Norden. Nothing would have driven me to Norden. That community on the shore of the North Sea, which offered its visitors the seaside resort Norddeich and the associated dog beach Norddeich. If it wasn’t for my mother.

For years, my mother dreamed of buying a house close to the North Sea and leaving behind the urban life in my, by all of us unloved, hometown Solingen.

For years, however, she did not dare to take this step, which made me, as a permanent traveler with an all-possible-mindset, very sad. To give her a first little push, I gave her two weeks of vacation in Norden-Norddeich for her birthday. A place she always wanted to get to know and never did.

I put the arrival date in Norden on our departure day from our first accommodation with Tia and Sandy in Solingen. We didn’t know yet how Tia and Sandy would react to life on the road, so we stayed in the country for now and planned to travel East and North Frisia over the next few months.

So our first change of scenery together would be Norden. Norden and Norderney. Needless to say, from day one Tia and Sandy had no problems whatsoever with the change of scenery. Quite the contrary. They seemed just as excited about traveling together as we were.

We spent two weeks together with my family in East Frisia before everyone separated again. Our time was peaceful and wonderful. This is due to the time spent together. Not to the vacation region.

Unfortunately, the German North Sea coast is anything but dog-friendly. Leash-free walks were hardly possible. Often dogs are not even allowed on a leash. This is due to the Wadden Sea National Park and the countless untrained dogs and dog owners.

I think this regulation is quite reasonable, because according to my observations the vast majority of dog owners could hardly exert any influence on their dogs. The little bit of mainland coast has to be protected.

Nevertheless, we enjoyed the hours at the dog beach and forgot the presence of a leash obligation also in the surrounding countryside, here and there.

As a liberation we felt our days on Norderney, because there we were allowed to walk and stay as we wanted on the huge beaches, out of season.

A 45-minute ferry ride brought us to the island. Right next to the arrival port begins the huge beach, which we walked along until dark, until the pouring rain in the late evening called us back to the ferry.

The new regulation of the all-year leash obligation on the island makes us sad. The lovely island mutated to a not travel-worth destination for dog owners.

Also, shortly after our departure, the dunes and dog beach of Norddeich gave way to a concrete wasteland – pardon – walkway. In spite of all protests, all over Germany. Well done motherfuckers. The little freedom that remained for dogs and their owners was finally destroyed.

With this album, I want to keep the memory of the remaining freedom alive, in the hope that one day, it will be restored.

Follow up

Our apartment in Norden

Our favorite places…

… would have been the Dog Beach of Norddeich and a trip to the Island of Norderney. The Dog Beach of Norddeich has been closed and abolished in 2020 and to this day nothing of value has been rebuilt. The Island of Norderney, which has been very dog friendly until recently, has decided to ban unleashed dogs year round now. I’m sorry to say, as much beauty as the area might offer for the human eye, there is nothing left for dogs and their people 🙁