The other day, my friend asked me if we didn’t want to spend a weekend together. Her suggestion was to either go kayaking or surfing and since both options are available close to where we live, we decided to stay in the area.
I live in a state called ‘Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’ (now try pronouncing that…) which is located in Northeastern Germany, just next to the Baltic Sea. After a lot of discussions about what could be done and which option would be best, we decided to spend the weekend on a peninsula, in a tiny village with a beautiful beach.
If only the sea had been warm enough to go swimming! But as you’ll notice, there are plenty of people on the beach but none in the water. We hadn’t come for swimming, anyway, and our first stop wasn’t the beach but the tiny harbour on the other side of the village. There, we were told at the tourist information, we could rent kayaks.
Too bad they failed to mention that the guy renting out the kayaks was only available for one hour in the morning and by now, it was too late already.
We weren’t going to give up, though. We found a phone number and called him and after a long discussion, he agreed to come and give us a kayak for two. An hour passed before he finally arrived, having been in another tiny village at the other end of the peninsula. With the traffic that day, I’m surprised it didn’t take him even longer.
But anyway. I would love to show you some pictures of our kayak trip but I was too scared of getting my camera wet. You will have to live with what I have to tell about the trip.
It was bloody exhausting!
We paddled on a small stream that basically ran from the harbour to the sea. The guy renting out the kayaks warned us that coming back, we would have to paddle against the current.
What he failed to mention was the wind. I know, we could have noticed ourselves that the wind was pushing us forward, but I never would have thought it would be that hard to paddle against it. There were moments when we were using all our strength and didn’t advance at all. Plus, the wind pushed us towards the reeds growing at both sides of the stream which made it twice as hard.
It seemed like hours until we had finally gotten back. And it was. Two and half hours, I think, which is not long for a kayaking trip – unless you’re paddling with all your strength and can never rest because the wind is going to push you back down the stream and into the reeds where you’ll get tangled.
We decided we needed a rest and went to the beach.
We were so exhausted, we walked up to the end of the bridge, went back and then dropped into the sand. It took us a while to recover enough to go and look for a surf shop where we asked about surfing classes.
Did you know that high season doesn’t start until the end of June? Too bad we were there before then as there weren’t any classes. They don’t seem to cater to weekend travellers at all, as even in high season, it’s much easier to arrange things during the week than on the weekend.
With our idea of going surfing being impossible to realise, we spent the evening reading up on tourist attractions in the area and quickly found something that caught our interest.
We would go climbing.
In Germany, parks have popped up all over the country. We call them ‘climbing gardens’ (everything is a garden here – kindergarden, climbing garden etc.) and they have become very popular over the past years. They’re usually somewhere in the forest and the basic idea is that you move around the treetops, from platform to platform, while overcoming obstacles.
I think I got a bit too much sun the previous day. My calves had caught such a bad sunburn that every step hurt. That didn’t stop me from convincing my friend to go on every single parcour with me, even the hardest ones.
You know those cartoons where a stupid character falls/slips/does another stupid mistakes and bounces from one obstacle to another? That’s how I felt. I was supposed to jump from one pole to another. And no, those poles weren’t made to stand on. They were hanging from a rope and I was supposed to hold on to them like a monkey and then jump over to the next one. Pretty impossible, if you ask me.
Can you guess what happened?
I slipped, on my very first try, and with the momentum I had, my harness carried me to the next platform – bumping into every single pole on the way. Hello, cartoon characters, I feel for you.
It was still lots of fun. And surprisingly, I barely got any bruises. I’m glad I got out and used the weekend to go away, even if it was to a place not far from here.
What places nearby have you discovered this summer?