Wide sea and Bodden landscapes, wild beaches and artist atmosphere, light and untouched nature: there are many reasons to love Fischland-Darß-Zingst. We asked a few locals about theirs
The small harbor town of Barth ducks idyllically under the massive tower of St. Mary's Church. In this pretty little town on the Bodden, life still goes on at a leisurely pace. Yet it was already known in the 19th century for its many shipyards and shipping companies. In the Bodden harbor of Barth, which is divided into a sports harbor, a maritime harbor and a commercial harbor and covers a total of twelve hectares of water, there is still a lot going on today. Harbor master Stephan Wenke, a handsome man with bright blue eyes, makes sure everything runs smoothly here. He supervises mooring maneuvers, assigns berths, maintains piers and quay edges. His desk - even administrative work has to be done sometimes - is on the top floor of the wheelhouse at the harbor, a modern, ship-like wooden construction with all-round glazing for maximum visibility. From here, the harbor master looks out over his domain as if from a ship's bridge. But he prefers to be out and about, where he is recognized by everyone thanks to his T-shirt with "Hafenmeister" printed on it, and where he is often approached. And where he plows through the waves in his official vehicle, a workboat named "Molly. By the way, Stephan Wenke also loves to be on and around the water in his free time. He has his own sailboat, which he takes out to sea on his days off. He particularly enjoys cruising through the water world west of Fischland-Darß-Zingst. Through the Bodstedter Bodden, for example, where he extensively enjoys what he loves most about his homeland: "Nature, the light and the flight of birds."
Guests come to Zingst from far and wide to enjoy the endlessly long, fine sandy beaches, the elegant pier and the unique natural landscape between the Baltic Sea and the Bodden. But what do local children actually love about this traditional seaside resort? Madita von Klitzing, 13 years old and a true Zingst native, doesn't have to think long. "There's always a place to play here," she enthuses. "We can collect shells or amber, gallop across the beach on a pony, ride a SUP or fly a kite in the fall. Sometimes we just climb on the goggles." Climb the goggles? Oh, I see: Madita means the oversized sunglasses with the colorful lenses that stand like an art sculpture in the middle of the sandy beach, perfect for fun activities in all kinds of weather. The glasses are part of the Zingst Olympus FotoKunstPfad and have become a kind of modern landmark of the seaside resort, which has been recommending itself as a destination for photography lovers for many years with its annual environmental photo festival. Madita and her clique also benefit from this. Because the kids try out daring jumps and gymnastic exercises on the goggles and skilfully put themselves in the limelight during "shootings". Life is a beach? In Zingst it certainly is!
Ahrenshoop has been an artists' colony for over a hundred years. Back then, at the end of the 19th century, the first painters settled in the small fishing village between the Baltic coast and the Bodden to find peace and inspiration in untouched nature, in the vastness and in the special light of the north. After World War II, the painters were joined by writers, actors and musicians. "For 125 years, Ahrenshoop has been shaped by artists and individualists," enthuses Lutz Gerlach, a musician and composer originally from Berlin. "There is a special, a cultural vacation flair here. Many cultural events fill the place with spirit and atmosphere." For himself, however, in addition to culture, it was nature that made him move permanently from Prenzlauer Berg to Ahrenshoop many years ago, where he is now artistic director of the "Naturklänge" concert series. These are music events that celebrate the special combination of nature and music at very different locations in the region - on the cliffs above the sea, in fragrant gardens, in green parks. But Ahrenshoop's nature is also expressed in his own compositions: "The waves of the Baltic Sea, the rustling of the trees, the frogs on the Bodden - I translate that into sound," says Gerlach. He used to make funk, soul and jazz music, but since living in Ahrenshoop, his music has become quieter and more transparent, he says. "Musica Mare" is perhaps the finest example of Lutz Gerlach's musical work on the Baltic Sea. Subtitled "From the Sound of the Waves."
For romantic people, there is hardly a more beautiful vacation spot than Dierhagen: With its long, perfectly west-facing sandy beaches, the Baltic Sea resort is the ideal sunset location. Frank Bremer thinks so, too. After working in Hamburg for many decades, the native of Stralsund recently opened the "Free as the Wind" vacation resort in Dierhagen. The spacious eight-hectare property has chalets and glamping tents with every comfort, plus a cozy restaurant and a large indoor riding arena with a riding school, stables and eleven horses that can also be ridden by guests. Except for the tents, everything is kept in noble-rustic brick and half-timbered optics. From the Dierhagen beach, the vacation resort is only a few steps - or rather, a few hoofbeats - away, and that's no coincidence, because for Frank Bremer, riding across the beach, preferably on his black horse Aragon, is one of the most beautiful things he can imagine. Especially at sunset. "Sitting up there in the saddle, feeling the vastness and seeing the horizon as the sun sinks behind it - it's so beautiful, you can't even describe it," he says. "Fischland-Darß-Zingst is simply ideal for riding. Endless meadows and forests, no obstructions, and hardly any disturbing roads." All the happiness on earth lies - at least in Dierhagen - on the back of horses after all.
Where can you still find that - truly untouched nature, where man does not interfere, where nature is allowed to do what it wants? Annett Storm has the right answer right away: in the National Park Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft, of course, to which almost the entire northern part of Fischland-Darß-Zingst belongs. This national park is a world with very different habitats, because the Bodden and the Baltic Sea are just as much a part of it as the forest and the beach. Annett Storm has been working for and with the national park for 30 years; she is currently managing director and chairwoman of the Förderverein Nationalpark Boddenlandschaft e.V. What still inspires her after all these years? "The dynamics of these landscapes, the fact that nature is always evolving. That, for example, new forests emerge where there used to be meadows. You just have to let nature be nature. To experience that, I can hardly get enough of it." Full of enthusiasm, the Wieck native tells of the Osterwald near Zingst, an old raised bog that is currently being revitalized. "The pines are now collapsing, but wonderful cotton grass is sprouting instead," she reports, "or the alder quarry at Darßer Ort in Born. How new alders grow up there, the sky is reflected in the water and sometimes a single crane strokes through. It's all so beautiful!" Annett Storm loves to inspire people with her work, to explain to them the "principle of nature" and to be able to address problems in the process. That's why she also enjoys personally taking guests on guided hikes in the national park.
Copyright cover picture: A ride at the sea is pure freedom © TMV/Tiemann
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