It's 30 years after the german re-unification as we mind a bizarre plan: We're trekking along the Iron Curtain, the former deadly borderline between the East and the West of Germany! There is a hiking way named „Grenzwanderweg“ or „Green Ribbon“. You can hike here along the path on which the east german border guards monitored the „Iron Curtain“ between the socialist world and the west.
These are now the last few kilometers of our trekking tour on the Kolonnenweg. Almost 250 kilometers are behind us, the sea is ahead of us. The Baltic Sea in the sunshine is always a beautiful sight, but it is even more beautiful when you know that you will soon be able to throw off your miserably heavy backpack for the last time. And then you don't have to hump that back at first because your trekking tour along the Iron Curtain is done.
But until then, there are still a few steps, always along the shore, because this day we want to sleep on the beach again. This area is ideal for this, because apart from sand and sea and wind and a few strollers and beach goers, there is nothing here.
Loving a Mermaid
Or yes - there is a kiosk that is not shown on any map. For us this is like a sign that we should stay here near this secret shop named "Beach Mermaid" where we can not only get fresh water but even some beers. Some others think so too and converted a nearby parking lot into a semi-legal campsite for their mobile homes.
We eat a very good fish sandwich, pack the bootles of beer into our back packs and prefer to go down to the beach to find a place for our tent. The strip of sand is not very wide here, but the steep coast behind it is certainly fifteen meters high. There is only one way down - the reason for this, but we have no idea yet, that our entire trekking along the Iron Curtain almost ends deep in the next night in a catastrophe.
But that only happens a few hours later, first of all we are happy about the most beautiful tent niche of all time, hidden behind some old trees and even with seating and an old tree trunk that looks like a table.
When the storm broke
In the afternoon we were amazed to find that the Baltic Sea does know something like high tide: the beach on which we have spread a blanket is getting smaller and smaller, the water is getting closer and closer.
But it's still at least five meters to the tent and although the wind is always freshening up and the waves are getting higher, the campsite will certainly stay dry we believe. Only want to do something against the wind, which experience has shown in the tent always sounds like a hurricane that is about to sweep everything away. So we span a tarpaulin as a windbreak. Immediately it becomes quiet.
Until it banged in the middle of the night. The tarpaulin has torn loose - and while I try to tie it down, I notice that there is almost nothing left of the beach. The sea is three meters below the tent line, a short time later it is already two meters. We can't go backwards, to the side only maybe, because on the 600 meters to the ascent to the cliff the beach is not half as wide in most places as here.
Nevertheless: it is three o'clock in the morning when we hastily pack everything up, strap on headlamps and flee urgently. Only the first few meters we go on dry feet. then we hit the first wave of what the weatherman in the TV on the next day will call a storm surge. It is pitch black, you can't see the many fallen trees and the stony ground makes every step a dangerous thing to do.
But then we made it. Wet, but happy, we arrive at the stairs that - we are only now noticing - lead to a section of the path that looks very familiar to us. The pattern on this waterfront of the former Iron Curtain is distinctive: This the last bit of the 1.400 kilometres long path made of concrete biscuits from the Cold War which we walked since weeks.
Behind it is a small meadow on which we put our tent. The next morning the sun wakes us up, which is urgently needed to dry all the wet things. Our hiking boots can't do it, they stay wet for a whole week - as if to remember an unforgettable hiking tour.