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Ruderverein Dorsten - Ostfrieslandwanderfahrt Emden & Greetsiel

May 16 - 20, 2007 - Journey Report written by Mark Osborne
Ausschreibung, Fahrtroute - Einleitung - Wednesday : Arrival - Thurdsday : Greetsiel - Friday : back to Emden Sightseeing - Saturday : around Emden - Sunday : Wattwanderung Baltrum - Gesamtansicht

Einleitung

Liebe Besucher unserer Seiten,

der folgende Fahrtenbericht ist in englischer Sprache verfasst. Unser Autor, Mark Osborne, erklärt das auch zu Beginn, aber wie wollen Sie das verstehen, wenn Sie so weit nicht kommen, also muss ich doch ein paar einleitende Worte schreiben.

Wer kennt das nicht. Man unternimmt was in einer kleinen Gruppe und die aufkeimende Idee zu einem Erlebnisbericht scheitert an der Opferbereitschaft eines willigen Teilnehmers. Wer unsere Fahrtenberichte der Vorjahre kennt, weiß, dass ich gerade die vielfältige Kreativität schätze und von Jahr zu Jahr einen anderen Teilnehmer für diese Aufgabe motiviere. Und in diesem Jahr bot sich hierfür nur Mark an. Das "nur" ist dabei ganz klein geschrieben - soll heißen, dass es lediglich kein anderer machen wollte. Das ist nicht schlimm, denn Mark schreibt gerne und gut und so ist dieser Bericht sehr unterhaltsam geraten.

Es war der einhellige Wunsch aller (noch einmal davongekommenen) Teilnehmer, dass Mark sich hier nicht verbiegen möge und sich seiner Muttersprache bedient, die ja auch hierzulande von sehr vielen Menschen verstanden wird.

Wenn Sie sich nun leider nicht dazu zählen und Ihnen das auch niemand vermitteln kann, so bitte ich Sie um Entschuldigung und wünsche viel Vergnügen beim Betrachten der Bilder, die locker tausend Worte ersetzen können. Auf eine Übersetzung habe ich bewusst verzichtet, da dies zusätzlichen Aufwand bedeutet und die Authentizität des Originals beschädigt. Filmliebhaber, die im Zeitalter der DVD auf Synchronisation verzichten, können dies leicht nachvollziehen.

Mit Bitte um Verständnis wünsche ich Euch und Ihnen weiterhin viel Vergnügen beim Besuch unserer Seiten.

Hartmut Thordsen



Wednesday : Arrival

Short description: three days of rowing around Emden and Greetsiel with a total of 95 km - see Ausschreibung, Fahrtroute for details

This years Wanderrudern took place in and around the town of Emden. Once again it was organized by our own Martin Dittrich. The decision to write in English was not mine but rather everyone else's. Knowing how I write German I take their point. I do hope that everybody's school English is better than my School German and that my text is understood. Forgive me if some of what I have written is incorrect as my memory fades with every passing hour, and my ability to remember places and names is somewhat weak. I think it is part of being English or maybe it is just men. Whatever I apologise up front for any technical errors.

Lets us start by naming the 19 adventurous rowers. Erhard Bode (vom "Heimathafen" Emder Ruderverein, Rita Bühler (Frauenruderclub am Wannsee, Berlin), Eva Orosi and Ingrid Kramer (Köln), Friederike von Wiser and Susanne Stränger (Kettwiger Ruder-Regattaverein, Essen), Ille Benkmann, Christine Schilo and Rüdiger Fraatz (Alster Ruderverein Hanseat, Hamburg), Inge Ulbrich (Vegesacker Ruderverein), Margita "Stöpsel" Voswinkel (Bremen), Jochen Zarnkow (RV Nürnberg) and Wolfgang Czopka, Martin Dittrich, Mark Osborne, Klaudia Ott, Heiner Streppelhoff, Sabine and Hartmut Thordsen (all Ruderverein Dorsten).


16.05. Wednesday : Arrival in Emden

If you are going to have rain then let it rain on the journey to Emden. Rain it did and in bucketloads. So many bucketloads that we started to have misgivings about the choice of dates for rowing. However, after arriving at the Youth Hostel and meeting up with everybody, the weather gods permitted us to see abit of the evening sun! Hopes went up.


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Hartmut Thordsen, Christine Schilo, Mark Osborne and our Emden RV guide Erhard Bode drove on to the first days target of Greetsiel to park up the van and cars needed to take us all back to Emden on the Thursday night. Everyone else remained in Emden and decided to have a drink at Pub Nr. 12 or was it 13. I couldn't understand if one had to start at Pub 1 and make your way to Pub 12 after having a drink at all the pub numbers inbetween or you were allowed to skip a pub or 8! When Hartmut, Christine, Erhard and I arrived somewhat later I thought everyone was quite sober. Either the beer was weak or my fellow rowers have that ability to down a drink or two without it affecting them.....or maybe they did not attend Pubs 1 -11. No one will tell me.


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In Greetsiel we first learned of Erhards enthusiasm as a tour guide and Hartmut, Christine and I were taken to a nice Pub in Greetsiel harbour where we had a beer and listened to abit of Platt Deutsch...at least that is what they told me it was. It could have been Japanese for all I know.



Thurdsday : Greetsiel

Our target for the first days rowing was the seaside resort of Greetsiel approx 30 km away. We were given 4x coxed fours gigs to use, and Martin divided us all up into our relevant boats, suffice to say it was boy/girl, boy/girl, at least I think so.


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The weather would have been good for the 'Insel' but only just okay for Germany. The journey was along Canals going through quite a few pleasant little villages (Hinte, Loppersum) with lovely lawns upto the waters edge. We were goaded on our way by quite a few barking dogs, munching cows and neighing horses who I don't suppose liked the intrusion. The setting was idyllic and relaxing.


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On arrival at Greetsiel we upturned the Boats on the grass and packed the oars away and all other equipment was placed in the Van. A quick meal in the nearby Fish Cafe and a short shopping trip around the Harbour shops and a chance to hear the lovely choirs of Greetsiel fathers (at least that is what Erhard told me). Personally I thought they sounded a little off cue and out of tune, but they were certainly loud and a part of the Fathers day culture of recent years.


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The return journey took in a short detour to visit the Lighthouse in Pilsum. After waiting to get in, the Tour Guide sat us all down in the Tower overlooking the complete Estuary including the Islands of Norderney, Juist and Borkum, oh and Holland. She gave us an excellent insight into how you can make money from disused Lighthouses. Weddings and I think Rose Gardens are the key to success. One just has to be imaginative when creating Wedding dates in the Calender.


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The Lighthouse tour was actually quite interesting and informative and thanks to the 'Church Pews' (waiting for the next Wedding) very comfortable. After the visit we all arrived back safely to enjoy a lovely bit of pasta in the Youth Hostel followed by a few beers and a look at the inside of Erhard's Rowing Club.



Friday : back to Emden Sightseeing

Friday morning dawned and the the first part of the day was supposed to be spent driving to Greetsiel to meet up with the boats. However our Erhard had other things in mind. A visit to the Leaning Church of Suurhusen was on the cards. This church actually leans more than Pisa it is just that Pisa Tower is higher. Wolfgang complained of seasickness just by looking at it. After a quick tour we carried on via a couple of lovely picturesque villages to Greetsiel to start our days rowing. Amazingly the boats and skulls were still there. You cannot get away with that in England!


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The days rowing was almost a reverse of Thursday rowing but with a small course change for a few kilometers. The weather started off abit chilly but as the day wore on it got increasingly better. As we were making good time we all decided to have a Pit Stop in Hinte.


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The Windmill in Hinte was so fascinating that Jochen took the opportunity of admiring it while we all marched off to have something to eat in a nearby Hotel. It was only on returning to the Windmill that we realised Jochen had not been with us. We blamed Erhard and Martin for not counting us all in and counting us all out. Jochen took it with good humour and was somewhat relieved that we had in fact returned. All that remained to do was to row our way back to Emden in time for our next adventure.


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No sooner had we arrived back that we were marched off into the town for a tour of Emden town center. What a tour it was. The first thing shown was a sculpture of one of Emdens famous persons. Yes Mrs ?????? the street cleaner. Still...... better a sculpture of her than Otto Waalkes. We climbed to the top of Emden and back down again without the need of Oxygen masks. Height gained was the princely sum of 18m above sea level.


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Little Big Horn is not buried in Emden but we know an Indian who is. He happened to die in Emden in the 30's after visiting the town as part of a show. We also learned that Emden expected to be attacked during the war as it could have had strategic value to the allies and the town planners at Emden - with good forethought - built massive concrete Air Raid shelters. During one particular savage air raid much of Emden was razed to the ground but with relatively few casualties when compared with the horrific casualty statistics from other towns. The concrete bunkers were a life saver. From my point of view a humbling experience.


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Not quite sure I believed the statistic that Emden had at one point in history almost as many ships as England. I think the time mentioned was roughly the time we and Spain were the biggest sea nations. To top the interesting tour we saw Otto's Grundschule.


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After the Tour we settled down to another night at Emden, and another journey to Greetsiel to pick up the Van and Cars. Erhard couldn't resist the opportunity and took Christine, Hartmut and I to visit Europes biggest Windpark, then onto a huge 4 motored contraption housed in a huge building used to pump water out back into the sea at an incredible rate. We also visited a quaint village with lovely gardens one can say it was almost a village kept in a time warp.


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Saturday : around Emden

The day started with a celebratory glass of Sekt. We shared in a toast (not a piece of toast) to Sabine and Hartmut on their anniversary. Apparently they celebrated their Honeymoon rowing so it was nothing new. Most people go off to somewhere hot and lie on the beach! Still Berliners are known to be different.


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The last days rowing was to take us to Loppersumer Meer, Großes Meer, kleines Meer, and then back to Emden. The journey was uneventful and peaceful until we had to cross the lake to get to our lunch stop, which was a lovely restaurant at the waters edge. The wind was quite strong and whilst we rowed with the wind the waves were quite large. We lagered up the boats near to the restaurant and enjoyed a bite to eat and a hot drink and watched the wind surfers having a wonderful days surfing.


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The Row back was a little different as we could not have rowed back across the Lake with the wind as strong as it was. An alternative route was taken which meant first carrying the boats a short distance to a stretch of canal out of the wind. It also meant launching the boats from a sandy beach. We were left to rue this decision as cleaning the sand out of the boats was time intensive.


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Saturday night was for some of us another 'Erhard tour' that Hartmut, Christine and I had the night before but ending in a converted barn having a couple of beers and a short kindly donated by Ille. For others it was a quite night in and for Hartmut and Sabine it was a night out to celebrate 19 years of marriage and to prepare mentally for the last days activities!


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Sunday : Wattwanderung Baltrum

After 3 days enjoyable rowing what was left for the Sunday was for some the Icing on the Cake and for others a small nightmare. However I think for all of us it was a memory and experience that with at least hindsight we will never forget and indeed for most of us was in fact enjoyable. It was a 'Watt Wanderung'. I had no idea what this was but was informed it is a stroll along the beach. Never believe any tour guides from Emden Rowing Verein! They are known to tell half truths!


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It was in fact a stroll across the sand to the Island of Baltrum..... of course when the tide is out! Erhard informed us that provided we made it across then we could take the ferry back! What we were to do if we did not make it across we daren't ask!


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I must admit it was highly satisfying walking across the estuary and then wading across the 'prills' and knowing that in a few short hours it would be covered in water. After making it across....just...only joking, we made our way to some fine places to eat on Baltrum. I can only say that a little old lady pointed Eva, Heiner, Wolfgang and I in the completely wrong direction and we ended up walking a few more klicks (km) before we could sit down and enjoy fish and chips.


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An overcrowded ferry took us back to the mainland where we all said our goodbyes to one another and then made the rather tiring car journey back home. It just remains to say to those of you that have read this far you deserve a medal. I would just like to say that you always have made me feel very very welcome and I thoroughly enjoyed all of your company. And yes Inge....... I will enter the 2000m at the Indoor Cup next year. See, now it is in writing. No backing out now.

Mark Osborne


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