A twenty minute drive took us to the other side of the fjord, where streets were stone and quiet, the houses big and surrounded by summer trees not ready to lose their green. We wound our way down to the water with me chorusing ‘schöööön’ at every bend, and SG responding with ‘yessss, and really expensive’. So green, so quiet, so near water, such lovely houses, I have no idea what SG would be talking about. As for those big houses with lawns rolling down to the water’s edge, am I supposed to be impressed?
Heikendorf has been around since 1233 and, even better, Möltenort, a suburb, I guess – would you call it a suburb of Heikendorf? I think so. – was a Viking settlement. It still thrills me I live in the land of Ragnar and Lagertha Lothbrook. These days Heikendorf is a resort village (although to say that seems to suggest it is something far less than its charming self) and Möltenort a harbour jostling with boats and countless Fischbrötchen options. We went for a boat boasting fresh Fischbrötchen, run by two cranky old north German fishermen. SG dared to confirm the Backfisch was fresh, and was gruffly told to read the sign. Jo. Machen wir. It was fresh, in this piping hot, peppery batter. Bloody good.
But before we wedged in the Fischbrötchen, we took a walk to fill our lungs with salty air. The wind was strong, the water choppy, and with pleasing regularity, little ferries would put put across, leaving the Möltenort harbour for the other side of the fjord. We stood and picked out the familiar landmarks of the city of Kiel, and the Falconstein lighthouse. Die Lüdde’s eyes watered, but that girl has never met a wind in her hair she hasn’t liked, and pumped her arms up and down.
We walked out along the water to a small peninsula where the Möltenort U-Boot Memorial stands, marked by an eagle atop a sandstone pillar. The memorial pays tribute to all of the German Naval sailors who lost their life in a submarine. My understanding is it was originally built to remember whoe who fell in the two World Wars but was later re-dedicated to all men who have lost their lives at sea.
Because a big bread roll stuffed with fried fish and garlic mayonnaise wasn’t enough, and because we like to live wild and see if we can get away with a lovely cafe experience during the 12 month old’s witching hour, we rolled into a tea house for a hot drink and slice of cake.
Galerie Cafe Roehrskroog is a thatched-roof house with a wild little garden, where tea and coffee comes in blue and white crockery, and the cake is fresh and generously sliced. The sun-facing Strandkörbe were all, of course, occupied by sun tankers, so we sat in the garden, where a big rock held our table cloth down, lest that salty wind whip it away.
These little villages, this seaside culture, beaches and bays and harbours just minutes from our front door – they tie me to this part of Germany and its people. Here the Baltic and the North Sea run through their blood, warmed by strong tea, pots of coffee, and fried fish.
I think there’s a little Baltic in me, now, too.