We did it! Well, I guess it was fairly inevitable that we would go and visit my sister who was staying at the Asklepios Klinik in Sylt for some rehab. Going off-peak, I think we managed a low-budget weekend break, booking ourselves on budget airlines, using the Trainline to buy train tickets from Hamburg to Sylt, staying in our AirBnB apartment and travelling on the local buses.
So, what would be our tips?
Well, flying from Edinburgh to Hamburg, the Easyjet service was great. When we arrived, we walked through to the main terminal from the arrivals hall and followed the signs to the S-bahn which took us directly to Hamburg-Altona railway station. The very helpful gentleman at the DB information office directed us to our train to Westerland. We had to change at Elmshorn – and that was seamless. We had a 10-minute wait, staying on the same platform.
The journey continued on to Westerland. We crossed the Kiel canal, passed by pretty towns, were amazed by the number of windmills generating electricity and saw fields, some with arable crops, a few with livestock and some with solar panels. The train crosses a causeway to Sylt itself and arrives at Westerland Bahnhof (ZOB). We got a lift to our apartment in Wenningstedt and then had dinner in a lovely (busy) Italian restaurant.
The local bus service on the island is very good. In the winter months, the buses run every half hour and that increases to 10-15 minutes in the summer months. It’s possible to buy individual day-tickets or family tickets as well as 2-day and 3-day passes. These are valid on all buses on the island. If you buy ordinary tickets, the bus companies charge by the number of zones you enter. We bought day-tickets because some days we just wanted to walk.
Because my sister was living in the Klinik, we were allowed to buy meals in the restaurant there so we didn’t do much eating out. We did, however, walk into Westerland – and found the amazing Cafe Wien – where we couldn’t resist the waffles, Sandy’s topped with Rumtopf and Cream while mine came with cherries and cream. The best waffles ever!
On our last afternoon we took the bus to List, at the north of the island and loved looking round the shops there. We watched the Ferry coming in to the harbour and had a coffee in the ice-cream shop. It was damp and miserable weather, so we were pleased to get in out of the wind.
Travelling back to Hamburg went like clockwork. We caught the No 1 line bus into Westerland and walked onto the platform for our train – direct this time. We had a smooth journey to Hamburg-Altona and then caught the S-bahn back to the airport. I loved the consideration given to tourists on the S-bahn platform – the trains to the airport split before you reach the airport and it is essential to be in the first three carriages to make sure you reach your destination. The thoughtful folk in the station had this well sign-posted in a banner as well as on the edge of the platform!
Such a shame, we had to get a flight home 🙁