Gauss-Telegraph: World trip from home in 30 days – Rügen
by Lena Heinecke
My impression of Rügen
Rügen is the largest German island and is located in the Baltic Sea near the city of Stralsund. Much of the island is covered by national parks and nature reserves, because Rügen has a very diverse landscape. There are relatively few roads and some areas are even prohibited for cars, therefore bicycles, foot and rail are the most popular forms of transportation. Even though the majority of visitors spend most of their time sunbathing on the beach, there are also many beautiful small villages, museums, piers and other sights on Rügen that are well worth exploring. You can also relax on long beach walks and hikes.
The landmark (and in my opinion the most beautiful place) on Rügen is the Jasmund National Park with its chalk cliffs. The highest and best known among them is the 118 meter high Königsstuhl. You can either hike along the beach between the cliffs and the sea, where you feel tiny compared to the rocks, or hike in the forest on the cliffs, from where you can enjoy a great view of the island and over the sea. Since many tourists visit the top of the cliffs by bus or bike, the path on the beach is particularly recommended if you prefer a little more peaceful and quiet hike. By the way, it is forbidden to climb the cliffs, because every year some people lose their lives there.
The “Rügensche Bäderbahn” operates a railway line between Göhren and Putbus on a narrow-gauge network. The “Rasender Roland” trains are powered by steam locomotives that are up to 100 years old. This makes the Bäderbahn one of the last railroads in Germany that still use steam locomotives every day.
The “Colossus of Prora” is a building from the National Socialist period. At that time, eight building blocks with a total length of almost five kilometers were built, in which affordable holidays by the sea were to be made possible. Nowadays five of the buildings are still preserved and are used as youth hostel, hotels, museum or holiday apartments. Both a visit to the museum and a stroll along the buildings to realize the sheer size of it are highly recommended.
Best museum on the island
The “Oldtimer Museum Rügen” (Proraer Allee 119, 18609 Ostseebad Binz) shows 40 years of German automotive history (from 1949 – 1989) in comparison between the then divided East and West Germany. Although it looks rather small from the outside, it has a lot to offer and the direct comparison of vehicles from the BRD and the DDR is very fascinating. There are also old fire engines and steam locomotives to be admired in the exhibition.
Favourite local dish
Since Rügen is near the sea, freshly caught fish is of course the most common specialty (especially herring, cod, eel and pike). The various types of fish are offered cooked, steamed, smoked, roasted or grilled in the restaurants on the island.
Products made from sea buckthorn are also a German coast specialty. The orange sea buckthorn berries grow on shrubs near the coast and are used, for example, to make tea, candy or jam.