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Big Sky

Plenty of daylight still remained at 9:30pm, so a walk on the dike seemed in order. Even though it is no more than 30 or 40 feet above the sea, one has a sense of altitude and vast space from atop this sturdy embankment. Sheep sprawl on the grass-covered berm as it slopes to the water. A man with a complicated-looking camera and tripod squints toward the pink horizon. A couple sit cross-legged on a blanket and sip red wine. Other than the sheep, the photographer and the wine drinkers we are alone. The tide flats of the Wattenmeer National Park stretch far into the distance and reflect the limitless sky.

This is an unconventional kind of beauty. To the east, 30-foot metal blades of giant power-generating windmills turn slowly in the breeze. Some might see them as interlopers, but their almost regal presence seems almost to enhance the peaceful but rather melancholy scene. Just before dark, as we headed back to the hotel, a little hedgehog scrambled across the road in front of us. Through the night, the window in our room stayed open. Other than the wind rippling the long grasses, we didn't hear a sound.

Solitude is perhaps the best word for this unusual part of Germany - the kind found on mountain-tops and lonely beaches. It's not only good for the blood pressure, but also for the soul. So just once, why not forgo the kitsch of southern Bavaria and the Black Forest for the charm and quiet of western Schleswig-Holstein and the Lundenbergsand?

Contact: Hotel Lundenbergsand Lundensbergweg 3, D-25813, tel. +49/04841/83930, fax 839350, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rating: Quality 13/20, Value 14/20