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  • ©Tourismusverband Landkreis Stade/Elbe e.V.

Typisch Norden

We wear captains' hats, the "Elbsegler", the way we speak is as flat as the land, and we get nervous if we can't see the horizon. We have a dry sense of humour and a very particular taste, even in what we eat and how we celebrate.


Unser Star: Come aboard and sail along

Taking a tour beneath the billowing sails of a four-mast barque, while standing by the railing and watching the water slip by. Listening to the groaning of the ropes and the whistling wind. Sailing is full of romantic moments like this. Taking a sailing tour during the Port of Hamburg Birthday, Kiel Week or Hanse Sail in Rostock is among the highlights of any sailing season. Immerse yourself in the history of seafaring, and allow yourself to be enchanted by the maritime romanticism on board a sailing ship.

Our Star: Fish Market in Hamburg

“Mutti, sonn Aal mussu ham!” [Mother, you'll need an eel just like this one], calls Eel Dieter, and the crowds laugh heartily. Fish rolls and rollmops are sold in their thousands. Fruit, vegetables and plants are available at bargain prices. Even live rabbits or flea market items are on sale here. The Fish Market down by the banks of the river Elbe opens for early birds and night owls each Sunday morning from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Jazz and rock concerts are held here in the early hours, while the party audience on the balconies above the fish auction hall is invited down for the breakfast buffet.

Our Star: Lighthouses

The lighthouses dotted along the North Sea coastline of Lower Saxony are popular destinations for excursions and delightful postcard motifs. Visible from far afield, some of them still point the way for ships passing by. But the beacon has been extinguished in many of the lighthouses. Today the tall structures are put to different uses. One of the most familiar lighthouses is the "Little Prussian" in the North Sea coastal resort of Wremen, situated along the North Sea coastline around Wurst, which attracts droves of tourists and is the landmark in the cutter port of Wremen.

Our Star: Roofed wicker beach chairs

The most comfortable and characteristic chairs along the north German coast are all thanks to an elderly lady and her rheumatism. Despite her ailments she was loathe to do without her holidays in the coastal resort of Warnemünde, which is why, 125 years ago, she asked the basket maker Wilhelm Bartelmann from Weiden und Rohr to weave the first roofed wicker beach chair. The chair became a "hit", and beaches today are inconceivable without them.

Our Star: Shelling North Sea Prawns

People in the north certainly know their prawns. There are deep sea prawns, widely regarded as tasteless, and then there are the North Sea prawns. Deep pink in hue, their aroma is beautifully fresh and their taste just heavenly. The best place to buy them is fresh off the cutter. Then you sit down on a bench by the port or up on the dyke and shell them by hand. The tail is separated from the torso by a simple twist. Then you press lightly on the shell enclosing the lower body, and remove the tender meat. Wonderful! Give it a try yourself!

Our Star: The East Frisian Tea Ceremony

Tea has a very prominent position in the region of East Frisia. Here, people drink more tea than anywhere else in Germany. The reason for this is probably found in East Frisia's close ties with its neighbours in the Netherlands, the first country to import tea to Europe from India. Besides the manner in which it is brewed, drinking East Frisian tea has its own particular ritual: first of all a large piece of rock candy is placed in the cup, over which the tea is then poured. For a while you listen to the clearly audible sizzling. Afterwards cream is added to the tea, initially sinking towards the bottom before rising to the surface in clouds.

Little Stars

Our little Star: Asparagus

Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein are among Germany's most important asparagus farming regions. Here you can buy delicious vegetables at weekly markets or directly from the farms. Lots of towns invite visitors to asparagus festivals at which the "white gold" is traditionally served with butter, sauce hollandaise or ham. Measuring 750 km in length, the "Lower Saxony Asparagus Route" connects the most important areas where the "white gold" is farmed, snaking its way through the regions of the Lüneburg Heath, Hannover and its surroundings, Braunschweiger Land, Mittelweser and Oldenburger Münsterland.

Our Little Star: Flensburg Rum

During the golden age of rum, Flensburg was its capital city. There were over 200 rum houses here, although now there are only a handful. One of them is the "Wein & Rumhaus Braasch". There is even a rum regatta, a race between historical freighters that also welcome passengers.

Our Little Star: Hühnergötter the good luck charms

The "Hühnergott" (Chicken God) is a perforated flint stone. In bygone days the stones were placed in chicken nests to keep the chickens healthy and laying plenty of fresh eggs. People have believed for centuries that Hühnergötter bring good fortune: to the one who finds them, and also to whomever is given one as a token of friendship or love. Give it a try: clench a Hühnergott tightly in your fist and turn around until you have spoken a wish (very quietly, of course).

Our Little Star: Kale, the Winter Vegetable

People in Lower Saxony quite literally cannot wait for the first frost. After all, the kale season between the rivers Elbe and Ems extends from November to March. "Kohl und Pinkel" (kale and smoked sausage) is the national dish in the north, whereby the "Pinkel" is a kind of white pudding made with bacon, pork belly, onions and herbs. Its fans rave about more than just its hearty taste: clubs, business and groups of friends celebrate the ritual of eating kale on numerous "kale tours".

Our Little Star: Sea Buckthorn Products

The sea buckthorn with its small, orange and sour fruits is among the few plants that grow on the dunes of the north German coast. The "lemon of the north" has ten times the vitamin C of a lemon! Sea buckthorn is used to make tea, juice, honey, sweets, jelly or marmalade. We also enjoy drinking it in grog or as a liqueur. Sea buckthorn products are on sale in almost all farm shops of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Sanddorn Storchennest GmbH in Ludwigslust, one of Germany's oldest and largest suppliers, also offers guided tours showing how sea buckthorn products are produced.

Our little Star: Sylt Oysters

There is no middle ground when it comes to oysters: either you like them or you don't. Fans of this premium seafood – at least up in the north – can imagine nothing more delicious than oysters from Sylt. The culinary queen of the island is known as Sylter Royal; it is served and enjoyed, not just there, fresh and raw or in innumerable versions. The Sylter Royal is also on the menu at the Gosch on Sylt, probably the world's most famous snack bar for fish delicacies.

Our Little Star: The World’s Largest Lobscouse dinner in Wilhemlshaven

Lobscouse is a typically north German dish, which is today considered a delicacy. In days of yore it was impossible for sailors to keep their food fresh when out at sea. This broth made of corned beef, marinated beetroot, onions and potato remained edible for a long time. There are many legends and stories told about this meal. The world's largest lobscouse dinner is held each year in the North Sea city of Wilhelmshaven.

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