2009-06-26 54 8

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Fri 26 Jun 2009 in Westerland, Germany:
54.9886395, 8.7552430

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In a grazing meadow next to a farm at Gærup, about 3km northeast of Højer, Denmark. Reached at around 16:00 by dawidi from 49 12.


Just like 2009-06-24 54 8, I started from Kiel on the NOB train to Husum at noon, but this time I had a good connection from Husum to the north. I got off at Klanxbüll, the last mainland station after which the train goes across the sea to Sylt, and was greeted by even stronger winds than two days ago. It was still an easterly wind, very unusual for the region, so I was lucky I hadn't planned a longer trip assuming a wind from the west.

Shaken about by said wind, I cycled north to the border, which was merely marked by an abandoned hut and some tourist information signs. From there, I followed a road going on for over 6 kilometers straight, without any intersections. I know that's nothing compared to roads in the US and Australia, but for a Central European, it's an amazing experience :)

In Højer, I turned right and crawled eastward against the wind at about 8 kph, then turned north again and reached the hash hamlet.

The straightforward way to access to the hash lead me up to a single wire "fence" in front of the meadow, at the end of a farmyard. A light-colored horse and something cute I'd rather call a "pocket horse" followed me behind their fence. I checked the satellite imagery and went to the next farm from which I expected a path to lead to the coordinates, and asked a woman who had just returned home by car if she'd mind me walking through her property onto the meadow. She said "no problem", but it turned out the meadow was surrounded by an electric fence just behind the corner. I tried to get there from the other side through yet another farmyard, but I would have had to walk through stinging nettles and waist-high bushes there. So I went back to the place where I tried it first.

On closer inspection, the fence-wire was not electrified, so I ducked and passed under it, and went into the meadow, straight for the hash. I got to about 10m from the coordinates, when the three cows grazing a bit to the left (behind an electric fence across the meadow) gave me startled looks and then hurried towards me along the fence. I'm not entirely sure whether they expected me to feed them or felt threatened, but certainly I didn't want to upset them so I retreated to about 35m from the hash and they calmed down again. I took pictures for a panorama, then very slowly walked towards the coordinates again, but couldn't get closer than 18m (which is where I took the picture of the GPS) before the cows noticed. I decided to call it a success, nevertheless, and hit the road again - all the (unneccessary) searching for alternative accesses to the hash had taken a lot longer than anticipated, and I had trains to catch.

The east-to-west segment on the ride back to Højer was fun - 25-30 kph without pedaling. In Højer, I logged a geocache near the village's church, and looked for another one which I didn't find.

Originally, my plan had been to get to the station an hour or two earlier and ride the train over to Sylt to have a look at that famous island I'd never been on (and grab a geocache or two...), but that didn't work out.

Back at the border, I found I couldn't make the earlier train, but still had over an hour left before I'd have to be at the station, and since the nearby café didn't look too inviting, I cycled along the border dike up to the seashore. At least I could see Sylt on the horizon from there ;)

Once again, I made it back to the station just a couple of minutes before my train arrived. The second train, from Husum back to Kiel, was initially almost empty, but gradually filled up with (mostly drunk and really noisy) people heading to Kiel for the last day of the Kieler Woche - a week-long festival with carnival rides, concerts, and lots of extra sailboats in the bay. There's something scary and annoying about a large, thoroughly drunk group of secondary school graduates chanting "We are the educational elite..."

Still, I made it back to my friends' place unharmed and in one piece. And even got to bed early enough to wake up in time for the all-day regional train ride across Germany back to Regensburg the next day.

Hashpoint panorama
Border/North Sea dike panorama

(*) no, I don't always have an anemometer on me, but yes, it is among the things I consider packing for expeditions ;-)

dawidi earned the Border geohash achievement
by crossing the Germany-Denmark border on 2009-06-26 to reach the (54, 8) geohash.
2009-06-26 54 8 border hut.jpg