Adventure: Horses that Walk on Water

Northern Germany has much to offer traveling couples, but this is one experience we never imagined:  riding on water!  The morning before our adventure, our good friends in Cuxhaven, Germany, took us down to the seaside and said, “Tomorrow we are going to take a horse ride across the sea to the lighthouse.”  We thought that something might have been lost in translation.  German is one of the languages where certain words take on different meaning in English.  Nothing could prepare us for the next day’s adventure.

In the morning. our wonderful hosts said, “We are going to the post office to pick up our horses.”  We chuckled and said we were game.  We bundled up as it was a brisk fall morning expecting the worst.  As promised, we arrived at the Wattwagen Poste (loosely translated Mud Wagon Post.)   The wagons double as tourist carriers and delivering mail.

 

Sea horses

Boarding our yellow “mud wagon.”

All Aboard!

We met our wagon master.  He was a chipper fellow and he instantly had all on board that spoke German in stitches laughing the entire trip.  Those of us that were Germaniclly challenged, just nodded and smiled.  I need to work on my Deutsche.  We climbed up the yellow elevated carriage and wrapped up in woolen blankets.  With a whistle and a snap of the whip, our driver encouraged our two steeds onward.  We crested the dike and lo and behold, the tide was out…letting us travel across the sea on dry ground!

Cuxhaven mud wagon

Headed our to sea in a horse drawn wagon.

 Yellow Wagons!

Our yellow wagon train headed across the sea!  The horses loved traipsing through the water puddles and little tidal streams.  There were bundles of sticks set every so often to mark the best path out to our destination, a lighthouse in the distance.

Wattwagen

Follow the sticks!

Along the path, there were elevated cages.  Our friends explained that these are rescue pods for the high tide.  If the water starts to rise and trap you between the island and the shore, you simply climb up one of these.  You have two options…wait it out or send up a flare.  Option two comes with a stiff fine and fee as a rescue boat is send out to deliver you back to terra firma.

Rescue pods

Rescue pods along the way. Rumor is there is some whiskey in the first aid kit.

 Neuwerk Lighthouse

Our journey across the water ended at the island of Neuwerk.  Population 39.  Is it really an island, if you can take a carriage to it?  The focal point of the entire island is one of the most quaint light houses we have toured.  For a small ticket (5 euros)  you are allowed to climb the circular staircase up to the top of the lighthouse.  What is most interesting, the lighthouse…and the entire island for that matter is officially a part of Hamburg, Germany (the city is 75 miles away).  Technically the lighthouse which was built in 1367 is the oldest surviving building in Hamburg.  For its age, the entire lighthouse is in very good shape.  The views from the top show the sea and Cuxhaven.

Neuwerk Lighthouse

Stairs of the Neuwerk Lighthouse

During the summer, you can walk around the island and see the farm. There is also a nice museum that explains the ecology of the area. After we had milled around for a time, our wagon master mustered us up again, we boarded our yellow carriage and headed back to the mainland.  It was a great day trip.

Hamburg horses

What a great day! Who knew we could walk on water?

Cuxhaven and Neuwerk are wonderful off the beaten path locations to visit as a couple.

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12 Responses to Adventure: Horses that Walk on Water

  1. Stephanie - The Travel Chica February 12, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

    Kinda weird :-)

  2. The Fighting Couple February 12, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    I know huh?

  3. Andrea March 7, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    These look like fun!

  4. Ryan A. March 22, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    Wow, how cool is this?! I love it! Great blog by the way. I am adding this to my travel blog list. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Jeremy March 23, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

    High tide escape pods … those Germans think of everything!

  6. The Fighting Couple March 25, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

    Yes they do!!!!

  7. MightyTravels March 28, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

    Hehe – Neuwerk was THE summer vacation place for my parents when I grew up. Great to see it featured here :)

    Btw just followed you on Twitter as well – great travel blog you have :) Looking forward to connect!

  8. The Fighting Couple March 28, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

    Thanks for the kind comment. Great to hear there are others that have enjoyed Neuwerk.

  9. Marcello Arrambide April 9, 2014 at 9:21 am #

    That looks like a lot of fun! :-D

  10. The Fighting Couple April 10, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

    Marcello- It really was. At first, I was a little concerned, but the horses performed brilliantly.

  11. Heidi January 3, 2016 at 7:24 pm #

    My mother grew up in Cuxhaven and I spent many Summer’s on the beach. Never had the opportunity to visit Neuwerk. I think I need to go back with my own family and try this!

    Heidi
    Alexandria, VA

  12. The Fighting Couple January 4, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

    Heidi,

    You would absolutely love it. Not sure how long ago you have visited Cuxhaven, but is continues to be a charming little town.

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