Helgoland - May 2012

Landscapes and people

Helgoland is a small (1 km2 ) island, around 70 km off the coast of northern Germany. It is essentially a sandstone rock, rising some 50 m straight up from the sea. Being strategically positioned from a naval perspective, it has been Danish, British and is currently German. In preparation for the second world war, the island was converted to a navy harbour, with a large network of underground bunkers being built into the rocks. The project was stopped in 1941, although it continued to be a U-Boot harbour until 1942.

These days Helgoland - and its even smaller sandbank sister Düne - is primarily a health and holiday destination. The clean air and the relative absence of pollen is beneficial to people suffering from allergies and asthma, and the island is dominated by a large number of small hotels.
The second attraction of Helgoland is the wildlife. Thousands of Gannets nest on the cliffs, allowing tourists to get very close. Seals come ashore to enjoy a lazy afternoon in the sun on Düne. They again are not shy, but visitors are requested to keep a respectful distance.

We were there in May 2012 for a couple of days - taking a 3.5 hr boat trip from Bremerhaven - to shoot some close up pics of the Gannets and the Seals.


Baby Seals
Gannets on the rock
In flight