Rostock-based basket-maker to the royal court, Wilhelm Bartelmann, is said to have invented the wicker beach chair in the 19th century. These distinctive recliners have hardly changed since and are still made by hand to this day. Seen on nearly every beach on Germany's North Sea and Baltic coastlines, the chairs offer comfort and shelter from the sun and wind. Slightly less comfortable, but great fun nonetheless, is the tradition of beach-chair racing, which takes place in Zinnowitz on the Baltic island of Usedom during the winter beach chair festival. Teams of two carry the chairs, which weigh 60 kilos a piece, 20 metres to the finishing line of the track.
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