Wittmund, recently named the “City of Diversity,” welcomes all comers to its doors with a stiff drink. It’s just not the drink you think. When you visit a home or local restaurant, expect to be served Ostfriesentee.
This strong black tea is traditionally served in small cups with heavy cream. Sweetened with Kluntje, a slowly-melting white rock candy sugar, it hardly seems good for you. Yet the tea allegedly cures a multitude of ills and will certainly keep you going as you explore this beautiful town.
Say hello to Jan Schüpp, a jolly bronze statue who is the town mascot, as you stroll through the pedestrian district in the town center. Enjoy the market square and the historic homes. Also, have your camera ready to get snaps of the sites.
As you walk you’ll certainly see the red-brick spire of St. Nicolai Church, a religious site for more than 1000 years. The present building is over 300 years old, though the Baroque “pulpit-altar” dates to the 17th century. If you arrive in the morning, you’ll get the full benefit of the stained glass windows on the eastern wall. St. Nicolai is a patron saint of sailors, particularly appropriate for an old fishing town like Wittmund.
Only 12 kilometers from the coast, it’s worth the your bus ticket to cycle along the beach or take a dive in the North Sea. Watch out for the chilly water, however — it’s a bit nippy!
If that’s too adventurous for your taste, check out the Isums Wittmund, an outdoor park with water slides, a heated pool, boat rentals, and tennis courts.
After you’ve worked up an appetite playing in the water, you’ll be ready for the food. Why not sample some of the delectable seafood for which Wittmund is well-known? Perhaps shrimp or sole, or even Smoortaal (smoked eel), which is sometimes served with Löffeltrunk (schnapps from a round tin spoon).
Once you’ve eaten, you can check out the two historic windmills, built to take advantage of the almost constant sea breeze. The older is the well-preserved Peldemühle, a barley mill built in 1741, which now houses the Heritage Museum covering the local history of Wittmund.
Its younger sibling, the Dutch or Siuts Mill, is over 125 years old, and has a decent restaurant inside where you can have more seafood or another cup of that delicious Ostfriesentee.