Finally I am travelling and talking to and about my hometown, but as often the case about your hometown, there is be a long story to tell. But this blog is not about psychotherapy. In consequence and since running the blog I was waiting for my first trip to Eckernförde in order to write about this little precious place up on the Baltic shore in the north of Germany.
To start with, it is difficult to decide whether I like the place or not. After my A-levels I left Eckernförde and I did not very much like it. Looking back it is nice to have grown up here with no issue comparable to the issues growing up in larger cities. Eckernförde does of course also have issues, but on a much smaller scale, and in case you are not into it, you won’t notice. And that was my case. It was nice and cosy and me being rather in a sheltering nutshell.
After having left I did not come back for a few years, the world outside was just too attractive to watch and Eckernförde too much out of the ways I went. Though quite a few of my family and friends are still living here.
Eckernförde has changed a lot since. In my days the military employed app. 55% of the local workforce. But 5 out of 7 caserns have been closed down since. Instead of deploring it’s fate Eckernförde turned towards the tourism of caravans and ecologic. Eckernförde is member of a group of four northern cities emphasizing the importance of a sustainable lifestyle and is faring very well with all.
In summer the campsites are full. The coastline has not been spoilt with multi-storage hotels. On each and every weekend during summer something is organised and set up. Starting with open air concerts to flee-markets in the harbour area. Really amazing for such a small place. And who would have guessed this development once it was decided the military is going to extensively withdraw!?
It has been four years now I regularly come back and I appreciate this place more and more. There is no spectacular scenery, but the countryside is nice and cosy. I specifically like the springtime with the blossoming rapeseed all over.
Eckernförde itself is shaped like the number „8“ with the Baltic to the East and a kind of lake (with direct link to the sea) to the west. A really nice place and most underestimated. This is what makes Eckernförde unique among the northern resorts. The beach is right in the middle of town, hardly 100 yards from the city centre to the beach.
It does not offer a lot of night life but I was walking about and meeting a few old friends. More importantly though, I met new people being either born here too I could have known from earlier or people living here since 20-odd years. Eckernförde is a big surprise but you need to be kind of introduced or to know where to go or have enough time to spend here meeting people. It then turns a really interesting place. It offers all apart from it’s own cinema and in winter it may be rather dull, but that is part of it’s charm.
Many pensioners flock into Eckernförde so it is no hub for the young, who rather flee the town right after finishing school. But as I rather tend to turn pensioner than scholar my destiny seems clear. Now and 25 years after having left I feel home here. But better late than never?
Did you know, there is a new trend in Germany? Instead of being buried on a cemetery you can be cremated and buried in a forest. I found and leased my place in Eckernförde already and since having done my mind came to peace. Born and bred in Eckernförde, having left and toured the world, for finally being buried here has psychologically closed my very personal cycle of life. I am feeling good with it.
Until this happens, I shall return regularly, sip my coffee, beer and other in the Bistro and just stroll around. Maybe finishing the evening in the Nordcap or Eichhörnchen (but be prepared for the rough ride). Otherwise make contact to locals and you will be surprised what’s going on behind he scenes.
Later, when my pension plan starts, Eckernförde will certainly be my basis and I am seriously looking forward to it! So coming back to my initial question: yes, I like the place, but it has taken 25 years to reach this point.