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It is a narrow strip of land, the largest in the Friesian archipelago that points the eastern coast of the Jutland peninsula, with 40 kilometers of beach and a picturesque landscape of houses covered with compact thatched roofs. The island of Sylt rustic getaway of the Germanic upper class . The main towns and resorts are Westerland, Wenningstedt and Kampen . In this last town is the most expensive street in Germany, the locals explain with a mixture of dread and pride.
Before that, following the fable of the Spanish fishing villages turned into golf courses, Sylt was a hippy and protonudist refuge, where actresses like Birigitte Bardot walked and where artists such as architect and plastic artist Anatole Buchholz, friend of Günter, sought refuge. Grass, collector of sick foxes and sculptor of pieces of wood collected on the beach. His house has become a foundation that awards scholarships to artists, such as the painter Thomas Landt, who shows us the house illuminated by a skylight on the thatched roof while commenting on the tactical deployment of Bayer Munich in the second leg of the semifinals of the Champions League.
Traditional thatched roof houses of the elite island of Sylt © Cristóbal Prado
The press mogul Axel Springer, the German Kane citizen based in Hamburg, who, in the absence of neo-Gothic castles, opted to buy a lighthouse, also came to this remote island windswept and former fishing base of an important whaling fleet . No one hunts whales on Sylt anymore, and only a small part of the population is able to speak the Frisian dialect fluently, a mixture of German, English and Danish. The rural past of isolated and remote whaling island must be imagined visiting the museum house of the 18th century in Kampen, with its claustrophobic beds in the form of gnome cabinets.
The oyster farm of the company Dittmeyer´s Austern © Cristóbal Prado
After the trip to the past, you will visit the Dittmeyer's Austern oyster farm. I agreed in its facilities with a group of German chefs, to whom the rain had spoiled their golf day, and at the last minute they changed the green for the oyster tasting in Katiuskas . In the middle of the storm it seemed a formidable idea to accompany one of the employees to the bay where the oysters are raised . Just as Travemünde vacationers entered the sea in mobile booths, I made my triumphant entry on the back of a tractor after crossing a huge beach hit by a storm. Another harmless pleasure to add to the list: splash around in Katiuskas by the North Sea.
This article was published in number 54 of Condé Nast Traveler .
Bathhouse or strandkorb on Kampen Beach © Cristóbal Prado