sight on the lighthouse of Fluegge, did not stop for a visit and moved on towards Orth. Why did I pass various sights without having a closer look at them? I had been here before on this wonderful island, had seen quite a bit of Fehmarn already so all I wanted to do during this hiking trip was: hiking, with backpack and tent. No touristy stuff like sightseeing or anything cultural, just walking and being outside.
Hot summer on Fehmarn
On the dyke from Orth to Lemkenhafen I got a pretty good idea why someone said that this trip is in parts a bad idea. Sun blazing, only the tiniest of breezes – and not a single tree or bush in sight to give a bit of shelter and offer a place for a shady rest. Phew, kind of exhausting. Luckily Lemkenhafen was not too far away and a prolonged lunchbreak reinstated my energy levels back to almost normal level.
The first 1,5 days have been fantastic and much better than anticipated. Will it continue like this for the next 36 hours? Check out the second part of my “backpack and tent trip on Fehmarn“.
Some more impressions: