Geh nach Norden

I say Germany, most people say Oktoberfest, Lederhosen, Wurst, Bavarian beer, mountains, snow, Schnitzel, Berlin, the Black Forest. At a pinch, perhaps images of the Pfalz’s vineyards, or Dresden’s architecture, spring to mind. Likely enormous castles, or age-old Kloster breweries, and rolling green hills. But what about beaches, seafood, sailing and water-sports? Harbours and ports, the fjord, the coast, tug boat trips to beach villages, Strandkörbe, herby northern bier and strange seafood dishes? Marzipan, Hanseatic cities, naval history, seagulls, and cruise ships to Scandinavia? Instead of ski holidays in Austria, what about beach breaks in Denmark?

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Those things have come to define my Germany, as an honoury Kielerin. I love the north of this country, for how very different it is to the general understanding of Germanness, and how it has expanded my own understanding of what it means to live in, belong to, and come from Germany. I seem to have absorbed the pride that pulses through the North Germans (if not the love of tiny North Sea crabs) and have come to see everything south of Hamburg as, essentially, ‘south Germany.’ The Baltic and the North Sea have joined the Pacific in my veins.

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For a while I have been playing with the idea of starting a blog about this region – an English speaking blog. There are some great German blogs out there that show off my Heimatand its neighbouring cities, but a bit of a dearth of English-speaking material for curious travellers or fellow Germany lovers. And the big guidebooks do an appalling job of covering this corner of the country – Kiel gets an awful rap a lot of the time, with seemingly no one going past its severe, 70s-esque city centre and into the old neighbourhoods, finding the beautiful parks and cobblestones, or slices of history.

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But, you know, time. This blog receives the bulk of my writing, which is it purpose, and beyond that, time and energy for bigger projects are regrettably scarce at this point. So I have started a little smaller. Over on Instagram, you’ll find Geh nach Norden, which I plan to fill with pictures of my favourite pockets of this city I call home, and its surrounds. I’ll be snapping, and captioning the beach culture, the city, the booming coffee scene, the food, the gardens and markets, the water and the villages that are so tied to it. The aim is an interesting, informative feed that does justice to this neck of the woods, for armchair travellers, and those planning on coming to Germany, but with little idea of what’s on offer up here. It’s also a feed for those who live in Germany and have never been up here. And to that, I say, hääääää? Go north!

10 Replies to “Geh nach Norden”

  1. Liv, such a wonderfully positive blog entry! Best of luck for “Geh nach Norden” & greetings from Süddeutschland ; ) xxx

  2. Great idea i am looking forward to “Geh nach Norden” I love reading your blog💕
    Viele Grüße aus Minneapolis

  3. So true, Live, every time I read your blog I am homesick …. Schleswig Holstein is extra, extra special, tschuess ….

  4. Love it! There is a severe lack of information/travel inspiration on smaller German cities. I’ve been thinking about starting a similar one for my new home, Leipzig, as the amount of English (or German) material on things to see and do around the city is abysmal. It’s the new Berlin after all!

  5. You know, Liv, within Germany there is a distinct cultural divide between North and South. In the South they regard everything north and east of Frankfurt as “Preußen” (seemingly a harsh place), whereas the Northerner regards the South as made up of silly, undisciplined Bavarian farmers who drink beer and party all the time. And then there are the Rhinelanders. Konrad Adenauer detested Berlin and the East. He once declared, “Prussians drink Schnapps, Southerners drink beer, but we Rhinelanders drink wine!” Yes, the North really doesn’t get a fair shake. About the only locale that does is Hamburg, which is a truly great city, the richest one in Europe. So you could truly foster a greater understanding of the North with your very own observations of it. I can hardly wait! P.S. — I once took a day trip from Hamburg up to Flensburg — that’s a lovely place, right on its own fjord. I enjoyed a great seafood lunch there.

  6. I just visited Kiel, my boyfriend’s hometown, for the first time and absolutely fell in love with its charm. I had heard not great things about Kiel prior to my visit and was pleasantly surprised. And I promise next time I’m in Kiel, we are going on a proper coffee date 😉 Because I absolutely love this blog! xo

  7. Vielen Dank für diesen Artikel. Ich komme auch aus dem Norden, Oldenburg und Bremen und liebe das Flachland, das Moor, die Birken, den Fisch und den Horizont.
    Wunderbar!

  8. “… most people say Oktoberfest, Lederhosen, …”
    Only the NON- German, especially the Anglo- Saxons, have this constrained view. Many Germans prefer their German seashore as demonstrated by the high number of overnight stays during the main season. My family like Norderney and Rügen, Grömitz and Sankt- Peter-Ording. But we also like warm and sunny weather. So we travel often to booming Bardolino (5:30h by car) instead of boring Büsum (6:30h by car). 🙂
    Why the Anglo-Saxons IMHO ignore the North?
    The Brits have enough of North Sea themselves (and also Angles, Saxons and Frisians) and if they want to visit the Baltic Sea, they travel the unique Swedish skerries. But they don’t have mountains so it isn’t surprising that the first Alpine club was founded by noble Englishmen 1857 in London.
    The Americans identify Germany not with North German characteristics because the American Zone of Occupation consisted of South Germany. So Germany is the Rhine in Hessen, the Bavarian Alps in Lederhosen, Franconian timber-work houses and the Baden city of Heidelberg.
    P.S.: Only a non- skier can equate snow covered Alps, shine and sparkle in the sunlight, with cloudy and windy Danish coastline.

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