All last week I spent time completely elsewhere in Germany. So, I figured, why not go north? My trek to the far reaches of North Germany brought me to the Danish Wahld, or Dänischer Wohld in German (Jernved in Danish).
How disappointed was I when I found out it wasn’t an edible “danish.” I just love the cheese ones with a good cup of coffee. Don’t you? ;-)
What didn’t disappoint was the stunning countryside of the peninsula that stretches from the Kiel Fjord to the Eckernförde Bay in Schleswig-Holstein.
This jutting piece of land was created some 20,000 years ago during the last Ice Age. Over the course of that twenty millennia the Vikings, the Danish, and the Germans have lived on some amazing real estate. So, what did these marauding, sea-loving people do?
Well, besides that they used to go reindeer hunting up here in the Danish Wahld — and a lot of the land is great for agriculture — they raised crops.
Wow, that’s rough. Couldn’t they have planted more veggies instead of going after some of Santa’s friends?! ;-)
At least the reindeer had a good chance to get away. As its name suggests (Wahld, Wald, etc.) the area is heavily forested. so Rudolf, Dancer, and Prancer could hide amongst the trees.
All that’s missing at the moment is a Brother Grimm fairytale. I guess me telling you about the awesome city of Kiel will have to do instead.
Sure, it’s got the Kiel Fjord and the Kiel Canal, but it’s the Kiel Week festival that brings millions of visitors and thousands of boats to the city.
Just ten kilometers to the north is Dänischenhagen, a town of less than 3,700 people. Definitely not as crowded as Kiel, so you can see the 14th century church and the megalithic graves in peace.
Come to think of it, this isn’t the only place to see prehistoric grave mounds. There are a number of them scattered around here.
Still going northward through the Danish Wahld you’ll find yourself in the beachside town of Strande. You can boat here too, since it has a marina.
Time to head inland now to Gettorf, located just about half way between Kiel and Eckernförde. The town’s windmill is a feat of engineering, but also quite romantic. I like the St. Jurden Church and the Teufelsstein (Devil’s Stone). Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum!
That reminds me… If some of the “talking” up here sounds a little strange, don’t be alarmed. It’s probably just Low German, since it’s widely spoken around the Danish Wahld.
One of the biggest towns located within the peninsula is Rendsburg, which reaches out to Eckernförde along the Kiel Canal.
Every year this town of 29 districts holds a huge City Festival in the fall, a big Christmas Market, and a Weekly Market in between. Rendsburg also hosts the Festival of Lights along the Kiel Canal. Ohh, how pretty is that?
Rendsburg is also lucky enough to lie along the German Ferries Route, a charming scenic route that’s great done on a bicycle. Before you say anything, the area up here along the Baltic Coast is mostly flat — so it won’t be that challenging.
Go ahead, play it safe if you want — just go see its oldest house (built 1541) and the Jewish Museum instead.
While I might not have gotten a danish dish I could eat, I found the Danish Wahld to be food for the brain and the soul — with a cup of coffee no less. This is not East Frisia where I would’ve gotten tea instead. ;-)