Kellinghusen is a tiny town, only a few kilometers away from where I live. I like it because the old streets and buildings, even on a cold day in early spring seem cozy and idyllic to me.
By coincidentI ended up at the old cemetry and found this old gravestone. he inscription says, that Jürgen Hansen who became known as the trumpeter of Eckernförde fought in the battle of Eckernförde on the 5th of April 1848 where, wounded himself he played the Schleswig-Holstein anthem.
At home I looked up his name and found out that the anthem he played had been composed just the year before, as a protest against Denmark. At Eckernförde it looked as if the Germans were losing and that it was his playing the anthem that lifted up the spirits of the already dishearted soldiers,so that they managed to raise up once more and to win that battle. Jürgen Hansen never fully recovered from his injuries but nevertheless managed to build up his own business as a road constructor in Kellinghusen. His family is keeping his graveside as a memory to him.
Quite honstly, I knew that part of Schleswig-Holstein had been under Danish rule but my knowledge of local history is superficial. At that time Germany was a conferderation of about 36 different dukedoms, principalities, counties and free cities. Due to marriages and inheritances dukedoms and counties seemed to change their ownership all the time, which is how Schleswig – Holstein ended up Danish at one time and German at another and I find it hard to keep an overview.
Every now and then, the small place in Schleswig Holstein where I live,seems a bit boring and unexciting. When I look at fotos or read about exciting cities like New York or Sidney, or far away countries like South Africa or Canada, life here seems unspectacular. But, in order to have a happy life it is important to focus on the good things that are given to you, rather than on the ones that are out of reach.
So, here are some of the reasons why Schleswig-Holstein, the most northern German federal state, is a great place to live in:
On hot summer days you can choose whether you want a bath in the North Sea or the Baltic Sea, both are just about an hours drive away.
North Sea coast at Friedrichskoog in Winter
There are plenty of elegant castles and manor houses in North Germany, too, even though for the fairy tale castles you will have to go further South.
Between April and October you will find a fleamarket, a fair or festival within 40 kilometers of where you live any time. On Saturday there will be a wine festival with bands playing in the streets and wine being sold at every corner in Itzehoe. There are even free busses to make sure people don’t drive drunk.
There are some very beautiful and interesting towns in North Germany, like Lübeck, Wismar, Rostock, Schleswig and of course, Hamburg and if you are staying in or near one of them you can reach the others within one to two hours.
You don’t need to be terribly fit to enjoy exercising outside: North Germany is flat and there are a lot of bicycle paths and small lanes where you can cycle or go on inline skates without any hills or mountains to struggle with.
If you like to get a good look at ships you can always take a trip to the Kiel Canal and watch them sailing past just a few meters away from you. Sometimes you are lucky as we were just a few weeks ago and see a special ship, This very luxerious yacht had just left the shipyard Blohm & Voss and was on its first trip. It was escorted by a helicopter and we were all wondering who that ship belongs to.
People trust each other: on many roads you will find small stalls where you can buy fresh potatoes, flowers eggs or vegetables fresh from the farm, you pay by putting the money into a box or into the letterbox,
There are some other things that make life her good: the air is usually fresh and crisp, as you are close to the sea. It is not as crowded as in some other parts of Germany, life is relaxed, people are friendly and unpretentious,and there are many more small places all over that I will show you.