Well, Giekau is a tiny Village in Schleswig-Holstein, which is the most northern state of Germany. Being located at Lake Selent and close to the Baltic Sea (here’s an article from the Wall Street Journal featuring the region), the climate is rather mild (zone 8 is what I found somewhere, but I’m not too sure if these zones are all the same internationally). Winters usually don’t go below -20°C, summers are rarely hotter than 30°C.
…and what can you do there?
Gardening, of course. In our rich, heavy soil almost anything grows from apple trees to violets as long as it tolerates some frost. As summers tend to be a mixture of sun, wind, rain, warmth and cold some veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers are best grown in a greenhouse (which I don’t have) however, lots of other fruits and vegetables thrive under these conditions with very little help.
Also, the area is great for relaxing. The beaches nearby are not spectacular, but neither are they overcrowded. Some are ideal for collecting fossils or minerals (here a flintstone lined with crystal), as the whole of Schleswig-Holstein is basically the rubbish the glaciers left after the ice ages. Therefore you find rocks that have come all the way from Scandinavia littered on the beaches.
If you don’t like the sea, there are plenty of lakes around too. The landscape is marked by soft hills, making it ideal for easy hiking or cycling tours (if you don’t mind the wind).
And of course bird watchers will find this an interesting region. Right now thousands of wild geese are resting here on their way north. Behind our house herons are crowding up to feed on the little fish that are coming up the creek from the lake. Most spectacular are of course the White Tailed Eagles that breed around the lake and sometimes even have a look into our gardens whether the children have left the rabbits out ….
Those who like more action would have to go to the bigger cities, which are rare in Schleswig-Holstein. The capital, Kiel, is famous for Kiel Week, a great international sailing event. Lübeck with its historic town center is probably more widely known, not least for its marzipan. The next major city is Hamburg, which, of course, is not part of Schleswig-Holstein, but only a one and a half hour drive away from us.
(This is probably one of the last articles that will end up on Jodi’s list. Thanks for starting it, Jodi.)