We arrived in Norderney late afternoon on the Friday. Alessandra had unexpectedly arrived the day before and was keen to join us for a weekend on the island. The drive to the ferry from Norden was longer than we’d expected, but it was nice to see East Frisia and particularly the Krummhörn, where we’d considered moving to last year.
We left the car at Norden, as it was far cheaper than taking it on board among the fleet of white Audis and BMWs that accompanied us on the boat. From the port we took a taxi to our camp site on the south side of the island looking out over the Wadden Sea.
After pitching our tents, we crossed the dunes in the direction of the North Sea beach, taking care to stick to the designated pathways. The island was strangely pristine, and it was clear that the grassy dunes with their small pockets of woodlands were carefully managed to make sure that not only do that the tourists keep coming but there remains an island here for the tourists to come to.
On the beach, we swam for a while in the murky North Sea. Cold but tolerable, and I imagined it probably never really got much warmer. This was the start of what was set to be the hottest weekend of the year. We went to the only restaurant near our stretch of beach, which was fancier than somewhere I would normally eat. We each had a slightly odd mix of, I suppose, modern German food.
I had been looking forward to coming to Norderney for some time. I associated it with Heinrich Heine, with the Hanoverian dynasty and mostly with The Riddle of the Sands.