As the ferry was about to dock I realised that at least two thirds of the passengers had disembarked at the previous stop on the island of Föhr.
That and the familiar sound of the gap between the cars deck and the dock being bridged shook me out of the torpor induced by the gentle hum of the ferry engines.
Was Amrum the right choice, or should it have been Föhr?
I told myself that in fact I had no other option, unless I had been prepared to stay on a B&B, which I wasn’t, for there is no campsite on Föhr. Or is there?
Anyway I like staying on campsites. They bring people together and one can always find a way to be alone if desired.
I like people laughing together and the noise of children at play.
After cycling all day I never have any problem falling asleep.
In the morning, as I always get up early, I smile at the sound of some people snoring in their tents often several at the same time. Who knows, maybe I’m a snorer myself.
I had spent two nights on the island of Sylt, which was a minor disappointment, and was hoping Amrum was everything that the former is not.
I walked off the ferry and headed towards the tourist information. Closed!
The island is very small and similar to Berneray in shape, only a little larger.
It has a long curved beach along the west coast, and all the settlements are in the eastern third.
It has only two roads, so it shouldn’t be difficult even for me to find the campsite.
In fact it wasn’t, although it felt safer to ask another cyclist. Just in case.
When I saw the campsite, I wasn’t too pleased. Sand dunes again!
After Sylt I’m not very keen on camping on sand dunes.
First the sand gets everywhere, second you need special pegs. Fortunately on Amrum campsite there are plenty spots among the dunes where the sandy ground is rather firm or even with some coarse grass. However what a beautiful campsite!
The next morning I walked through the dunes and the most incredible beach opened up in front of me. All white sand and so wide that the sea was a thin strip barely visible in the distance between where the beach ended and the sky above. The big cloudy sky of the North Sea which inspired so many great painters in the past, like W. Turner, E. Nolde, E. Munch, just to name a few.
I simply started to walk, while taking it all in, and remembered the reflective calm I experienced cycling on the prairies of Canada.
The sense of tranquility I felt in the embrace of such flat land/seascape was unbroken and overwhelming, if tranquility can do that.
I took my shoes off and let the sand caress my feet, while making futile attempts to put into photos what I was seeing.
The words of the ‘ I Ching’ or Book Of Changes came back to me. They say that the plains represent true wisdom, for they contain in them the profundity of the abyss and the loftiness of the mountains.
And I walked on.