Book recommendation: “Barfu├č auf dem Sommerdeich” by Katja Just

I just finished reading this book. First of all, I’m quite proud of having been able to read it all without looking at the dictionary!

9783959101172

I picked it up in my library, attracted by the wilderness and remoteness of the Halligen, small islands in the North Sea, near the coasts of Germany and Denmark. The story of the city-dweller who leaves the busy streets for a remote, natural environment invariably fascinates every human heart.

Katja Just’s journey from Munich to Hooge is however not so close to a dream. She had hard times, not only because of the trying living conditions on the island, but, according to my impression, the deeper cause was her approach to those hardships. She does an amazing journey of introspection and acceptance, of herself, of the life on Hooge, that is unique and brave. This makes me think that just following her example and move to Hooge myself would not necessarily be a good decision: my starting point and my mindset are different. Nevertheless, the lessons I wish to learn from her experience are:

  • observe, assuming that the information is out there and deserves to be noticed
  • learn more about myself through the analysis of my reactions – being honest and open, rather than intolerant to my weaknesses
  • be ready to stand for my ideas, firmly and politely

I hope there will be soon an English translation, so that more readers can have access to the book. I’ll update the post accordingly.

Until next time, good reads everyone!

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Trip to the Baltic Sea

Last weekend I visited a little village on Island Usedom, near the Polish-German border.

Source: 1usedom.de

Usedom is famous in Germany for its white beaches and historical seaside resorts, so I was expecting a mixture of Italian Riviera mass tourism and of nordic sea landscapes. I have been pleasantly surprised with many landmarks and details that reminded me of my holidays around Europe, almost at every corner. Some holiday houses looked Belgian, other from Southern France, there were well-tended gardens for every house, some local restaurants, beach-side shops (the ones with beach toys, magnets, hats, sunscreen, t-shirts and endless gadgets), old fishermens’ huts with thatched roofs, and an overwhelming aroma of smoked fish from many small smokeries.

I loved how the people didn’t mind the rain at all. They wandered around unimpressed with rain gear and bikes, some even stayed on the beach. This is a lesson I want to learn for myself! There is even a German say that goes “There is no bad weather, there is only wrong clothing” ­čÖé

I made a few pictures – sorry for the blur, it’s not a filter, but some dust inside the camera.

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Beach west of the pier (Seebr├╝cke)
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Pier and wave breakers
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Beach with Strandk├Ârbe
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View from Streckelsberg – two hikers on the beach for scale

I loved the quietness and richness in stories of that place, I hope to come back there soon!