überlin

Around Rügen: Exploring the Island

by James Glazebrook

James and Olive in Jasmund National Park

It feels like a lifetime ago that we got back from our trip to Rügen. The highlight of our island experience may have been the Nazi ruins of Prora, but every day was like a little adventure. Olive may have been happy rolling around in the grass around our holiday home, but somehow we managed to tear ourselves away and explore Rügen to the fullest.

Jagdschloss Granitz
If there’s one thing we learned on Rügen, it’s that Germans really believe that getting there is half the fun. All of the island’s landmarks are situated a good few kilometres from the nearest car park, just so visitors can fit in a decent hike while they’re sightseeing. Jagdschloss Granitz, a pretty pink confection of a hunting castle, is fine – but the walk up, through unspoiled fields and forests, is sublime.

Cat resting in the sun Couple sitting waiting for the train Jagdschloss sign Jagdschloss forest Jagdschloss

Sassnitz
We came to the port town of Sassnitz for the Fischbrötchen – the same reason we didn’t stay long! As North Sea natives, we thought we liked fish – until we sunk our teeth into Rügen’s local delicacy. Turns out we need our seafood to have at least been kissed by a grill before it enters our mouths, but don’t let that put you off.  Get yourself to the wind-battered harbour of Sassnitz for taste of something super-fresh.

Sassnitz pier Fischbrötchen Sassnitz harbour

Sellin
The next stop on our tour of Rügen’s seaside towns took us to Sellin, worth checking out for the longest pier on the island and the old-fashioned Strandkörbe (“beach baskets”), available to rent for pooped-out visitors. When we were there, a couple were taking wedding photos running through the south beach surf. Cute!

Sellin pier

Jasmund National Park
This nature reserve on the Jasmund peninsula is Deutschland’s answer to Dover, home of the largest chalk cliffs in Germany. A peaceful hike through a beech forest brings you to Königsstühl (the King’s Chair), and a vertigo-testing climb 160m down rickety wooden stairs finds you on a rugged, undisturbed beach, with epic views out across the open sea. Unmissable.

Jasmund National Park forest

Jasmund National Park cliffs

Jasmund National Park reflection

Jasmund National Park

Boat in the ocean

Olive and James looking out at the ocean

Prora: The Nazi’s Unfinished Holiday Resort

by James Glazebrook

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When we recently vacationed on the German island of Rügen, there was place we made sure to visit first: Prora. Earmarked by the Nazis as a holiday destination for some 20,000 worn-out workers, construction on the eight buildings of the “Colossus of Prora” was halted by World War Two, since which the huge complex has been used as a military base by the Soviets and East Germans, and later a youth hostel and, seemingly, a squat with its own nightclub.

We rocked up on what turned out to be an unseasonably beautiful September day, both wearing head-to-toe black and Dr. Martens, looking to our fellow holidaymakers like wannabe stormtroopers, or maybe just hipster-goths on vacation. Piling our winter coats on the sand, we rushed into the crystal clear sea with Olive, before climbing through the ruined walls and marvelling at the sheer scale and ambition of Hitler’s answer to Butlins. Construction work confirmed what we’d read about the buildings being redeveloped as vacation apartments, so we’d advise you to visit Prora while it remains one of Germany’s great abandoned relics. 

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Resting at Rügen

by James Glazebrook

Sunset in Rügen

We may not be too sentimental about our home on the northeastern shores of England, but we certainly miss the sea. Sure, Berlin has beautiful lakes, but they don’t quite fulfill our longing to feel the coastal winds whip against our faces, taste the salt in the air and gaze out towards the horizon where blue meets blue. That’s why we chose to spend our short summer break on Germany’s largest island, Rügen, which sits on the Baltic Sea (Ostsee), a mere three hours’ drive from Berlin.

For our first Oliday (holiday with Olive), we pointed our rental car due north and headed towards Trent. Here we arrived at our beautiful Airbnb with an ocean view and its very own sauna!  The location was stunning, with wild flowers dotted all around and the sea only a minutes walk away. On an evening we would sit in the garden with a glass of wine, watching sunset close in and the flashing beacon of Hiddensee lighthouse and feel a million miles away from Berlin.

Having set up camp, we started planning a week of wholesome outdoor activities, including visits to the white cliffs of Jasmund National Park, the tiny towns of Sassnitz and Sellin, and the Nazi’s half-built vacation resort of Prora. Check out the first of our holiday snaps, and stay tuned for more adventures of überlin on Rügen!

Trent Airbnb home

Bedroom with Olive on the bed
Olive relaxing in the sun
Wild Flowers in Rügen


Thistles in Rügen
Olive relaxing in the sun