We stop in Heiligenhafen, a 250 year old town on the north German coast, about 55 km east of Kiel, whenever
we sail in the area. Traditionally the town lived from the fishing, but tourism is now the main economic activity.
Many visit Heiligenhafen during the summer, and the sandy beaches are very popular. It has always been popular with German tourists.
A main attraction is the annual ten day long annual harbor festival, when the harbour is filled with boats and activities. This picture is from 2016.
There is a very large marina where we moor. It can accommodate 1,000 boats.
We were lucky in 2017, when there was a wine festival at the main square.
There was not only wine but lots of sweets, sausages and souvenirs.
One of the attractions is the large natural reserve with sand dunes, marked light green
in the upper right corner of the map, which protects the town, its harbor and the marina.
There are many maps and signs with information about the nature reserve.
There is an information center that offers a short lecture and a guided tour of the reserve every day.
Anyone interested in bird watching should visit the reserve, and there lots of signs to help you identify birds.
An observation tower built a few years ago has won awards for its design.
The watch platform is well protected. Our guide is the man with a grey hat.
From the platform one has a good view of the reserve and the town. There are many birds that pass through,
but none that nest, because foxes eat and kill the chicks. No birds have made any nests here for many years.
The Greylag goose (German: Graugans) is the second most common type of goose in Europe.
Common gulls, Larus Canus, having a rest.
Lots of birds took to the air when a white tailed eagle (German: Seeadler) suddenly appeared.
There are lots of sea buckthorn (German: Sanddorn) bushes in the reserve. The berries
are used in many commercial food and health products that are sold in all tourist shops.
There are several signs that help you identify what grows in the reserve, but all is in German.
There are a few beautiful old houses, built by rich families more than a 100 years ago as summer homes. It is not longer possible to get a building permit.
Some of the housse have gable decorations like these. All houses are fitted with lightning rods, the metal wires seen on the roof.
The thatched roofs are very thick and well maintained.