In 1999, I moved from the Lower Rhine to Kiel. Back then I explored the towns and beaches together with my dog, much to the delight of the both of us. When he discovered the beach sand and the water, there was no holding him back. He picked up the closest wooden stick and went into the water.
People wanting to get to know the Firth of Kiel are well off with the ferries of the Schlepp- and Fährgesellschaft Kiel (tow and ferry company Kiel). Going to the beaches and maritime places during great weather in summer is always an experience.
The Fördedampfer (ferryboats), as they are lovingly called by the citizens of Kiel, connect the eastern and western banks of the state capital and are responsible for bringing passe
ngers to surrounding places like Mönkeberg, Heikendorf, Laboe, Falckenstein and Schilksee, as well as Strande.
Harbour boat tours as well as “Die Förde-Flirt-Fahrt” (the Firth flirting tour) are offered as well.
The Yacht Harbor of Möltenort
On the eastern bank of Kiel is the harbor of Möltenort. You can take in wonderful sights and witness impressive sunsets at the Yacht Harbor. Close to the harbour there are kiosks, restaurants and a great beach, there is also a sea bathing house and the U-boat Memorial with the famous eagle. The small town center is close by and has a pharmacy and a supermarket.
Fishing harbor of Möltenort
The fishing harbor with its counters where you can buy fresh fish has a long tradition of being an important location for the national fishing. Here you can find the fireship Laeso/Rende and some professional fishermen who offer their catch almost daily. After World War II, refugee fishermen from eastern Prussia settled down here and had major impact and influence on the development of Möltenort. The work group Fischereimuseum is dealing with the project “Fischereimuseum Möltenort” (Möltenort Fishing Museum) and has initiated the founding of a support association.
The Fischereimuseum wants to show the historical development of fishing in the Firth of Kiel and the Baltic Sea, as well the changes from post-World War II, up to the current times to make it more understandable.
The Galerie-Café is directly at the Yacht Harbor Möltenort and it offers its customers coffee and delicious cake from the local confectionery.
You can also stop by the comfy garden of the Galiere-Café after a long walk on the Firth trail. This Firth trail also connects the places at the Kiel Firth with each other and runs along the coast for the most part, reaching most of the maritime sights and beaches. It invites you to take a rest and enjoy the vicinity of the sea, be it traveling on foot or by bike.
The trail also leads directly along the Navy Munitions Depot Jägersberg. This part is occasionally closed off to the public by the Navy. Information about that can be gained via the hotline of the Navy Munitions Depot: (04343) 494307200. There is an alternative route through Neuheikendorf and Brodersdorf that is about 5 to 6 kilometers long.
The harbour of Laboe is viewed as modern, but also has a traditional fishing harbor. From here, sails and cruises to the southern Danish Sea, or day tours to nearby harbors can be planned. The tourism oriented city center can be reached quickly and offers a variety of options.
Swimming fun isn’t in short supply in Laboe either. You can spend your time swimming, canoeing, pedal boating or just lying in the fine beach sand, enjoying the sun and the fresh sea breeze. The sea water swimming bath and the biological station are also popular destinations.
Naval Memorial and Technical Museum U-995
In the picture taken directly from the beach, the submarine U-995 from World War II can be seen in the foreground. In the background of the landmark of Laboe, visible from afar, is the Marine Memorial.
The Memorial is an impressive 72m tall tower. Those who want to avoid the 341 steps can take the elevator up to the observation platform. With good visibility, it is possible to see Denmark from up here.
The memorial place beneath the tower was initially in remembrance of the fallen sailors of the Royal Navy in the First World War. After World War II it became a naval memorial place for all nations and a reminder for peaceful seafaring.
The U-995 submarine was built in 1943 by Blohm&Voss and was used in the Northern Polar Sea. After World War II it was taken over by Norway and included in their navy under the name “Kaura”. In 1972 it was finally put on display by the German navy as a technological museum and was open to visitors.
The Bülk lighthouse, at the utmost western cape of the Firth of Kiel, is part of Strande and a popular travel location.
Its full height is 25.60 meters. Once the 98 steps to the visitor platform at 22 meters have been taken, one can take in an amazing view of the Eckernförder Bay and across the Firth of Kiel. On clear days, some Danish islands are even visible. Looking southeast, Laboe, Marina Wendtorf and sometimes even the Bungsberg, the highest natural elevation, can come into sight.
Back in 1807, the Danish built a pilot- and lighthouse, but it only began operations after the war in 1815. After its destruction by lightning in 1843, the new and current lighthouse was built in 1865. It was modernized several times through the years and was equipped with a radar installation in 2013, which gave it its current look nowadays.
At the base of the lighthouse is a pavilion that serves guests all year long. They have not only coffee and cake, but also more hearty food. The area around the lighthouse is perfect for unwinding, to enjoy the peace and quiet and to take in the views.
Hikes along the small trail directly along the cliffs towards Dänisch-Nienhof are rewarded with breath-taking views of the Baltic Sea, the Firth of Kiel and the Bay of Eckernförde.
In this region, great crested grebes and other birds spend the winter and can be observed in the Baltic Sea. During the summer, they populate the lake land of Schleswig-Holstein. Most common among the birds is the Tordalk (razorbill) in the Baltic Sea around Schleswig-Holstein. It prefers to be in the Firths of Kiel and Hohwacht.
After 17 years in Kiel, the surrounding areas still fascinate me with its maritime flare and I can recommend trips into the region for both new and old citizens of Kiel.