Settle into a Strandkorb, take in the salt air and enjoy beach life along the coast of the North Sea.

By Leah Larkin

 

Rain pelted down in torrents. A wild wind whipped across the sands and sea. Waves crashed ferociously on the shore. Welcome to the North Sea.

Our visit last September was planned as a beach break with dips in the sea, sunning and relaxing on one of those ubiquitous Strandkorbs (hooded wicker beach chairs), walking and pedaling amongst the dunes. We had not expected hot sun, palm trees and beach vendors peddling pineapple and coconut slices. But, we hadn’t planned for harsh Arctic-like conditions either.

“September is normally ‘schön’ (beautiful),” a woman at the St. Peter-Ording tourist office told me. “But the weather has changed so much. We no longer know what to expect.”

Ever since friend Ingrid told me about meeting her future husband on a nude beach in this North Sea resort, St. Peter-Ording has beckoned me. That was ages ago, but I have wanted to experience the North Sea, not necessarily, however, the nude beaches for which the area is renowned. During the many years I lived in Germany, it seemed friends were often heading north for their beach break, not south to the French Riviera. What was the attraction? I had to find out.

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